Tottenham Hotspur FC have reason for confidence as they embark on their seventh UEFA group stage campaign, with their UEFA Europa League Group K visitors Tromsø IL having endured a miserable previous visit to London.
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.
• Tottenham's only experience of Norwegian opponents dates back 41 years to a two-legged UEFA Cup first round tie against FK Lyn. The then holders won 6-3 in Oslo and 6-0 at White Hart Lane, with England international Martin Chivers scoring a total of five goals in the tie.
• Tromsø's experience of English opponents also amounts to a single tie. The club recorded a famous 3-2 victory at home against Chelsea FC in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round – it might have been even better had Gianluca Vialli not scored twice for the Blues in the last ten minutes. The Italian then scored a hat-trick in the second leg as Chelsea won 7-1 – still Tromsø's heaviest defeat in Europe.
• This is Tottenham's sixth UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage campaign, and they also competed in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage, meaning that they have been competing in one group stage or another for seven of the last eight seasons; their only absence was in 2009/10. They have only once missed out on the knockout phase in those campaigns, in 2011/12.
• Tottenham have only once lost their first home game of a group stage, 2-1 to Getafe CF in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup. They are unbeaten in their last seven continental ties at White Hart Lane (W5 D2) since a 2-1 loss to PAOK FC in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Tromsø reached the group stage of the 2005/06 UEFA Cup, but finished bottom of their section with a win and three defeats.
• Tromsø, who started in the first qualifying round, have reached this stage despite losing their last three European away games without scoring. Beaten 3-2 by Beşiktaş JK in the play-offs, Tromsø were reinstated following the Turkish club's disqualification.
• A Norwegian club has yet to win a game on English soil in UEFA competition in 18 attempts; two draws and 16 defeats.
• Tottenham (1972, 1984) are one of five teams in the group stage who have won this trophy before along with Valencia CF (2004), Eintracht Frankfurt (1980), PSV Eindhoven (1978) and fellow two-time winners Sevilla FC (2006, 2007).
• Tromsø defender Jaroslaw Fojut was a trainee at Bolton Wanderers FC from 2004 to 2009. He spent time out on loan at Luton Town FC and Stockport County FC before returning home to Poland.
• Notable Norwegians who have played for Tottenham in the past include goalkeepers Espen Baardsen (1996-2000) and Erik Thorstvedt (1989-96), midfielder Øyvind Leonhardsen (1999-2002) and forward Steffen Iversen (1996-2003).
• Former Tromsø goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld was on Tottenham's books from 2002 to 2004 but never made a competitive appearance for the club.
• The only coach in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League group stage to have won the competition in its current incarnation, André Villas-Boas learned his coaching craft under Sir Bobby Robson and José Mourinho. After a first solo venture at A. Académica de Coimbra, he led FC Porto to an extraordinary league, cup and UEFA Europa League treble in 2010/11. He fared less well at Chelsea FC, but regained his footing after joining Tottenham in July 2012.
• Tromsø coach Agnar Christensen played a record 569 games for lower league Grovfjord IL before turning to coaching. He led nearby Medkila IL's women to a sensational Norwegian Cup triumph in 2003 and then took over as assistant coach at another side from the far north, Tromsø, before the 2006 season. He served under Ivar Morten Normark, Steinar Nilsen and Per-Mathias Høgmo in that role until he got the top job ahead of the 2013 campaign.
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