Meet the Greek minnows standing in Spurs’ Europa League way

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As Tottenham face the side that looked, on paper, to be their easiest opponents in Group C of the Europa League, it’s actually Asteras Tripolis that top the mini-league rather than Mauricio Pochettino’s north London mob.

But just who are this group of Greek minnows that are priced at 6/1 to hold on to top spot and qualify for their first ever knockout stage in Europe?

History

Asteras didn’t start playing regularly until after World War II, although they were founded in 1931. They claimed five straight Arcadian League titles between 1957 and 1962 and became the first side from Tripoli to contest the Greek Second Division.

Dissolved without explanation in 1968, the club reformed 10 years later and have enjoyed considerable success since the turn of the millennium, going unbeaten at home for five years from 2001 and earning promotion to the Super League as champions in 2007.

In the last three campaigns the yellow and blue have established themselves as top-six regulars, finishing third two seasons ago, reaching their first ever Greek Cup final in 2012/13 and a maiden Europa League group-stage voyage this term.

Manager

A club full of quirks – they are the only newly promoted Greek team to beat Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, PAOK and AEK in their first stint with the big boys – Tripolis promoted Staikos Vergetis from within to take charge in October 2013.

Denied a playing career by a knee injury and having held positions as interpreter, match analyst, youth coach and assistant, Vergetis has impressed in guiding the club to fifth last season and starting unbeaten at home this term.

Vertegis-22-10-14

Key Man

Argentine forward Pablo Mazza joined from his hometown club this summer and has led the scoring charts in Arkades’ European tour this term, bagging three goals on the qualification path. He’s a tempting 5/1 to notch at anytime at White Hart Lane.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.