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Spurs vs. Young Boys - Leg 1 Preview

Am I scared? Of course I am. I support Spurs after all. Yes, we came up big down the stretch last year against Arsenal, Chelsea, and City, but who expected that? We're Spurs, after all. F--king up is something we're really good at. So, should we beat Young Boys? Of course. We're better than they are. This is basically inarguable. They are seventh out of ten in the Swiss Super League. They haven't won a competitive home match since May. And yet, I have this sinking feeling that we're going to find a way to screw this up like only Spurs can. They beat Fenerbache, after all.

The good news for us is that Young Boys are likely to come out in a fairly basic 4-4-2 setup. Even if Harry Redknapp decides to be ridiculously stubborn and make zero adjustments from his team that faced Manchester City, it is at the very worst a tactical stalemate. Their two probable starting strikers, Henri Bienvenu and David Degen, don't have impeccable goal scoring records. Even without Ledley King, Spurs should be able to handle them.

Spurs will be without King for a couple of reasons. First of all, he's almost incapable of playing 90 minutes twice in four days. Second of all, Young Boys' home field is artificial turf, which would cause a lot of strain on King's knee. It will be interesting to see if Harry Redknapp's preferred fill-in for King is Younes Kaboul or Sebastien Bassong.

There's one final thing I'd like to address before getting into any predictions, and that whether or not Harry has considered any kind of a formation change for European ties. A lot of managers in England have seemed more willing to play 4-4-2 in England than they are in Europe. Is Harry one of those guys? We don't really know, he's never been to the Champions League. He seems to be married to the 4-4-2, but that could just be in England. Personally, I'd love to see us experiment with a 4-2-3-1 setup with Pavlyuchenko as a lone striker and Giovani behind him. Old-school English 4-4-2 just seems like such a waste of the talents of Pav and Gio.

So, what's going to happen. As negative Nancy as I was in the first paragraph, I can't actually predict a negative result for Spurs. Even though I have a bad gut feeling, that prediction would be based on only that and nothing else. Young Boys don't have a single player that could see the field on a regular basis for Spurs and they are in poor form besides that result in Turkey. If we don't get a scoring draw at the very least, I should fly over to London and smack Harry myself.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2, L to R): Gomes; Bale, Bassong, Dawson, Corluka; Modric, Palacios, Huddlestone, Lennon; Crouch, Defoe

Preferred Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gomes; Ekotto, Bassong, Dawson, Corluka; Modric, Palacios; Bale, Dos Santos, Lennon; Pavlyuchenko

Prediction: Young Boys 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur