MF’s Preview: PAOK vs Tottenham


Sebastien Bassong

Whilst it’s nice to know that Van der Vaart is ready to take on all-comers in Thessalonika, Kazan and Tallaght, it’s also good from an onlooker’s point of view to know that any hatchet men from the esteemed clubs representing those bits of geography won’t get the chance to ply their trade against one of our more delicate pieces of property. If you include Brighton then the Dutchman has already had to leave the pitch early through injury twice this season and we’re only halfway through September.

It seems he wasn’t consulted about the decision to leave him out, I’m sure he went through the right club protocols before he uploaded his version of events on to his website.

Redknapp will be looking for a winning side when he does pick his team to play on Thursday evening in Greece but it sounds like he’s going to employ a minimum risk policy. Given the random nature of Ledley’s appearances and Dawson’s Achilles problem, Kaboul and perhaps even Bassong have added themselves to the list of players we need to wrap in cotton wool before Sunday.

I’d be lying if I said I knew much about PAOK. A quick read of the UEFA website gleans that they have quite a cosmopolitan squad with a number of Brazilians, Croatians and Portuguese as well as shed loads of Greeks of course. Theo Zagorakis, who played against us for Leicester in the 1999 League Cup Final is a big cheese at the club. A few of their players will apparently be familiar to Harry from his Pompey days. The PAOK website doesn’t have much to say.

We can be reasonably certain of seeing Corluka, Livermore, Pav, Townsend, Cudicini and Giovani as well as big Tom and Rose (if fit in both cases) but apart from that it’s anyone’s guess. Limited alternatives mean that Bassong and Assou-Ekotto may also play. It’d be nice to think that Parrett and Bostock are capable of stepping up given the length of time they’ve been at the club and it’d be good to see Falque and Ceballos too.

If you play a weakened team by definition you get a weakened performance. If the Greeks take the competition more seriously than we appear to be doing then we can expect a rough and tough evening I suspect with a draw being a good result.


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  1. We need to do well in the Europa Cup. The oppurtunity that we give to our youngsters is beneficial both to the club & the players. We definately will not be fielding a weaker team but a side that will satisfy many players for just participating in such an eventful match.

  2. gomes, corluka bassong thudd townsend, Falque livermore Carroll Giovanni, Bostock Pav is what i hope, hell never change his 4-4-2

    i can see him putting more first teamers in though sadly, which means gomes, corluka bassong kaboul ekotto, giovanni thudd parret townsend, Pav Defoe

  3. I believe Spurs and PAOK will be probably the two teams to go through from this group.
    I would like Spurs to win tomorrow but I wont consider a draw as a failure.
    PAOK is going to miss probably its new star player Lazar who was injured last week during the Romania-France Euro game.
    Also doubtful are given the key players Athanasiadis, Cirilo (ex Inter and Sienna) and Fotakis.
    Best and most dangerous player is ex Porto Vierinha who scores in almost every game.
    Together with Chile's captain Contreras and Uruguay's ex Real Madrid midfielder Pablo Garcia are the key players of PAOK.
    Garcia can score from every distance in set pieces including corners.

  4. Crikey, things really are bad if we're considering wrapping Bassong in cotton wool!
    I was under the impression that Corluka, Tom and Rose are all injured. Bare bones?

    "Thursday nights, channel 5, Thursday nights, channel 5", love it, except it's not, nor ITV, anybody know who's showing it?

  5. We will be fielding a weakened team, Harry has already said the majority of the team that played against Wolves will not even be travelling.

  6. Do we hell need to do well in the Europa.
    Even if we won the damned thing it's half expected for a team that went so far in the CL and it means nothing financially.
    Harrys got his priorities spot on.

  7. We need to win it to be honest. If we coinsider the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa Cup as shite then why are we playing, we are a mediocre fucking team and have been since Glenn Hoddle left while the scum have won loads.So percieved mediocre cups are for us. To win the Europa Cup? Yeah Great!!!!!

  8. sad to see some spurs saying we shouldnt be taking this competition seriously! spurs used to be trailblazers for british clubs in eurpe – we were the first british club to win a euro trophy in 63 when we won the cwc, and we were the first team ever to win the uefa cup in 72! with 3 euro trophies we have won more european silverware than any british sides except utd and liverpool. we also hold the record for most consecutive wins for any british side in europe with 8 wins in a row!! we have a great european pedigree and it disappoints me to see rednapp cheapen that with his 'copuldt care less' attitude to the europa!!

    • i agree….and lets face it if we put stronger sides out we should by rights win the bl**dy thing. Ok the kids miss out but we can still blood a few in the early rounds. We're not gonna win the league so we are just competing for champs league place…something else we cannot possibly win with likes of Barca and Real around. Not to mention the Manc sides. Depressing isnt it….oh least we are the best team in North London..


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