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Tottenham prepared for Rovers visit

Tottenham Hotspur FC go in search of their first UEFA Europa League Group A victory against a Shamrock Rovers FC side who are playing their first competitive game in England in over 50 years.

Harry Redknapp will be confident his side can get their first Group A victory against Rovers
Harry Redknapp will be confident his side can get their first Group A victory against Rovers ©Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur FC will look to post their first UEFA Europa League Group A victory as Shamrock Rovers FC play their first competitive game in England in well over 50 years.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.

• Spurs' record in four games against Irish sides reads W3 D1 L0 (W2 D0 L0 at home). They have won their last three games against Irish clubs without conceding since drawing 1-1 at Dundalk FC in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1981, and have never conceded a goal against Irish opponents at White Hart Lane.

• Rovers have not met an English side in a competitive European game since they became the first Irish side to feature in the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1957/58. They lost 6-0 at home against Manchester United FC on their European debut and lost the return fixture 3-2 against the Busby Babes, so many of whom would lose their lives that season in the Munich air crash.

Match background
• Spurs have not scored in their last three European home games, recording two 0-0 draws and a 1-0 loss against Real Madrid CF in last season's UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

• Prior to their 2-1 extra-time win against FK Partizan in this season's UEFA Europa League play-offs, Rovers had not scored in three European fixtures on the road.

• Rovers' 3-0 loss to FC Rubin Kazan on matchday one was their heaviest home defeat in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League.

Team facts
• Rovers need three more goals to take their UEFA competition total to 50; this is their 56th UEFA club game, meaning they average less than a goal a game.

• Rovers' Ciaran Kilduff celebrates his 23rd birthday on the day of the game; he has never played a European game on his birthday before.

• Rovers' 28-year-old midfielder Rohan Ricketts was only the fourth player to leave Arsenal FC for Tottenham when he joined Spurs in 2002. He played for the club until 2005.

• Previously loaned to Coventry City FC, Ricketts joined Wolverhampton Wanderers FC after a successful loan spell, and later represented Queens Park Rangers FC and Barnsley FC before spending time abroad with Toronto FC, Diósgyőri VTK, FC Dacia Chisinau and SV Wilhelmshaven.

• Rovers have an English goalkeeper, Birmingham-born Richard Brush, while defender Dan Murray was born in Cambridge.

• Several other Hoops players have played for English clubs:
Billy Dennehy: Sunderland AFC (2005-08), Accrington Stanley FC (2007-08, loan)
Ronan Finn: Cambridge United FC (2004-05)
Pat Flynn: Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (2003-05), Torquay United FC (2005), Kidderminster Harriers FC (2005-05)
Patrick Kavanagh: Birmingham City FC (2007)
Dean Kelly: Oldham Athletic AFC (2010-11)
Conor McCormack: Manchester United FC (2006-08)
Karl Moore: Manchester City FC (2007-10), Millwall FC (2008-09, loan)
Stephen O'Donnell: Arsenal FC (2004-05)
Jim Paterson: Plymouth Argyle FC (2008-11)
Steven Rice: Coventry City FC (2001-02)
Karl Sheppard: Everton FC (2007-10)
Chris Turner: Derby County FC (2004-05)
Gary Twigg: Derby County FC (2000-05), Burton Albion FC (2003-04, loan), (Bristol Rovers FC, 2004, loan), Oxford United FC (2007)

• Rovers left-back Enda Stevens will join English side Aston Villa FC in January 2012, when his Dublin contract expires.

• Spurs have had a number of notable Dublin-born players:
Joe Kinnear (defender, 1965-75)
Jimmy Holmes (defender, 1977-81)
Stephen Carr (defender, 1993-2004)
Stephen Kelly (defender, 2000-06)
Robbie Keane (striker, 2002-08 and 2009-11)

• Tottenham have plenty of fans in Ireland, with official supporters clubs located in Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Sligo and Waterford.

• Spurs boss Harry Redknapp spent the bulk of his playing career with West Ham United FC and AFC Bournemouth, and managed both clubs prior to spells with Portsmouth FC and Southampton FC. He has been in charge at Tottenham since 2008.

• A semi-professional side, Rovers will look for guidance from their manager Michael O'Neill, who made 33 senior appearances for Northern Ireland, and played UEFA club competition games for Coleraine FC, Dundee United FC and Glentoran FC. He also played for English clubs like Newcastle United FC and Coventry.