Let’s be honest – nobody really enjoys the Europa League group stage do they?
After the thrill and excitement of the Champions League on a Tuesday and Wednesday night, which has seen Jeff Stelling and Gary Neville analysing the brilliance of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and co, turning over to ITV4 on a Thursday to see Matt Smith present Tottenham’s tricky trip to Moldova doesn’t quite have the same edge!
The competition has come in for a lot of stick in recent times, especially with it’s new group stage format.
But the long and short of it is, that once this stage has been negotiated and you get to the knockout rounds of the competition, people do sit up and start to take notice.
The competition was taken seriously enough by Chelsea last season, so much so that even Rafael Benitez came away with credit from his interim tenure at Stamford Bridge, after guiding the Blues to a final victory over Benfica in Amsterdam.
Tottenham fans will remember last season’s tie with Inter Milan all too well, and their 4-1 defeat in the San Siro which saw them sneak through on away goals. You can’t tell me supporters weren’t bothered by the fate of their team that night?
Unfortunately, before more exciting nights such as those can be enjoyed again, Tottenham must negotiate their way through a group that features Russian money bags outfit Anzhi Makhachkala, Moldovan outfit FC Sheriff, and Norwegian side Tromsø.
They may not be the games Tottenham fans are most looking forward to, but here we have identified five players to look out for during the group stage nevertheless!