Lazio vs. Tottenham Preview

Tottenham look to forget the woes of the North London derby when they take on Lazio in Rome tonight. On Saturday, Adebayor was blameable for the defeat after receiving a red card for a moment of idiocy. Andre Villas Boas was reluctant to blame the forward, sticking up for him in the British newspapers on Monday. Perhaps it was to prevent 'rocking the boat' in the Tottenham camp, however it gave the impression he has difficulty confronting his players. 

Lazio meanwhile managed to earn a point at Juventus with 0-0 draw. A strong defensive performance against a side that had scored ten goals in the last two games prior to the game would have instilled confidence for Lazio. 
 
Tottenham head into the game trailing Lazio by two points, a victory would help Tottenham become a step closer to winning the group. While a draw would still mean a massive step towards qualification. Defeat however will mean Lazio will claim top spot. 
 
Last time the teams met in London, Tottenham squandered plenty of opportunities as they lacked a cutting edge in the final third. Lazio were never out the game, but they never looked like they could win the game as the teams drew 0-0. 
 
Something that is a controversial issue heading into the game is the Lazio fans. They have again blighted themselves by racist chanting in the first game and then assaulting Tottenham fans in Rome in the last day or so. Andre Villas Boas spoke about the racist chanting, claiming he believes it will happen at the Stadio Olmpico on Thursday evening. Italian fans have been in the thick of hooliganism for some years now and this has the makings of damaging a fixture that promises to be an enthralling Europa League game.
 
In their last visits to Italy, Tottenham enjoyed some rememberable games in Milan. Gareth Bale captured the imagination against Inter as he scored a hat trick in a 4-3 Tottenham defeat. It helped put his mark on Europe and was the root of his current hype. In March of the same season, Peter Crouch scored to secure a famous win against AC Milan. Tensions were high at the full time whistle, with Gattuso at the heart of the scuffles. 
 
Tottenham will again be without Moussa Dembele. Their midfield has looked less effective in the centre since he's been out withinjury. A boost for Tottenham will be the return of Stephen Caulker, he's overcame a knee injury that left him out against Arsenal. Perhaps it is fair to say, Tottenham were exposed without his assured defensive ability. Furthermore, the loss of Ederson for Lazio will come as pleasing news to AVB. He was one of the main threats when the sides met at White Hart Lane. Hugo Lloris will also get to prove his worth again, the French international has become increasingly agitated after not settling in at the London club.   
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