News and gossip from Tottenham Hotspur in the past 24 hours.
Spurs trio Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend were subject to racist chants and monkey noises from sections of the Lazio crowd during their home Europa League encounter. Manager Andre-Villas Boas hopes these chants will be addressed by governing body Uefa, with disciplinary action taken where needed. Whilst Villas-Boas did not personally hear the attacks, the presence of Uefa president Michel Platini at the Lane could be vital in enhancing the claims. With Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel’s Twitter account shut down also last night due to racist attacks, the topic is still a large problematic issue in the sport.
The match itself will leave Spurs wondering how they finished without a goal to their name. Three disallowed efforts from Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Steven Caulker meant the match finished goalless. Jermain Defoe’s strike was ruled out after a creative pass by Gareth Bale was correctly flagged offside in the build up, but fans will feel unjust calls for Clint Dempsey’s offside run and Steven Caulker’s foul on marker Stefano Mauri before both nodding in goals were harsh.
The team lie joint-second with Lazio in their group, after Maribor defeated Panathinaikos en-route to their first Europa League group stage victory. Spurs’ next trip will be an away tie with Greek side Panathinaikos who, after losing 3-0 to Maribor, will be determined to get their Europa League campaign back on track.
Kyle Naughton should overcome a slight foot injury in time for Sunday’s match against Queens Park Rangers. The left-back, filling in for the injured Benoit Assou-Ekotto, picked up the knock during their midweek match against Lazio, but should be match fit in time for their Premier League clash. Andre Villas-Boas will name a largely unchanged side from their win against Reading, and he must once more decide whether to start Brad Friedel or Hugo Lloris in goal, whilst striker Emmanuel Adebayor isn’t far from featuring for the home team in their coming games.
In somewhat of an injury crisis, QPR will be without key defenders Anton Ferdinand, Fabio, Armand Traore and Stephane Mbia. Former Spurs’ midfielder Adel Taarabt is also a doubt after picking up a hamstring injury during training, with forward Andy Johnson ruled out for most of the season after sustaining an injury in last week’s draw against Chelsea. Samba Diakite is the seventh man on their injury table.
image: © OliverN5