Tottenham vs LASK preview -All eyes on qualification…

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.

Tottenham defender Joe Rodon vows to learn from Chelsea mistake after late  let-off | Evening Standard

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.

Incredibly high level of quality': LASK coach raves about Tottenham display  – HITC

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.

God bless you': Former Tottenham record holder sends heartfelt message to Dane  Scarlett – HITC

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 Hotspur vs Ludogorets Razgrad: Preview | UEL 20/21

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

Tottenham vs Man City preview – Title charge starts now ?

After another round of seemingly pointless international fixtures, Tottenham return to action this Saturday in their biggest game of the season yet, home to Manchester City.

Spurs will be wanting to build on the momentum they had heading into the break, as Jose Mourinho’s men are currently on a three game winning streak – scoring six goals and conceding twice.

Jose Mourinho claims Tottenham have no chance of beating Chelsea in Carabao  Cup with bigger game just 48 hours later
Spurs will look to go top of the table on Saturday

The Portuguese would have hoped to have the entire squad at his disposal for the upcoming set of fixtures, however Matt Doherty’s positive COVID-19 test has thrown a spanner into the works.

Doherty was one of two players to test positive after the game against Wales, along with James McClean.

He will now be forced to isolate away from the squad for ten days, ruling him out of Saturday’s clash with Manchester City and potentially Thursday’s Group J tie against Ludogoretes.

However Spurs did receive some good fortune as Welsh trio Gareth Bale, Ben Davies and Joe Rodon all tested negative for the virus.

Gareth Bale, who was pictured embracing his Tottenham teammate after the game against Republic of Ireland, admitted that he felt ‘concerned’ upon hearing the news.

“It’s a slight concern for everybody when you’ve been playing someone and you’re in close contact with them on the field, Bale said.

“Maybe you’re not long enough with them to catch it, but you’re a bit wary.”

Bale later gave an update on Doherty’s condition, as he and Ben Davies had spoken to the right-back.

“Me and Ben have spoken to him briefly and he’s doing fine, he’s just got mild symptoms.

“Hopefully he recovers fine, doesn’t have any problems and will be back playing as soon as possible.”

Gareth Bale: Tottenham forward 'concerned' after embrace with club  team-mate Matt Doherty | Football News | Sky Sports
Bale and Doherty faced off against each other during the international break

Tottenham vs Manchester City has fast become one of the most entertaining fixtures in world football, with classics such as their Champions League quarter final in 2019, which saw Spurs reach their first ever semi-final in the competition on away goals (4-4 on aggregate).

The Lilywhites were able to take the three points in their most recent encounter with City, as goals from Steven Bergwijn and Heung-Min Son resulted in a 2-0 victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Surprisingly, Spurs were able to remain undefeated against the Citizens last season, picking up four points from a possible six.

Heung-Min Son will be looking to build on the form which has helped him win Premier League Player of the Month for October. The winger has been directly involved in six of Tottenham’s ten goals over the course of the month – scoring four goals and assisting two.

The South Korean will also be looking to add to his impressive record against Manchester City, which boasts five goals in his last seven appearances. 

Saturday’s game kicks off a tough set of league fixtures for Tottenham with the likes of Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester City to be played in the next few weeks.

Having recently come away with a 1-0 victory against West Brom, Spurs currently sit 2nd in the table with just a point separating themselves from league leaders Leicester City.

Spurs have a record of five wins, two draws and a single loss in the Premier League this season but if they want to be viewed as title contenders, then this is the time to make their intentions known.

West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur: 5 talking points as Spurs win a  war of attrition | Premier League 2020-21
Tottenham beat West Brom 1-0 in their last Premier League fixture

In contrast to Spurs, Manchester City come into this game off the back of a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola’s men have not lived up to their pre-season expectations so far and currently find themselves in 10th position, having only won three of their first seven fixtures in the league.

A win for City could see them jump to fifth in the table, depending on other results going in their favour.

Tottenham team news:

The absence of Matt Doherty has put Serge Aurier in prime position to make a return to the starting line-up. Aurier has seen his playing time reduced since the arrival of Doherty, only appearing in two of Spurs’ opening eight league games.

Versatile defender Japhet Tanganga has missed the majority of the season through injury, but is now in contention to be included in Jose Mourinho’s squad. 

However Steven Bergwijn is not expected to feature, having returned to Spurs early into the international break due to a groin injury.

Erik Lamela remains out as he continues to rehabilitate from a foot injury.

Predicted XI: Lloris, Aurier, Dier, Alderweireld, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Sissoko, Son, Kane, Bale.

Manchester City team news:

Sergio Aguero is unlikely to feature, as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Raheem Sterling is expected to make an appearance, despite damaging his calf whilst on England duty last week. The forward was released from the camp early in order to undergo fitness testing with Man City.

Predicted XI: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, De Bruyne, Gündoğan, Torres, Sterling, Jesus.

By Reece Coughlan

Edited by Joey Pickthall

The November international break and what it means for Tottenham:

Harry Kane’s 88th minute winner against West Brom last Sunday made it three wins on the bounce for Jose Mourinho’s side, but now the squad prepares for the international break, with many players set to be involved.

With such a talented group at the disposal of Jose Mourinho it is no surprise that Spurs’ squad boasts 13 senior internationals.

Harry Kane's 150th Premier League goal saves Tottenham against West Brom  but Gareth Bale injury will worry Jose Mourinho

The following players have been selected for the upcoming international fixtures:

Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Eric Dier (England), Gareth Bale, Ben Davies, Joe Rodon (Wales), Hugo Lloris, Moussa Sissoko (France), Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina), Matt Doherty (Ireland), Sergio Reguilon (Spain), Toby Alderweireld (Belgium), Heung-Min Son (South Korea)

On loan midfielder Gedson Fernandes has been called up to represent Portugal’s U21 side. While Norwich and Hoffenheim loanees Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon have been called up for the England U21 side.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is set to withdraw from the Danish national team due to Denmark recently being removed from the exempt travel list for Coronavirus just four days ago.

The Premier League has advised players to not travel to Denmark for the upcoming fixtures, as the government have put restrictions into place which would see anybody returning to the UK from Denmark having to isolate for 14 days.

If Hojbjerg had gone on to play for his country then he would have missed Tottenham’s next three fixtures against Manchester City (November 21st), Ludogorets (November 26th) and Chelsea (November 29th). 

Tottenham: Gareth Bale in potential injury | The Transfer Tavern
Bale receiving treatment after being substituted against West Brom

Gareth Bale’s return to the Wales squad has caused a stir in the media, as Jose Mourinho voiced his displeasure with the winger’s fitness being observed by Arsenal coach Albert Stuivenberg.

The Tottenham manager had this to say. “Because for the previous fixtures he called me, we spoke about Ben Davies – not Gareth Bale because Gareth was not there. 

“We shared opinions on the situation, which is probably not going to happen this time.

“And the fact that one of the coaches is an Arsenal coach does not make me very comfortable. Honestly, it does not make me very comfortable.

“National team matches should have coaches that work exclusively for them, not coaches who work for other clubs.

“They have to manage the minutes that he plays and they should not let him get to fatigue levels”.

Bale has been making good progress since returning to Spurs, which saw him rewarded with his first Premier League start in 7 years against West Brom.

Internationals – Spurs against Spurs in Sunday's action! | Tottenham Hotspur
Dier and Alderweireld will face off during the international break

Some Spurs players will be going head-to-head with one another over the next two weeks, as Matt Doherty’s Ireland will go up against an England team consisting of Harry Kane, Harry Winks and Eric Dier. Before he travels to Wales in order to play another Spurs trio made up of Gareth Bale, Ben Davies and Joe Rodon.

Kane, Dier and Winks won’t only have to face off against Doherty during the break, as they also go to Belgium on the 15th November to lock horns with Toby Alderweireld in the Nations League.

Tanguy Ndombele, who suffered a minor injury against West Brom, will not be joining up with the French national team and will remain at the club in preparation for the resumption of the Premier League.

Steven Bergwijn has also returned to Hotspur Way after withdrawing from the Netherlands squad due to injury, whilst training alone for the two days of camp he was there.

Tottenham’s next six fixtures in the Premier League consist of Manchester City, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester.

Jose Mourinho will want his players managed carefully over the course of the next two weeks as the upcoming months will give an indication into how far Spurs are from reaching their ambitions for the season.

By Reece Coughlan