Andre Villas-Boas eyes 100% Tottenham record in Europa League
Tottennham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas wants Spurs to complete the group stage with a 100 per cent record intact
Andre Villas-Boas has set his sights on completing the Europa League group stage with a 100 per cent record ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s clash against Anzhi Makhachkala.
The north London side face the cash-rich Russia side at White Hart Lane on Thursday night after securing top spot in Group K thanks to a 2-0 win against Sheriff FC in their last outing.
It would be good to finish on 18 points. We are qualified and Anzhi are as well
However, Villas-Boas wants Spurs, who face second-placed Liverpool on Sunday, to take the contest seriously and secure maximum points from the group phase of the Europa League.
“Another win would be brilliant for us,” Villas-Boas said.
“It would really complete a good group run, completely different to the one we had last year.
“It would be good to finish on 18 points. We are qualified and Anzhi are as well.
“They go on a two-month break now for their winter break, so all of this adds to special circumstances in a game.
“But we will try to motivate our players to focus on a win and achieve 18 points and go through the game without any injuries.”
Pre-match facts: Tottenham v Anzhi Makhachkala
• Tottenham Hotspur and Salzburg are the only clubs with 100 per cent records in this season’s group stage. Three sides have won all six of their group matches since the advent of the Uefa Europa League: Salzburg (2009/10), FC Zenit (2010/11) and RSC Anderlecht (2011/12).
• Tottenham are within two goals of scoring their 350th in Uefa competition; this is their 171st Uefa game.
• Spurs’ Jermain Defoe and Trabzonspor AŞ’s Olcan Adın are the group stage’s top scorers with five goals each. With 22 Uefa Cup and Europa League goals, Defoe is 11th on the all-time leaderboard alongside Dennis Bergkamp, Martin Chivers, Jürgen Klinsmann, Óscar Cardozo and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
• Tottenham (1972, 1984) are one of five teams in the group stage who have won this trophy before; the others are Valencia CF (2004), Eintracht Frankfurt (1980), PSV Eindhoven (1978) and fellow two-time winners Sevilla (2006, 2007).