The Reasonable Advocate
- Oct 17, 2006
KF SHKENDIJA 1-3 SPURSSpurs: Hart, Aurier, Sanchez, Alderweireld (C), Davies, Winks (Lo Celso), Ndombele, Dele (Kane), Lamela, Bergwijn (Lucas), Son.
Nafiu Lamela, Son, Kane
Nafiu Lamela, Son, Kane
Subs: Lloris, Dier, Doherty, Sissoko.
KF Shkëndija: Zahov, Murati, Krivak, Bejtulai, Pavic, Totre, Dita, Nafiu, Ahmedi, Doriev, Ibraimi.
Subs: Redjepi, Sadriu, Zejnullai, Merdjani, Neziri, Sahhal, Ramadani.
Official Site Match Centre
Six changes to the team that started at Southampton on Sunday.
Joe Hart makes his debut and comes in for Hugo Lloris, while Serge Aurier, Toby Alderweireld, Dele, Erik Lamela and Steven Bergwijn start for Matt Doherty, Eric Dier, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Harry Kane and Lucas. Toby Alderweireld captains the team.
TEAM FORM -- SHKENDIJA WDWWW ------ SPURS - WLLWW ---- (All Competitions)
After surviving Lokomotiv Plovdiv in round 2, We will be aiming to roll over Shkendija when we face each other at Ecolog Arena on Thursday evening. Shkendija set up a meeting with us by beating the likes of Sumqayit (2-0) and Botosani (1-0), but there are unlikely to keep their third consecutive clean sheet in the Europa League qualifiers.
Considering that experienced midfielder Armend Alimi is sidelined through suspension, its believed that home win is not considered. We on the other hand, came from behind to beat nine-man Lokomotiv Plovdiv, but our troops need to improve our game if we are to play an important role in the Europa League this term. Kane has already found his goal-scoring touch, and seeing that we cannot afford any complacency this time out, away win should be considered.
We have an incredibly busy week with three games in the space of six days, all in different competitions. We would have kicked off with an EFL Cup game at Leyton Orient today, but it was postponed due to COVID 19, which has helped us. We play Shkjendija on Thursday, then it's back to England for Sunday's home Premier League game against Newcastle United. Jose Mourinho isn't happy with this kind of fixture list, but is delighted with our win at Southampton on Sunday. Our season had begun with a home loss to Everton and then disaster nearly happened in the second qualifying round of the Europa League. We 1-0 down away at Lokomotiv Plovdiv with only ten minutes remaining. Two late goals rescued us from an early exit and now we to North Macedonia with the winners of this one-off tie going into the play-off round where a home tie against either Rostov or Maccabi Haifa awaits.
We will play a weakened line-up of course but it should be good enough to get us through the last round. We have a strong squad now and look to have the edge over our opponents. The home side currently top the North Macedonia league with a one-point lead. They are unbeaten in their last eight competitive games so won't be an easy touch for us. They have had to go through two qualifying rounds to secure this tie against us. The North Macedonian side had early exits in both the Champions and Europa Leagues last season. Their best run has been to the Europa League play-off round. The past three seasons has seen them lose their one home game in European competition and without scoring a goal. We can add to those miseries by winning this game and leading at both half and full time.
It'd be a bit of a disaster for us if we were to lose this game. The weekend saw us get off the mark in the Premier League and Mourinho will want to build some momentum now. He'd have loved this tie to be at home though to cut out all the travel in a busy schedule. We did come from behind to win in the Europa League last week but this doesn't look quite so tough as that match. The home side have had two narrow wins to reach this stage but struggle against top sides.
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