UCL Preview: Young Boys vs Tottenham Hotspur
Written by Viorel Mesca
Tottenham’s Uefa Champions League campaign is ready to start as they face BSC Young Boys. This playoff fixture has been greeted with smiles by most Spurs fans, as Young Boys have little experience in Europe. Nonetheless, some may remember the shock defeat of Turkish giants Fenerbache.
Berner Sport Club Young Boys 1898 (often referred to as Young Boys Bern) is a Swiss club that has won 11 Swiss league championships and six Swiss Cups. They finished second in the Swiss Axpo Super League last season and they will certainly do their utmost to defeat Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur,
The squad, composed mostly of Swiss players, lack big names, although there are some exotic names like defender Emiliano Dudar (former Velez Sarsfield, Tigre and Vasco player), Ivorian players Hassan Lingani, Thierry Dubai and Pascal Dubai, Cameroonian striker Henri Bienvenu (former player of Esperance Sportive de Tunis), Bosnian midfielder Senad Lulić and Zambian striker Emmanuel Mayuka (former player of Kabwe Warriors and Maccabi Tel-Aviv). Their captain is goalkeeper Marco Wölfli.
An interesting player is defender Scott Sutter, who was born in the London suburb of Enfield and was a Spurs fan as a boy.
He has been quoted by uefa.com as saying:
“It was amazing for me when I was watching the draw with my dad and the first two names out were us and Tottenham. I jumped up and punched the air. The club I support and once had a season ticket; I can finally play at White Hart Lane. It couldn’t get any better.”
Tottenham Hotspur has played in the Champions League just once, in the 1961-1962 season. However, that season Spurs reached the semifinals of Europe’s most prestigious club competition, losing 4-3 on aggregate to Eusebio’s Benfica.
Good times are back for Spurs fans as their favorites finished fourth in the Premier League last season and can take advantage of this opportunity to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League.
Spurs players will be encouraged by their performance against Manchester City in the opening game of the new Premier League season, despite drawing 0-0. Spurs fans expect some free-flowing football tonight against the Swiss outfit.
BSC Young Boys
Manager Vladimir Petkovic is a fan of the 3-4-3 formation, although he might line-up for this match a 4-4-2 tactic with David Degen and Henri Bienvenu as the two strikers.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Wolfli; Jemal, Sutter, Dudar, Affolter; Doubai, Costanzo, Hochstrasser, Raimondi; Degen, Bienvenu.
Every Spurs fan is wondering what surprises Harry will spring, as he could start with Robbie Keane up front and give Dos Santos freedom on the pitch. During pre-season, Redknapp tried to accustom his players with the 4-2-3-1 tactic, as he could employ it tonight.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto; Modric, Palacios, Huddlestone, Lennon (Bale); Dos Santos, Keane
Harry Redknapp will probably warn his players against complacency, as Spurs can’t afford to lose this opportunity. My guess is that Spurs will win this match 3-1.
Have your say! Will Tottenham win this match? Will Spurs qualify for the group stage?
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