Tottenham vs LASK preview | Latest team news | Expected line-ups | Prediction
The Europa League group phase starts this evening and Tottenham will begin their campaign against Austrian side LASK at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Jose Mourinho has won the competition twice in his career (with Porto and Manchester United), and the Portuguese will be looking to take Spurs to the stairway of glory too.
Spurs recovered nicely from their opening day defeat against Everton to record two wins and two draws from their subsequent four matches. Buoyed by their new signings, Mourinho now has a strong squad at his disposal, with qualities in the attacking department giving the impression of an embarrassment of riches.
Mourinho’s side has scored 16 goals in their last three games in all competitions, and we can expect another entertaining game rather than a bore snooze fest.
And yet, the north Londoners’ burgeoning confidence will be somewhat punctured after blowing away a three-goal lead in the 3-3 draw against London rivals West Ham in the Premier League last time out.
In comparison, LASK, who will be facing Spurs for the first time in their history, have blown hot and cold in their respective league, having managed two wins out of four. However, it’s that element of inconsistency that makes them an unpredictable force.
Spurs are definitely without Eric Dier (hamstring) and Japhet Tanganga (thigh) after the duo missed training this week.
However, there’s positive news as well to lift the spirit with Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso returning to the fold, having missed the game against the Hammers. They are expected to be involved in some capacity.
Mourinho confirmed in the press conference that Davinson Sanchez will be a guaranteed starter, and the Colombian should partner alongside Toby Alderweireld at the back.
With the squad likely to be rotated, it’s Matt Doherty and Ben Davies who should replace Serge Aurier and Reguilon in the full-back roles.
Dele Alli, who has played in all the Europa League qualifiers, should expect to be included in the starting line-up, while Gareth Bale could make his first start for the club.
There could be a temptation to start with Harry Kane given the form he is in, but Carlos Vinicius is in line for his full debut.
Dominik Thalhammer will be able to call upon a full-strength squad when they face Spurs, but the LASK boss will be without Dominik Reiter, who has a torn cruciate ligament.
Tobias Lawal, 20, is likely to get a chance to show his mettle between the sticks, with Christian Ramsebner, Philipp Wiesinger and Petar Filipovic forming the defensive wall ahead of him.
Marko Raguz is a player to watch out for, and he will be flanked by Husein Balic and Andreas Gruber.
Tottenham: Hart, Doherty, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies, Winks, Hojbjerg, Bale, Alli, Son, Vinicius.
LASK: Lawal, Ramsebner, Filipovic, Weisinger, Ranftl, Holland, Michori, Renner, Gruber, Balic, Raguz.
Tottenham 3-1 LASK: If Spurs can stop themselves from pressing the self-destructive button at the back, there shouldn’t be any problem to come out on top of this game with all guns blazing.
It would be a much-changed side from the one that played against the Hammers, but there’s too much quality overflowing in the side, and a routine victory at home is expected.
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