It sure has been a stressful week in the life of Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas. While having to deal with the fallout from the Hugo Lloris head injury furore, he has also been having to prepare his team for the visit of Transnistrian outfit Sheriff Tiraspol.
The Moldovan powerhouse hosted Spurs in a 2-0 defeat recently, with goals from Jan Vertonghen and Jermain Defoe doing the trick - and now travel to White Hart Lane to face a daunting task.
For Spurs the fixture is likely to be treated as a must win - as you’d expect. In fact a victory this evening would assure them of a place in the next round of the competition, and if Anzhi fail to win in the North Pole against Tromso, Spurs will also be through as Group Winners with two games left to play.
So AVB would quite obviously like his team to dispatch of their Moldovan visitors, with ease, so he can get himself rested and ready for the game with Newcastle United on Sunday.
But Sheriff are not ready to lay down without a fight, according to their manager Veaceslav Rusnac.
The 38-year-old Interim Coach has led the side to the summit of the Moldovan league once again, but now has eyes on a bigger prize - a place in the next round of Europe.
Sheriff genuinely seem to have a very good chance of making it to the next stage of the competition - as they would feel confident of getting the better of Norwegian side Tromso, while unpredictable Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala are rooted to the foot of the Russian Premier League - so certainly look beatable.
Rusnac however will not send his team out to roll over against superior opposition, stating at the weekend:
''We are not going to London just to have a regular game on the field. We are coming to get points because we want to play in Europa League in spring.''
So despite complacency being difficult to ignore, Spurs’ players must take the game as seriously as their Eastern European opponents - or they could come unstuck.
image: © hurtingbombz