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Tottenham off to easy start in the UEFA CupTottenham were today handed an easy draw in the first round of the UEFA Cup against Cyprus side Anorthosis Famagusta. Spurs, who will play the first leg at White Hart Lane on 20 September, with the return in Cyprus a fortnight later, benefited from being seeded and will be firm favourites to qualify for the group stages. Tottenham were defeated at the semi-final stage last season by eventual winners Sevilla. "Last year was a big frustration for us, " said Tottenham's sporting director Damien Comolli.
The 39-year-old had been a player-coach at Anorthosis, but announced his retirement from professional football at the end of last season. Tottenham's defence know they will have to be on their guard with former Southampton striker Marian Pahars a key member of the opposition attack. Anorthosis, who have been Cypriot champions 12 times, do have experience of getting good results in European competition.
Two years ago they beat Turkish side Trabzonspor in the Champions League. Meanwhile, Blackburn have been drawn against Greek Cup winners Larissa and will have to play the tough first leg away from home. Everton will face Ukranian side Metalist, with the opening leg taking place at Goodison Park. It will not be an easy tie for David Moyes's side as Metalist finished third in the Ukrainian Premier League last season. If Everton make it into Group Two, they could find themselves up against Villarreal, Bayer Leverkusen and Galatasaray.
"Everyone said that the team which won our match would go on to win the competition, and that's what happened. " Victory for Spurs, first winners of the UEFA Cup, will take them into Group Eight, where they could be joined by RC Lens and Getafe. The tie will see coach Martin Jol up against former Newcastle striker Temuri Ketsbaia, who has been in charge of Anorthosis since 2002. The Georgian international played for three years at St James' Park after joining in 1997 and then had spells at Wolves and Dundee United before taking his first managerial role.
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