Tottenham Hotspurs hosts Slovenian club Maribor when they play at White Hart Lane on Thursday during the group stage of the Europa League.
- (Photo: Reuters/Eddie Keogh)
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas knows that a win will not mathematically eliminate his side from the tournament, but understands that at this stage in the competition, a full three points is needed.
"It's reached the stage now where matches start to define the group, we'll have a real idea of what could happen after this fixture," Villas-Boas told reporters during a press conference.
"Win, lose or draw, it doesn't mean that mathematically we'll be in or out, but a win can make a big difference. We will still have to do our job in Rome and against Panathinaikos," the Portuguese manager added.
Andre Villas-Boas had dreams of winning the Europa League title when he became the boss of Tottenham this summer after a short time with Chelsea that ended baldy for the manager.
Spurs are currently in third place in Group J after three consecutive draws to start the tournament. Since their last European competition, the pressure and questions surrounding Tottenham has grown after the 1-0 Premier League loss to Wigan on Saturday.
For Maribor's manager, Darko Milanic, the former Slovenian player coached his team to a 1-1 draw in Slovenia during the pairs first meeting on Oct. 25. They currently are in second place behind leaders Lazio and lead Spurs by one point heading into tonight's fixture.
Maribor's highly sought after striker Robert Beric, who scored against Tottenham last time, will be available and sure to cause problems for Spurs.
Defender Ales Mejac is doubtful after missing the team's final training session and Rajko Rep is out due to injury which may leave Maribor a bit thin in defense.
Kick off for the match is at 3:05 p.m. and can be watched online here.