Tottenham Hotspur FC's White Hart Lane will host its first UEFA Champions League group game on Wednesday and Harry Redknapp warned it will be "an intimidating place to come" – not that FC Twente are worried.
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Tottenham Hotspur FC manager Harry Redknapp expressed his respect for Wednesday's UEFA Champions League Group A visitors FC Twente, but insisted White Hart Lane will be "an intimidating place to come" as the London side gear up for their first home game in the group stage.
Harry Redknapp, Tottenham manager
It's great for the club to be in the Champions League and important we got through the play-off round. This is a tight group, a difficult group, and every point is vital. If you win your home games you qualify so this is a massive game for us and one we need to win. There will be a great atmosphere like there was for the last game against Young Boys. That lifted us and we got the win. This is an intimidating place to come.
Against Bremen we learned we can play at this level and we're capable of giving anyone a game. We know quite a bit about Twente: they are a good team with some very good players. You don't win the Dutch championship unless you're a good team.
We spoke to [Rafael] van der Vaart this morning and asked him where one or two of them might play. He knows the players and said they are a good team. They played well against Inter and if you look at their home record you see they are a fantastic home team. We will respect them.
Michel Preud'homme, Twente coach
It's important we defend well and retain the ball but we will attack as it's in our nature. Tottenham can harry you but they also have a lot of quality. They will use the home support in the same way we do but we have players with experience of international and European football so they should be used to this kind of atmosphere.
The championship is one thing but the Champions League is another. Maybe Tottenham have expectations in the Premier League but in the Champions League it is different because it's a new experience for them. Tottenham have a lot of injuries but if you see the players they had for the last game, they are still at a high level.
It's not a disadvantage that everyone knows about us after the Inter game – we want to show our quality. These are different circumstances as we are away this time but in this group anything is possible – as we saw in the first games every team has one point and all games will be difficult.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee) is in contention after training on Tuesday morning, but Ledley King (knee) is rated doubtful. Redknapp said Younes Kaboul "tweaked his hamstring again" in training so will not feature while fellow centre-back William Gallas misses out with a groin problem. Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes (groin) could play after returning to training, but Michael Dawson (sprained left knee ligaments) and Jermain Defoe (ankle) are long-term absentees.
Left-backs Dwight Tiendalli (leg injury) and Bart Buysse (torn ankle ligaments) are both sidelined.
25/09/10 West Ham United FC 1-0 Tottenham
Redknapp made five changes to the side which scored three times in the closing 14 minutes to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 3-1 on 18 September. Tottenham have won just one of their last six games in all competitions.
25/09/10 Twente 2-2 AFC Ajax
(Janssen 11 62; El Hamdaoui 15, Enoh 68)
Nicky Kuiper and Denny Landzaat were both in the XI for the first time the season as Twente extended their unbeaten start to the campaign. They have won five and drawn five in all competitions.
Did you know?
Tottenham last staged a European Champion Clubs' Cup game in April 1962 – a semi-final against eventual winners, SL Benfica – and end that long wait with a first meeting against a Twente side who have not beaten English opposition in nine previous attempts.
See the match background for more information.