Both Jan Vertonghen and Paulinho will not feature in Tottenham’s Europa League tie against Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow tomorrow.
The pair, who both featured in successive games against Tromso, Cardiff, Aston Villa and Chelsea recently, haven’t travelled to Russia for the Group K fixture.
Etienne Capoue, Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor, who returned to training with the Tottenham first team for the first time since pre-season this week, are sidelined for the game, while Danny Rose is close to full fitness following injury but tomorrow’s game comes too soon.
Spurs go into the game in good shape having strolled to victory against Tromso in their first European fixture last month.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas has previously spoken of his desire for his Spurs team to take the Europa League seriously, is now in his second season at White Hart Lane.
With the pressure on to secure Champions League qualification and compete on three other fronts, the Portuguese coach says he is putting pressure on himself to deliver the goods.
“I think this year is an opportunity to put myself under more pressure.
“If I know the environment, I should be able to give more and produce more," he said earlier today.
“In that sense, I have become a little bit more demanding towards myself and others - my players and my side. I think this comes naturally after a year where we did so well but just not enough.
“I think hopefully it can turn out to be a good year. It is a good test for me as well.
“Everything has passed through my career in a very abrupt way and stability and continuation is something I have never tested before in my professional work and maybe it is time I did that.”
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