Maribor v Tottenham: Draw wouldn’t be a bad result, insists Villas-Boas
Maribor v Tottenham: Andre Villas-Boas believes a draw in Slovenia would be a good result for the north London outfit
Andre Villas-Boas insists a draw in Maribor would not be a “bad result” for Tottenham Hotspur despite an underwhelming start to their Europa League campaign.
Spurs are still without a victory in this season’s competition following a goalless stalemate against Lazio at White Hart Lane before conceding a late equaliser against Panathinaikos.
Villas-Boas, who led Porto to the Europa League crown in 2011, admitted Tottenham’s back-to-back games against their Slovenian opponents look set to be vital in determining their chances of reaching the knockout stage.
“I think these two games with Maribor is going to be the decisive point of the group phase,” said Villas-Boas.
“A point will not be a bad result as it will keep us tight with Maribor. Lazio can escape if they beat Panathinaikos.
“But our two games with Maribor will be decisive. After those we will see where we stand, before we have a home game with Panathinaikos and a difficult trip to Lazio.”
Maribor v Tottenham: Pre-match facts
• Maribor got a first taste of English opposition last season, when they lost 2-1 at home and 1-0 away to Birmingham City in the Europa League group stage.
• Spurs’ only fixture against a Slovenian side came in the 1995 Intertoto Cup group stage, when they won 2-1 at Rudar Velenje.
• Of the five games played between English and Slovenian clubs, the Premier League team has won four. The only time a Slovenian side have avoided defeat was when Olimpija Ljubljana drew 1-1 at home against Liverpool in the 2003-04 Uefa Cup first round.
• Tottenham have lost only one of their last five European away games – 1-0 at Rubin Kazan in the 2011-12 group stage – keeping clean sheets in three of those fixtures.