It is a match that has no bearing on the fortune of either team in the competition involved. However, there are still a lot of things to look forward to in this match. The form and fitness of returning players like Danny Rose and Christian Eriksen will attract a lot of attention. Villas-Boas has been using the Europa League to ring in the changes, almost like practice for the Premier League, and he said that the rotation policy would continue.
Younes Kaboul, Jan Vertonghen and Vlad Chiriches are missing the game due to injury. It is unlikely that Rose will start the game although he can be expected to come on a substitute for the last half hour of the game. Youngsters Shaquile Coulthirst, Ryan Fredericks and Laste Dombaxe may also be in line for some game time.
With an important match against Liverpool at White Hart Lane coming up for the Spurs, an uneventful win to maintain their 100% record in the group stages so far will all that Villas-boas will be looking for. The team has been on an upward swing lately with consecutive wins and the manager will be hoping to build on that in the packed winter to follow.
The Russian team has seen a reversal in fortunes as big name players have left the club and the owner has decided to cut back on spending. Following the departures of Roberto Carlos, Samuel Eto’o, Willian and Christopher Samba, they have won only two of their last 28 games. They have also already made it to the next stage of the tournament.