Tottenham begin their Europa League group stage adventure tomorrow night with a tricky looking trip to PAOK Salonika.
You get the feeling that the Champions League’s less glamorous sibling isn’t a huge priority for boss Harry Redknapp this season and he will almost certainly rotate his starting line-up in Greece.
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Spurs will go into the game without the services of William Gallas, Michael Dawson, Vedran Corluka, Steven Pienaar, Rafael van der Vaart and Aaron Lennon and the likes of Sebastien Bassong, Andros Townsend, Jake Livermore and Roman Pavlyuchenko could all make a rare start.
Despite this, you’d still put the North London club as favourites. After all, the Premier League is an altogether different proposition to its Greek counterpart.
With Shamrock Rovers and Rubin Kazan making up the group, Spurs should qualify comfortably but it will be interesting to see just how many changes they make tomorrow, with Redknapp already stating that Barclays Premier League points against Liverpool on Sunday are the priority.
The Tottenham chief may see tomorrow’s encounter as a good chance to give his younger players some big match experience and it promises to be a cauldron of noise inside the Stadio Toumbas. Greek crowds aren’t known for their shyness.
PAOK made it through to the group stages of the Europa League after defeating Valerenga and FC Karpaty Lviv in the qualifying stages but go into tomorrow night’s 18:00 BST clash on the back of an away defeat at Ergotelis. They conceded two goals in the last five minutes after Sotirios Balafas had put them into the lead, although Diego Arias was sent off for Laszlo Boloni’s side.
Spurs, on the other hand, recorded an impressive 2-0 success at Wolves at the weekend and they will be hoping that the Molineux result will ignite their season after a disappointing start.