- (Photo: Reuters/Eddie Keogh)
Tottenham (Spurs) and NK Maribor will clash in the Europa League group stages on Thursday. The two teams are sandwiched in the middle of the group at the moment and both will be looking to take the maximum three points to continue their drive for the knock out stages of the competition. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET and can be watched online through live stream via the link below.
Spurs will be eager to claim a first win in the competition, having drawn their opening two games. They sit third in the table currently, and know they must start claiming wins if they are to push for qualification from the group stages.
However, if they are to win today they will have to do so without two of their biggest players. Gareth Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor are not in the squad to play Maribor today - Bale did not travel as he has taken a leave of absense to be with his partner, who gave birth at the weekend. Meanwhile, Adebayor is out injured with a back complaint - Spurs will not want to risk him and save him for their upcoming Premier League games.
Other high profile injuries Tottenham are competing with include Mousa Dembele (hip) and Scott Parker (Achilles), as well as defenders Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul (both knee). None of those players made the journey to Slovenia for the match.
This will be the first of a double-header against Maribor, and if Spurs can claim two wins it will out them in a strong position for qualification. However, a loss today would leave them a lot to do in their final three games - they might have to win all three to qualify if they come out of tonight with zero points.
"I think these two games with Maribor is going to be the decisive point of the group phase," said boss Andre Villas-Boas, according to BBC Sport. "A point will not be a bad result as it will keep us tight with Maribor. Lazio can escape if they beat Panathinaikos. But our two games with Maribor will be decisive. After those we will see where we stand, before we have a home game with Panathinaikos and a difficult trip to Lazio."
Spurs vs Maribor kicks off at 1 p.m. ET and can be watched online through live stream by clicking here.