There are times when a team can trudge off on the wrong end of a hammering with their heads held reasonably high, with the scoreline rather less than their performance deserved.
Asteras Tripolis’ 5-1 reverse at the hands of Tottenham a fortnight ago was a case in point.
Despite shipping five and failing to find the net until Harry Kane’s late and not so great goalkeeping cameo, the Greek side asked plenty of questions of their hosts, with the industry of Argentine Pablo Mazza a constant headache that would have developed into a full-blown migraine had the second-half linesman on the Asteras right not flagged for some preposterous calls.
Having lured the Lilywhites to their mountain top lair, Stadio Theordoros Kolokotronis, they have every reason to be hopeful of a scoreline that more closely resembles the team’s relative merits that it did at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham are 18/25 for a win that would represent their first ever on Greek soil, however their hosts have never lost a European game in their backyard, seeing off seven opponents in this competition since their debut in 2012/13.
This term ‘Arkades’ have beaten all four of their Europa League guests to date, with Finland’s RoPS, Mainz of the Bundesliga, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Partizan Belgrade all seen off by a margin of two goals.
At bwin the odds curators go 15/4 about Staikos Vergetis’ men adding the most illustrious triumph yet to this list, while the draw has been priced up at 13/5 and an intriguing 21/20 says the Greeks can avoid defeat in either fashion.
Asteras’ confidence will buoyed further by Spurs’ lack of success on the road, with the Liywhites all at sea before a Christian Benteke red card and a deflected winner ended a four-match winless streak on their travels at Aston Villa last time out.