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Getafe and Spurs seek relief

Getafe CF coach Michael Laudrup may be more focused on their league plight but is hopeful his European debutants can surprise Tottenham Hotspur FC tonight.

A UEFA Cup group stage match against Tottenham Hotspur FC at White Hart Lane will see Getafe CF continue their maiden voyage in European competition, just 24 years after the club was founded.

League priority
The Madrid-based outfit defeated FC Twente on away goals to reach this stage while they recorded their first league win of the season on Sunday, a 2-0 success against Real Murcia CF. However, with the club in the Primera División bottom three, coach Michael Laudrup, who is without the injured Pablo Hernández and Cosmin Contra, has had to prioritise.

'New sensation'
"Winning is a new sensation for us after playing well in so many matches but drawing or losing," Laudrup said. "The most important thing is the league and we're thinking of next Sunday's game at [Real Racing Club] Santander. That doesn't mean we're going to throw away Thursday's game, but I will make changes so the players are fresh for Sunday."

'Anguish' ended
Midfielder Francisco Casquero spoke of the relief at winning for the first time in eight league games. "We have put an end to the anguish and it was a victory we had been waiting for a long time. Now we can look ahead with optimism," he said. Esteban Granero, however, does have his eyes focused on Europe.

'Best game'
The Under-21 Spain international said: "The Tottenham match could be the best game in my career. It's a luxury to play in the top division and European competitions and we have to treat these games as being the most important. We have to start winning points as soon as possible in the UEFA Cup. If we're not at 100 per cent, we will struggle against a high-performing team."

Strong side
Spurs manager Martin Jol has been under pressure all season and will certainly be looking no further ahead than Thursday's meeting. He is likely to name a strong side in an attempt to earn a win to boost their fortunes as like Getafe, the London side have won just once in the league and sit in the bottom three.

Key absentees
Jol is still waiting for captain Ledley King to return to fitness and will be without his star performer this term, 18-year-old Gareth Bale, as well as England goalkeeper Paul Robinson. The Dutch manager insists the absentees are not helping his cause. "Sometimes I have to be realistic," he said. "If I could start with players like Ledley then it would be different and you could say: 'OK you've got your strongest team.' I feel as long as I try to prepare them 100 per cent there is no issue because I feel that they are totally prepared for each game."