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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 22, 2007

Tottenham want cash as well as UEFA Cup bye

Martin Jol expects Tottenham to be compensated for missing out on their UEFA Cup tie against Feyenoord - despite a bye suiting his side's hectic schedule.

Feyenoord were thrown out of the tournament following crowd trouble against Nancy, and a decision will be made this week over whether Spurs will be allowed straight into the last 16.

Although they are likely to receive prize money from UEFA for getting closer to this season's final in Glasgow, they would miss out on revenue from gate receipts and television.

UEFA could also reinstate Wisla Krakow - who finished fourth in Feyenoord's group - as a replacement for the Dutch side in the last-32 clash that was scheduled for February 15.

'My chairman thinks that if we want to play in Europe we should play in Europe,' said Spurs boss Jol.

'He's right because it was a big tie against Feyenoord and hopefully we'll get some compensation but other people may think differently.

'At UEFA they could think `you want to play, play against Wisla Krakow'. It's not a problem for them, and it's not a problem for us because if we have to play we have to play.'

However, Jol admits a bye would suit his squad, given that they are competing in three cups and want to break into the top six of the Barclays Premiership.

They finished fifth in the league last season, only just missing out on a Champions League place to rivals Arsenal, but their impressive form was helped by only playing 40 games in the campaign.

Jol's men have already featured in 35 this term, testing the squad to the limit.

'I would take a bye, I have to be honest,' added the Spurs boss.

'We've talked about saying `we want to play in Europe, so we have to play in Europe'.

'But my reason is we've got so many matches it could be a helping hand to leave that one out and give us a bit more rest. That is an advantage.'

Spurs could be within touching distance of their first final under Jol if they get a positive result against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

Jol will be without Teemu Tainio for the Carling Cup semi-final first leg after the Finland midfielder picked up an ankle injury in the weekend draw against Fulham.

Didier Zokora has only started one match since giving the ball away for Liverpool's winner at White Hart Lane last month but the Ivory Coast international could deputise in midfield.

The 26-year-old featured in Spurs' debut at Arsenal's new ground and he is determined to make up for 3-0 defeat earlier in the season.

'Of course we are after revenge because Arsenal is north London and Tottenham is north London so it's a big game,' said Zokora.

'Both teams want to show who is the most attractive team in London. So, for me, it's a good thing to be playing in these derbies.'

Zokora arrived in the summer from French club St Etienne but his rookie season in the Premiership has been disrupted by a recurrence of malaria.

'I've played some matches well but I think I can do better,' Zokora added.

'I think I played well at Fulham Saturday but on Wednesday against Arsenal I hope I can show the real Didier Zokora.'