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Spurs v Rubin Kazan: Preview, Team News & Predicted Score

Thursday night sees a top of the table clash in Group A of the Europa League. Visitors Rubin Kazan like Spurs have taken four points from their opening two games of the Group stages and are sure to provide the Lilywhites toughest test yet in the competition.

The Tatarstan club have over the last couple of seasons been more used to playing in the Champions League group stages but fell to Lyon in the playoffs this year. Rubin of course are the team who shocked Barcelona with a 2-1 win at the Nou Camp in 2009 and this should prove warning enough for Spurs. It should be noted however that the team has changed somewhat since then and that they are only 6th in the Russian Premier League this season. Still it would be foolish for Harry Redknapp to underestimate the opponents and this game may see a stronger Spurs line up than previous Europa matches.

Rubin’s forwards are likely to provide a big threat. Obafemi Martins – who should of course be remembered for his goal that beat Arsenal in last seasons League Cup Final – along with Paraguayan Nelson Haedo Valdez are the most likely candidates. In midfield Brazilian Carlos Eduardo is one to watch out for. He was highly rated at Hoffenheim and surprised many by choosing to go to Russia when bigger clubs in Europe where showing an interest. At the back Kazan are not to be taken lightly either. Former Real Madrid youth teamer Cesar Navas forms a strong central partnership with Italian international Salvatore Bocchetti, while Christian Ansaldi is a dangerous attacking full back.

So what can we expect from Spurs line up? As usual, injuries mean that a few players are already out of the equation, particularly in defence. There is no reason why Carlo Cudicini won’t start in goal, and looking at availability it seems the back four will be fairly strong, in fact probably the one that finished the match against Newcastle, unless Redknapp wants to rest Assou-Ekotto in favour of Rose or Townsend. It should be hoped that if Townsend does play it isn’t at the back as he is clearly far more comfortable and effective further upfield.

In midfield, it’s to be expected that Gio Dos Santos will continue on one wing with either Townsend or Bale most likely the other side. In the centre, Redknapp will have to decide how much he trusts in Jake Livermore and Tom Carroll. They seem to have shown enough in previous games that they can handle the responsibility and if given the chance could flourish and provide them with a massive boost in confidence. Up front Pavlyuchenko is likely to get another chance to stink or swim, most likely alongside Defoe again.

My Prediction

Kazan will certainly prove to be a stern test but one that Spurs should be able to pass. It won’t be a walk in the park but a 2-1 victory should be achievable.


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Alee

    October 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    No mention of Sandro or Lennon then? Not too sure but I heard they were good to go.

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