LASK v Tottenham
Thursday 03 December, 17:55
Live on BT Sport 2
Tottenham to show squad strength again
Bar a dreadful performance in Belgium against Antwerp, Tottenham have shone in the Europa League this season. They have scored at least twice in all but one of their matches (including qualifiers) and they have delivered thrashings to LASK and Ludogorets. Players like Gareth Bale and Carlos Vinicius have used the competition to get vital minutes, and the Brazilian striker scored twice in last week’s 4-0 hammering of Ludogorets, which was about as one-sided a clash as you could imagine.
Tottenham showed the less cavalier side of their game at the weekend, as they dug in for a goalless draw at Chelsea to maintain top spot in the Premier League. Manager Jose Mourinho has a deep squad that allows him to contest multiple competitions in multiple ways – six of Tottenham’s ten PL games have featured fewer than three goals, whereas all bar one of their UEL games have featured three goals or more.
Vinicius, Bale, Giovani Lo Celso, Lucas Moura and Ben Davies could all be handed starts, as Mourinho looks to keep key players fresh ahead of Sunday’s North London derby against Arsenal.
LASK in the last-chance saloon
LASK Linz reached the last 16 of the Europa League last season, only to then be crushed by Manchester United. If they are to make the knockout phase this time around, they need a better result against Tottenham than Antwerp get against Ludogorets in Belgium.
Having blown last season’s title race by picking up a hefty penalty for breaking COVID-19 restrictions, LASK are in the mix again in the Austrian Bundesliga. They are just two points off top spot, with old foes Salzburg once again leading the way. They have scored at least three goals in seven of their last eight home matches, with a damaging 2-0 defeat against Antwerp the only exception.
But LASK are without key players in attack and defence. Marko Raguz is a regular scorer, while Petar Filipovic is an important defender, and both are injured. On-loan Werder Bremen forward Johannes Eggestein is on good form, with five goals in his last six appearances.
Spurs can qualify with room to spare
Tottenham outclassed LASK in the reverse fixture, strolling to a 3-0 win, and they have the quality to win yet again here. They have won three of their four away matches in this competition this term, and all three of those success featured at least three goals.
Carlos Vinicius a smart selection
Brazilian forward Carlos Vinicius is a fine finisher, and netted a brace against Ludogorets. He should get chances to score here against a depleted defence, and he is priced at 6/5 to score. Gareth Bale is also 6/5.
On the LASK side of things, Eggestein is a hefty 10/3 to find the net.