Tottenham Hotspur’s quest to reach the group stages of the Europa League continues when they travel to face Shkendija on Thursday (7pm kick-off).
Jose Mourinho’s men were pushed all the way to reach the third qualifying round, having come from behind against nine-man Lokomotiv Plovdiv in Bulgaria thanks to a Harry Kane penalty and Tanguy Ndombele.
It was their first win of the season, having lost to Everton in the Premier League’s opening weekend, and they followed it up with another victory on Sunday, beating Southampton 5-2.
Their next opponents are Macedonian side Shkendija, currently top of their domestic league, and into the third qualifying round of the Europa League thanks to a 1-0 win over FC Botosani last time out.
Can Tottenham cruise to the play-off round or will their European journey end in North Macedonia?
Where to watch Shkendija vs Tottenham on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: B/R Live
Shkendija & Tottenham’s previous line-ups:
- Shkendija (vs Akademija Pandev): Zahov; Alimi*, Krivak, Pavic, Murati, Ibraimi, Bejtulai, Ahmedi, Totre, Ramadani, Nafiu.
- Tottenham (vs Southampton): Lloris; Doherty, Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Hojbjerg, Winks, Ndombele; Lucas, Kane, Son.
Tottenham have no fresh injury concerns following their win over Southampton at the weekend, but Jose Mourinho may be tempted to make some changes. The Portuguese confirmed that new signing Sergio Reguillon could be available and in line to make his debut after completing a switch from Real Madrid last week.
“I think Sergio will be quick [to play],” Mourinho told the Evening Standard. “He cannot play on Tuesday but I would say he will be available for us maybe for the end of the week.”
However, this game has likely come too soon for Gareth Bale. Shkendija meanwhile are without Armend Alimi after his red card in the previous round.
Players to watch:
Son Heung-min became the sixth Tottenham player to score four goals in a single Premier League game:
◉ Jürgen Klinsmann
◉ Dimitar Berbatov
◉ Robbie Keane
◉ Jermain Defoe
◉ Harry Kane
◉ Son Heung-min 🆕
A Son-sational performance. 😍 pic.twitter.com/SROewy1Hdz
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 20, 2020
- Shkendija: Besart Ibraimi has arguably been Shkendija’s most important player so far this season, particularly in the Europa League, scoring two of their three qualifying goals including the winner last time out. He has also been on top form domestically, scoring five goals in the league, two of which came at the weekend. He was taken off shortly after securing his brace, and the win, with Shkendija keeping him safe and healthy for the visit of Spurs.
- Tottenham: Son Heung-min was one of the stars in Tottenham’s 5-2 win over Southampton at the weekend, scoring four goals and although some players may look to get a rest in the Europa League, the South Korean is likely to start. Such is Tottenham’s lack of depth in attack, Son has played 44 games since the start of last season, missing matches only through suspension or injury. In other words, if Son is fit, Son is playing and he’s so important. Not just scoring four goals at the weekend, but Son has been something of a good luck charm. Of the 11 games Son missed last season, Tottenham won just two, losing six. Some praise must also be given for Harry Kane following his performance at the weekend, setting up all four of Son’s goals and adding a goal, and the Englishman is also expected to play. Bale’s return to fitness cannot come soon enough, so Spurs can start to shuffle their front line.