Jose Mourinho takes his Tottenham side to Austria on Thursday evening to face LASK in Europa League Group J. Spurs can guarantee a place in the last 32 with a win, although their spot in the knockout stage does already seem fairly secure.
While Antwerp host Ludogorets in the other Group J fixture, Tottenham will look to see off their Austrian opposition, who they comfortably beat 3-0 on matchday one.
The hosts come into the tie sitting second in the Austrian Bundesliga, having won 20 points from just nine games so far this season.
Meanwhile, the firm favourites for the three points on Thursday evening will be Mourinho’s men, who sit top of the pile in the Premier League and come into the tie in fantastic form.
When is Kick-Off? Thursday 3 December
What Time is Kick-Off? 17:55
Where is it Played? Stadion Der Stadt Linz
TV Channel? BT Sport 2
Referee? Pawel Raczkowski
The hosts will have to do without defender Gernot Trauner who was shown a red card in their last Europa League match against Antwerp. Australian midfielder James Holland is back from suspension, however, having missed that game, but will likely start on the bench.
Petar Filipovic is out of contention due to a hip injury, also sustained against Antwerp.
Spurs will be without Toby Alderweireld who is still suffering from a groin injury, which means the return of Japhet Tangana will be more than welcomed by Mourinho. Matt Doherty also returns having fully recovered from Covid-19.
LASK: Schlager; Andrade, Wiesinger, Cheberko; Ranftl, Madsen, Michorl, Renner; Gruber, Karamoko, Eggestein
Tottenham: Hart; Doherty, Sanchez, Tangana, Davies; Winks, Lo Celso; Bale, Alli, Lucas; Vincius
The hosts have enjoyed a very good start to the season domestically, currently finding themselves in second spot in the Austrian Bundesliga. They have won five of their six competitive home fixtures so far this campaign, and look tough to play against on their own turf.
It hasn’t been as plain sailing in the Europa League, but LASK have done well to accumulate six points thus far, and are still well in contention to progress into the knockout phase of the competition, provided they pick up a result against Tottenham.
However, the visitors are one of the form teams in Europe. Spurs have been a real force since their shock defeat to Antwerp in October, and have subsequently won five and drawn one in all competitions.
Tottenham come into this one on the back of a well-earned point at Chelsea, a thumping of Ludogorets, and most notably a Mourinho masterclass to see off Manchester City 2-0 – they will be brimming with confidence.
Here’s how each side has fared in their last five games…
LASK 3-0 Altach (29/11)
LASK 0-2 Antwerp (26/11)
Hartberg 1-1 LASK (21/11)
LASK 4-0 Flyeralarm Admira (8/11)
Antwerp 0-1 LASK (5/11)
Chelsea 0-0 Spurs (29/11)
Spurs 4-0 Ludogorets (26/11)
Spurs 2-0 Manchester City (21/11)
West Brom 0-1 Spurs (8/11)
Ludogorets 1-3 Spurs (5/11)
Although LASK have been good at home this season and Mourinho will rotate his Spurs team for the tie, it really is tough to see how the Austrian outfit can come away with a result.
The north London side have faltered already at the hands of inferior opposition in Europe this year, but they come into Thursday night’s fixture in imperious form, and will be fully expecting the three points to build upon a comfortable showing in their last Europa League game.
The proven firepower of Gareth Bale, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura behind Vinicius should be enough to see Mourinho come away with the win he will be demanding.
Prediction: LASK 0-3 Tottenham