Ahead of Tottenham’s Europa League clash with SS Lazio, Andre Villas-Boas has announced that Emmanuel Adebayor will not feature after suffering a hamstring injury. The striker, yet to start for Spurs this season, will join Younes Kaboul, Jake Livermore and Scott Parker on the injury table.
Kyle Naughton will also deputise at left-back, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto awaiting specialist treatment after sustaining an ankle injury.
Hugo Lloris could also make his debut tonight, with Andre Villas-Boas labelling him an “immense” talent. After his £8m deadline day transfer, Hugo Lloris has sat out of each of Tottenham’s four league starts, watching from the bench as Brad Friedel retained the No.1 jersey. However, AVB feels that his work in training has been nothing but impressive, and he has adapted well to the set-up.
He said: “[Following the international break] he was training more with goalkeeping coach Tony Parks to get used to his methods, which is very, very important. And obviously he mixed in well with what we were doing on the pitch. The only thing we can say is that his talent is immense and easily visible from the time he has trained with us.”
Mousa Dembele is confident Spurs can succeed in Europe this season, and tonight’s game at Lazio can give them the perfect start. He will be hoping to overturn bad memories of his last European appearance, having received a red card in his last European game as a Fulham player for a nudge on Wisla Krakow midfielder Gervasio Nunez.
Expected to name a strong side ahead of the game, Villas-Boas’ side have every intention of securing all three points before a nervy away trip to Panathinaikos.
Dembele said: “Lazio are a big team and I think Panathinaikos will be difficult too so that’s why we have to win this game so we can go [to Greece] with more confidence.”
Proud owners of two team kits, Spurs will begin their Europa League campaign against Lazio tonight wearing their Investec Cup Competition shirt. The specialist bank and asset manager first announced a sponsorship deal with the club in 2010, before their Champions League quarter-final match. Yesterday then renewed their kit sponsorship, and whilst thought not to reach the £2.5m annual deal first time around due to Spurs competing in a lower-profile European competition than last year. The shirt will be worn for all European and cup ties Tottenham Hotspur appear in, with fellow sponsors Autonomy continuing to sponsor all league games.
Franco Baldini could be named by Andre Villas-Boas as the club’s new senior executive, seeing him as a major player in Spurs’ new-look recruitment operation. The former England No.2 is a leading candidate in the position after chairman Daniel Levy looks to re-appoint a specialist in the field of recruitment, but stresses that a director of football role that Damien Comolli last held in 2008 would not be re-introduced.
Following the departure of scouts Ian Broomfield and Peter Senior, Levy and Villas-Boas will decided if a new regime is needed in the scouting department or not. Whilst fluent in English and experienced in recruitment, Baldini is currently general manager of Roma – a post he is contracted to until 2014.
The latest staff movements see the removal of some of the last standing members of Harry Redknapp’s reign, as Levy looks to breathe new life into the Spurs backroom set-up.
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