Today’s draw by UEFA in Monaco for the Europa League Group Stages has placed Tottenham in Group K. Forty eight teams were included in the draw and were seeded in four pots. The fixtures have now been announced.
The first Europa League game will be played on Thursday evening, 19th September. The other dates are Thursday, 3rd & 24th October, 7th & 28th November and 12th December.4th and 25th October, 8th and 22nd November and 6th December. For the draw, Tottenham were included in Pot 1, the group of the top twelve teams according to UEFA’s ‘co-efficient’ ranking. Spurs were the 3rd seeded team behind Valencia and Lyon.
The draw included teams who Spurs have played in recent years – Lazio and Rubin Kazan although they can’t be drawn against them as they are also among the top 12 seeds. They could however, face PAOK Salonika (Pot 2) and Maribor (Pot 3).
Tottenham were the first winners of the UEFA Cup in 1971-72 season defeating Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Final. They were runners-up two years later losing to Feyenoord and then won it again under Keith Burkinshaw in 1983-84 in what was his last match as manger. Tony Parks was the goalkeeping hero making two crucial saves in the penalty shoot-out against Anderlecht at White Hart Lane.
***They have been drawn with FC Anji from Russia, Sheriff from Moldova and Tromse of Norway. All three are new opponents for Spurs.***
FC Anzhi Makhachkala played in last season’s Europa League reaching the last 16. They finished top of their group which included Liverpool. They lost 1 – 0 at Anfield but recorded a single goal win in the return match. In the last-16 they lost to Newcastle United 1 – 0 on aggregate to a late goal in added time in the 2nd leg at St. James’ Park. They finished 3rd in the Russian League. It will be another long journey for Spurs having travelled to Georgia for the Play-off Round.
FC Sheriff are the Champions of Moldova and defeated FK Vojvodina of Serbia in the play-off round, winning 3 – 2 on aggregate with a 2 – 1 win in the 2nd leg at home.
Tromse finished 4th in the League in Norway and lost 3 – 2 on aggregate to Besiktas in the Play-off Round but were re-instated when the Turkish club’s ban was upheld.
A difficult draw for Spurs with considerable travelling against unknown opposition. They would expect to progress to the knock-out stages but there’ll be little opportunity for AVB to rest players or rotate the squad.
Matchday 2: 6.00 pm (UK) 3rd October, 2013 FC Anji v Tottenham Hotspur
Matchday 4: 8.05 pm (UK) 7th November, 2013 Tottenham Hotspur v FC Sheriff