MX23RW : Saturday, January 16 09:13:57| >> :60:2311:2311:
Dec 3, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at Linzer Stadion
LASKLASK Linz
3-3
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Michorl (42'), Eggestein (84'), Karamoko (90+3')
Michorl (33'), Andrade (45+1'), Karamoko (80'), Wiesinger (86')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Bale (45+2' pen.), Heung-min (56'), Alli (87' pen.)
Moura (25'), Alli (88')

Preview: LASK Linz vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between LASK Linz and Tottenham Hotspur, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to book their place in the Europa League knockout stages when they travel to Austria to take on LASK Linz on Thursday evening.

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.


Match preview

Husein Balic of LASK Linz celebrates scoring against Ludogorets in October 2020© Reuters

Despite a dampening home defeat to Royal Antwerp on matchday four last week, LASK's dreams of making the Europa League round of 32 are still very much alive.

The Austrian outfit have amassed six points from a possible 12 in Group J and sit three points behind Antwerp and Spurs heading into the penultimate round of fixtures, with fourth-placed Ludogorets Razgrad already eliminated.

It is possible for LASK to leapfrog Spurs into second with a shock victory this week, but not only would Dominik Thalhammer's men need to defy the odds and come out on top, LASK would also have to put Tottenham to the sword by at least three goals.

Stranger things have certainly happened in football during this disrupted year, and LASK would be producing one of the results of 2020 should they somehow stop the Premier League leaders in their tracks, but their elimination will be confirmed if Spurs do end up winning and Antwerp beat Ludogorets on Thursday.

Thalhammer's side prepared for this daunting showdown with a comfortable top-flight victory over SCR Altach, with Johannes Eggestein bagging a brace while Mamoudou Karamoko came off the bench to score in a 3-0 win.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho pictured on November 8, 2020© Reuters

Ask any football fan which table Tottenham Hotspur currently top out of the Premier League or Europa League Group J, and you would be forgiven for expressing surprise at the answer.

While Jose Mourinho was unable to get one over his former protege Frank Lampard upon his return to Stamford Bridge at the weekend, a goalless stalemate against Chelsea was enough to see Spurs return to the summit of English football, although the Lilywhites were certainly on the back foot for large periods of the game.

Spurs are in dreamland in the Premier League, but Mourinho's side are still yet to secure their passage into the next round of the Europa League, with Antwerp currently ahead of Tottenham owing to their memorable 1-0 win over the Premier League table-toppers back in October.

However, Mourinho's side immediately bounced back from that defeat in Belgium with two straightforward victories against already-eliminated Ludogorets, and a draw against LASK would be enough to see Spurs guarantee a top-two finish and a spot in the next round.

Tottenham and LASK locked horns on the first matchday of the Europa League group stages, with strikes from Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min as well as an Andres Andrade own goal propelling Spurs to a routine 3-0 victory in that game.

LASK Linz Europa League form: WWLWWL
LASK Linz form (all competitions): WWWDLW

Tottenham Hotspur Europa League form: WWWLWW
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): WWWWWD


Team News

Harry Winks celebrates after scoring for Tottenham Hotspur against Ludogorets on November 26, 2020© Reuters

LASK midfielder James Holland is back for this encounter after missing out the defeat to Antwerp through suspension, but having played the full 90 minutes at the weekend, the Australian may be rested here.

While Holland has just returned from a ban, Gernot Trauner received a straight red card in last week's loss and will not be available for the visit of Spurs.

Andrade should fill the void left by Trauner in LASK's three-man defence, with Petar Filipovic set to miss out after he suffered a hip injury against Antwerp.

Meanwhile, Tottenham have confirmed that Toby Alderweireld is set for an extended period on the sidelines with the groin injury he sustained in the win over Manchester City, which makes Japhet Tanganga's return all the more timely.

Matt Doherty has also fully recovered from coronavirus, and while the Republic of Ireland international missed out against Chelsea, he could very well return to the fold on Thursday.

Mourinho is expected to rotate his front four with the inclusions of Lucas and Gareth Bale, while Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso will likely battle it out to start in the number 10 role, but Carlos Vinicius is injured for this one.

Mourinho has also revealed that Harry Kane is doubtful - although he would not have been expected to start here anyway - and the England captain is facing a race to be fit for the North London derby.

LASK Linz possible starting lineup:
Schlager; Andrade, Wiesinger, Cheberko; Ranftl, Madsen, Michorl, Renner; Gruber, Karamoko, Eggestein

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Hart; Doherty, Sanchez, Tanganga, Davies; Winks, Hojbjerg; Bale, Alli, Bergwijn; Lucas Moura


SM words green background

We say: LASK Linz 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

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, so we cannot see any other result than a comfortable victory for the Premier League table-toppers at the Linzer Stadion.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


ID:424552:cQx

How you voted: LASK vs Spurs

LASK Linz
13.6%
Draw
10.3%
Tottenham Hotspur
76.1%
624
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Tottenham Hotspur's Carlos Vinicius celebrates scoring against Ludogorets Razgrad in the Europa League on November 26, 2020
Read Next:
Jose Mourinho: 'Carlos Vinicius must be more physical in Premier League'
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