Defoe Tottenham
Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe celebrates after scoring against Tromso in their Europa League game, September 19Reuters

Tottenham will look to take a firm grip on their group when they travel to Russia to take on Anzhi Makhachkala, a side which Andre Villas-Boas admitted was "radically different" from the team from last season.

The Anzhi owner ordered a fire sale this summer, with the likes of Samuel Eto'o, Igor Denisov, Willian and Christopher Samba, to just name a few, all leaving the club.

Therefore, Tottenham will start the game as clear favourites, with Villas-Boas admitting he would take a strong squad to Russia, despite Anzhi dropping down to the bottom of the table following the losses of their main players.

"They are radically different from what Anzhi built in these past years," Villas-Boas said. "The changes are so radical and dramatic that you find it hard to recognise the team and the project they set out to do in the beginning.

"It looks apparent that staying in the league has become their priority. They've got one point out of the game against Sheriff so it's going to be a difficult game with difficult conditions.

"We don't want to come here and play with the competition -- we want to be serious about the project in that way."

Spurs can pick up a perfect six points from six if they win at Anzhi, after their comfortable victory over Tromso in the opening group match. Anzhi will look for their first win after playing out a goalless draw with FC Sheriff.

"Last year we were also in a very difficult group (NK Maribor, Panathinaikos and Lazio) and this year it's the same," Villas-Boas told UEFA's official website.

"Our objective is to progress. We know we have to make a big, big effort regarding the trips, but we will be ready and we have learned from last season that we can't use the Europa League as an excuse.

"We have to use it as an example and the players will be fully motivated to do it this season too."

Team News: Jermain Defoe is expected to start the game, after scoring six goals in his last three starts. The likes of Lewis Holtby and Erik Lamela are also expected to be given a run out from the off. Aaron Lennon and Etienne Capoue remain ruled out.

Anzhi will have to do without the services of striker Lacina Traore, who misses the game through a shoulder injury.

Key Men: Anzhi: Odil Ahmedov will be the man entitled with the job to stop Spurs' playmakers from thriving.

Tottenham: Defoe will be expected to keep banging in the goals, while Holtby will want to make an impression, as he looks to get back into the reckoning in the Premier League starting XI.

Where to watch

The match is scheduled for a 9.30 p.m. (IST) start with live telecast on Ten Action.

Expected lineups: Anzhi: Kerzhakov, Gadzhibekov, Angbwa, Epureanu, Agalarov, Jucilei, Ahmedov, Adeleye, Burmistrov, Abdulalov, Gatagov.

Tottenham: Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, Chiriches, Naughton; Sandro, Dembele; Lamela, Holtby, Chadli; Defoe.

Prediction: 2-0 to Tottenham

Quick Links