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Expectant NEC welcome thriving Tottenham

NEC Nijmegen will look to earn a first UEFA Cup Group D victory and reignite their hopes of reaching the Round of 32 against a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur FC side who nevertheless have some unhappy Dutch memories.

NEC hope to have reason for more celebrations on Matchday 3
NEC hope to have reason for more celebrations on Matchday 3 ©Getty Images

NEC Nijmegen will look to earn a first UEFA Cup group-stage victory and reignite their hopes of reaching the knockout stages against a Tottenham Hotspur FC side with some unhappy Dutch memories.

• Time might be running out for NEC if they fail to win this game, having lost their opening Group D fixture 3-2 at NK Dinamo Zagreb on Matchday 1.

• Tottenham atoned for their 2-0 defeat at Udinese Calcio on Matchday 1 with a 4-0 win against Dinamo on 6 November. A win against NEC would most likely help them progress to the Round of 32. Only once in the first four years of the UEFA Cup group stage has a total of six points not been enough to qualify, with Rangers FC missing out in the 2004/05 competition.

• This will be NEC and Tottenham's first meeting in UEFA club competition.

• NEC have never met an English side in a competitive game before, but Tottenham have played 12 matches against top Dutch teams over the years, winning six, drawing three and losing three.

• Of their games in the Netherlands, they have won four and lost two.

• Tottenham players will remember only too well that they were knocked out of last season's UEFA Cup Round of 16 by PSV Eindhoven, losing 1-0 at home and winning 1-0 away but going down 6-5 on penalties.

• Current Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was on the winning side in that tie, with the Brazilian moving to Tottenham during the summer. 

• Last season's PSV defeat was not the north London club's first taste of disappointment in the Netherlands. Having drawn 2-2 at home, they lost 2-0 to Feyenoord in the second leg of the 1973/74 UEFA Cup final.

• NEC coach Mario Been played against Tottenham during his time as a midfielder at Feyenoord. In what was his first game in UEFA club competition Been came off the bench at the De Kuip Stadium as his side went down 2-0 to Tottenham in the second leg of a 1983/84 UEFA Cup second-round tie. Feyenoord had lost the first leg 4-2 in London.

• Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who left Portsmouth FC to replace Juande Ramos at White Hart Lane on 26 October, faced Dutch opposition during his time in charge of West Ham United FC. His side beat SC Heerenveen 1-0 home and away in a 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup semi-final. NEC's Arkadiusz Radomski was part that Heerenveen side.

• Chelsea FC midfielder Frank Lampard scored the only goal for West Ham in that first leg.

• NEC's Rachid Bouaouzan is on loan at the club from English side Wigan Athletic FC. The 24-year-old has not made a senior Premier League appearance for Wigan since joining the club from Sparta Rotterdam last season.

• Team-mate Collins John has seen more action in England, having scored 20 Premier League goals in four and a half seasons at Fulham FC, and more recently spending time on loan at Leicester City FC and Watford FC.

• During his time in England, John played in two wins, one draw and three defeats against Tottenham in all competitions, and never scored against the north London side.

• Gomes is the only Tottenham player with experience of Dutch football. He joined PSV from Cruzeiro EC in 2004, and won four successive Eredivisie titles and a Dutch Cup at PSV before moving to London. Gomes featured in seven Eredivisie games against NEC, finishing on the losing side only once and winning five of those matches.

• NEC's 1-0 win at home against FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti in this season's UEFA Cup first round was their first home victory in European competition, coming at the fifth attempt. They had drawn two and lost two of their previous continental ties at the De Goffert Stadium.

• Prior to their 2-0 loss at Udinese, Tottenham were unbeaten in six European away games.

• Dinamo play FC Spartak Moskva in Matchday 3's other Group D tie. Udinese are the only side in the section not in action.