Tottenham Hotspur host Austrian side LASK tonight as the 2020/21 Europa League campaign kicks off, and Jose Mourinho’s men will look to quickly put Sunday’s disappointing 3-3 draw with West Ham United behind them.
The Portuguese won the Europa League with Porto in 2002/03 and with Manchester United in 2016/17, and he will be keen to do the same with Spurs.
The North Londoners have been drawn alongside LASK, Ludogorets and Royal Antwerp in Group J, and they are huge favourites to top the group and progress to the round-of-32 with some games to spare.
A convincing victory is expected at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium tonight, but the hosts can’t afford to belittle any team after some of the experiences they had during the qualifying rounds.
Spurs have a decent squad depth after doing good business during the summer transfer window, and Mourinho can now afford to name a different starting line-up for today’s game.
The England international wasn’t available for Sunday’s game due to a hamstring problem he sustained during the international break with the Three Lions, and he is still not fit enough to return.
England youth international defender Japhet Tanganga remains sidelined due to a thigh injury, while Welsh centre-back Joe Rodon wasn’t signed in time to make the Europa League squad.
Spurs have been handed timely injury boosts, though, with Argentine midfield duo Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela both available after missing weekend’s clash due to injuries.
They both trained yesterday and are expected to feature against the Austrians.
Joe Hart was in goal during the second qualifying round and third qualifying round against Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Shkendija respectively, and should get the nod again tonight.
Matt Doherty and Ben Davies will likely return to the starting XI after missing West Ham’s clash, and Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez are set to play in the middle of the defence.
Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele could get the tasked with providing protection for the defence, with Lucas Moura and Dele Alli returning to the team and playing behind the striker alongside Gareth Bale.
Brazilian striker Carlos Vinicius could be handed his debut from the start as Harry Kane could do with a much-deserved rest.
Predicted Spurs XI
Doherty, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies
Lucas, Alli, Bale