Tottenham Hotspur travel to Austria to face LASK in a Europa League Group J clash, with a win needed to send Jose Mourinho’s side into the round of 32.
Current Premier League leaders Tottenham are second in Group J, level on points with group leaders Royal Antwerp. However, the hosts are only three points adrift of the top two in Group J and will be out to spoil the Spurs party when they welcome the Premier League leaders to the Linzer Stadion.
Mourinho’s side are coming off a tough 0-0 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, in a game where Chelsea did fashion the better openings.
A Premier League point against Chelsea is a creditable result that Mourinho will not be too unpleased with considering the quality of the opposition and his team’s position in the table.
LASK have won two and drawn as many games in the UEFA Europa League this season. The Austrian outfit have amassed six points from a possible 12 in Group J and sit three points behind Antwerp and Spurs.
For LASK, a win against their English opponents would be massive, as that would enable them to draw level on points with Spurs ahead of the last group game.
Reason for LASK Linz vs Tottenham Hotspur predictions:
- Tottenham have won five of their last six games in all competitions and three of their four Europa League group stage games.
- LASK have lost all three of their previous meetings with English opponents, going down 0-5 in their only such home game against Manchester United in last season’s UEFA Europa League.
- Both of LASK’s Europa League defeats this season have been to nil.
- Since the start of last season LASK have won five of their seven home games in the UEFA Europa League (L2), although they did lose their most recent home game in the competition (0-2 vs Royal Antwerp).
- Spurs have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four competitive matches.
Tottenham head to Austria on Thursday in search of a result to take them back to the top of their Europa League group, and they should have little problem getting the three points against LASK.
Spurs have won three of their four group stage games and head into this clash unbeaten in six in all competitions. Five victories have come their way in that period, including an ongoing run of four straight clean sheets.
The reverse fixture in North London, which Spurs won 3-0, was the first game between these two sides.
With games coming thick and fast, Jose Mourinho will be eager to play a dead rubber for once in the UEFA Europa League. That will only happen if his side can make short work of LASK in Linz on Thursday, with a point being all that they need to secure their place in the Round of 32.
Mourinho’s charges will have enough quality on the pitch to be able to beat a side like LASK.
Tottenham and Mourinho in particular, will be determined to secure their spot in the next round before they welcome current leaders Antwerp to North London next week. LASK will be forced into a couple of alterations in defence and the attacking quartet of Spurs are sure to fancy their chances.
Our prediction: Over 2.5 (Goals Over Under) @ 1.73