Preview: Anzhi Makhachkala vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Anzhi Makhachkala and Tottenham Hotspur in Russia.

Tottenham Hotspur will attempt to move onto six points in Group K when the Premier League outfit make the trip to Russia to face Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday.

The clash in Ramenskoye will be the first time that the two sides have met in a European competition, but Anzhi did face English opposition last season – exchanging 1-0 home wins with Liverpool in the group stages, before being eliminated by Newcastle United in the last 16.

Overall, their record against English opponents is won one, drawn one and lost two of their four matches. They will attempt to end a barren spell in front of goal this week, with the Russian outfit failing to score in their last three European matches.

Anzhi opened their Group K campaign with a 0-0 draw with Sheriff on matchday one, but Spurs took early charge of the group with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Tromso. The Premier League outfit have won all three of their matches in this season's competition, scoring 11 times and conceding none in the process.

The hosts have also struggled in their domestic division this season, with no wins from 11 matches leaving them second from bottom in the Russian top flight. That is in contrast to Spurs, who currently sit third in the Premier League after winning four of their first six matches of the new season.

The Russian outfit can no longer call upon the services Samuel Eto'o, who scored nine times in 16 European games for the club in the 2012-13 campaign, with the striker now plying his trade with Chelsea.

Anzhi will also be without their highly-rated forward Lacina Traore through injury. However, Pavel Solomatin and Nikita Burmistrov are both expected to start in attack.

Spurs, meanwhile, could ring the changes from their draw with Chelsea in the league at the weekend with Brad Friedel and Harry Kane both pushing for starts. Jermain Defoe is also expected to line up in attack at the expense of Roberto Soldado.

Recent form

Anzhi: DDDDD

Spurs: WWWWD

Possible starting lineups

Anzhi: Kerzhakov; Angbwa, Ewerton, Tagirbekov, Adeleye; Agalarov, Akhmedov, Sobolev, Jucilei; Burmistrov, Solomatin

Spurs: Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, Dawson, Naughton; Holtby, Sandro, Paulinho; Kane, Defoe, Lamela

Sports Mole says: 1-2

Tottenham's Jermain Defoe scores the opening goal against Aston Villa during their League Cup match on September 24, 2013
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
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17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
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19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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