Spurs Squad

Juande Ramos is out for revenge for being 'unfairly' dumped by Spurs but expects the visitors to be much too strong.

SPURS SQUAD: Friedel, Archer, Gomes, Naughton, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose, Fryers, Veljkovic, Capoue, Onomah, Eriksen, Bentaleb, Paulinho, Chadli, Townsend, McEvoy, Sigurdsson, Soldado, Kane.

No it's not a case of the 'Delhi Belly' but former Spurs manager stocking up the tie against his current side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

Juande Ramos out for revenge
Juande Ramos in happier times
Juande started brightly at Spurs winning the League Cup in 2008 against Chelsea after defeating Arsenal in the semi-final but things soon turned sour the following season and he was sacked having gained only 2 points from 8 games. He blames Daniel Levy for not buying him players like Samuel Eto'o, who went to become the worlds highest paid footballer on £350,000 a week in Russia before taking a massive pay cut to join Chelsea.

Clearly finances are a little lost on Ramos, as they are on most managers. To complain that he didn't get such signings he wanted is living in a fantasy land but with Spurs now being drawn against his Ukrainians in the last 32 of the Europa League he has his chance for revenge. He has not been back to Spurs since he was sacked so the return leg will be the first time he will be reunited with Daniel Levy, briefly I should imagine.

Despite this Ramos s realistic enough to know his team is up against it. On the draw he said: "I was happy because it's a chance to go back to a team and a city I love, a place where I was happy. On the other hand, Spurs are superior. They're clear favourites and there's a very good chance of us getting knocked out.

"One Spurs player may be our annual budget. You can prepare players and Spurs could still score four. Why? Because they're better. I can say: 'Look out, [Aaron] Lennon's quick on the outside.' They know but, voom-voom and he's gone. What are you going to do, chuck a rope round him?

"The reality is that we're light years away from Spurs right now."

The first-leg tie out in Ukraine will however be a tough encounter for Spurs if they are not fully focused on the task but their new found freedom under Tim Sherwood may stand them in good stead.

It is not just on the field where it may be tough though. The temperature is zero, the Dnieper River, which runs through the city, is huge sheets of ice in it. getting currency over here is impossible so after language problems at the airport and having your luggage searched you will have trouble finding a taxi. Now the players may have all their travel arrangements made for them but you get the idea of where they are heading.

Dnipro when a part of the Soviet Union was the centre for nuclear, arms and space development but it is a very bleak place. It is an industrial centre that has severely polluted air and water.

Quite apart from the travelling to get there and the grim reality of the conditions when you do there is also the small matter of civil unrest in Ukraine at the moment with anti-government demonstrations. The country’s capital, Kiev, has seen escalating violence in which 25 people have died and more than 240 have suffered injuries during clashes with Police.

To get to the grimness of Dnipro fans may well have to travel through Kiev putting them in danger so Spurs have put out a statement to give fans some advice.

"Fans need to take extra care if in the centre of Kiev and the Foreign and Commonwealth office advises that you go straight from the airport to the Station for transport onwards.

"Roads in the centre of Kiev are blocked with traffic as the Metro is not working,’ the club said on its website.

"The British Embassy advises that you should carry your Passport with you at all times for ID purposes.

"Those fans travelling to Kiev should take extra care. You should avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings as even peaceful protests can be unpredictable."

Erik Lamela, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jermain Defoe and Vlad Chiriches all miss the tie through injury whilst Danny Rose came back from a knock and had a run out with the Under 21 side on Monday lunchtime.

It seems likely that Roberto Soldado and Michael Dawson will play allowing Emmanuel Adebayor to get treatment for his slight dead leg and giving Kaboul or Vertonghen a rest. Tottenham travel to Norwich City on Sunday and with Younes Kaboul having only just returned to fitness it may be asking a bit much to expect him to play two games in quick succession. Jan Vertonghen has not long returned from injury himself but is now up to match fitness so is therefore less prone to injury.

Tim Sherwood has indicated that he will field a strong team but his comments suggest the squad will be used having to travel 3,000 miles and with Norwich on the horizon. "We are out of all the other competitions and we have got a big enough squad."

Harry Kane is expecting a focused performance and for the lads to get the job done. Games like this to destinations like this can only help his gradual development.
Harry Kane focused
Harry Kane says Spurs are focused

“Every game from now on, especially away from home, is going to be hard in this competition.

“We know Dnipro is a tough place to go and we can expect a difficult match. But we’ve got to stay in the right frame of mind and get the job done. We want to get as far as we can in this competition, so everyone is looking forward to the game on Thursday.

“I’ve seen Konoplyanka [there danger man] in action against England and he looks like a great player. They’re going to have some good individuals and they’ll be a good team, so we know what to expect from them. But like I said, we’ve got to get the job done.”

It won't be a pushover and it's only a first leg so a draw would not be a disaster but you would hope Spurs have enough to score away from home and come away with a victory.

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