Many have called the London derby against Chelsea ‘lackluster’, but Tottenham’s form this season has been quite the opposite.
Spurs have managed to avoid defeat in 16 of their 17 games in all competitions this season, and only need a point against Austrian opponents LASK to progress to the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Last Thursday the Premier League leaders were able to dispose of Ludogorets in comfortable fashion, as a brace from Carlos Vinicius saw Spurs lead before the 35th minute.
Harry Winks added to the lead in the 63rd minute with an outrageous fifty-six yard attempt, his first goal since Spurs’ clash against Fulham in January 2019.
Post-game Winks admitted that his strike wasn’t intentional: “No, no I didn’t mean it, I saw Gaz [Gareth Bale] making that run, I just over hit it but I’ll take it because it’s a goal at the end of the day“
The Bulgarian champions had their fate sealed in the 73rd minute, as Vinicius assisted his compatriot Lucas Moura, which helped the striker win the man of the match award.
The Brazilian, who is currently on loan from Benfica, has provided two goals and three assists in just four Europa League matches.
Dane Scarlett, aged 16 years and 247 days became the youngest player to appear for Spurs in a competitive fixture last week, and the likelihood of Mourinho giving youngsters another taste of first-team football seems to be pretty high.
Scarlett sustained a season ending knee injury last year but has bounced back with a tremendous ten goals in nine appearances for the U18s this season.
Alfie Whiteman and Harvey White, aged 22 and 19 respectively, were also given debuts alongside Scarlett against Ludogorets.
Despite being level on points and having a better goal difference, Tottenham sit behind Royal Antwerp in Group J, due to the Europa League’s head-to-head rules.
On the other hand, this fixture is a must win for LASK who are three points behind Spurs, and will be hoping Ludogorets can beat Antwerp to keep their qualification bid alive.
LASK have so far beaten Ludogorets and Antwerp during their European campaign, but will be looking to avoid a repeat of their last fixture against the Lilywhites, a 3-0 loss away from home.
Tottenham team news:
Joe Rodon was handed his debut against Chelsea on the weekend but will not be available against LASK, as he is currently ineligible for the competition.
Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga will be looking for two consecutive clean sheets, as the pair are likely to start while Eric Dier is rested for the North London derby.
Gareth Bale is also expected to be in the starting line-up on Thursday, as the Welshman did not feature against Chelsea.
Toby Alderweireld returned to training on Tuesday and is the running to start against Arsenal. However, Jose Mourinho has said the Belgium international will not be in the squad for the Europa League trip.
The Portuguese also announced that Harry Kane, Carlos Vinicius and Sergio Reguilon would all miss the upcoming fixture through injury but are expected to be in the squad for Sunday.
Matt Doherty has recovered from coronavirus and is expected to participate.
Predicted XI: Hart, Doherty, Tanganga, Sanchez, Davies, Winks, Lo Celso, Dele, Bergwijn, Bale, Moura.
LASK team news:
Midfielder James Holland will be avaliable for selection after missing the Antwerp fixture through suspension.
On the other hand, Gernot Trauner’s red card last week will see him sidelined for Thursday.
Petar Filipovic is also set to miss out after picking up a hip injury against Antwerp.
Predicted XI: Schlager, Renner, Wiesinger, Andrade, Cheberko, Ranftl, Holland, Michorl, Gruber, Eggestein, Goiginger.
By Reece Coughlan
Edited by Joey Pickthall