Preview: TOTTENHAM VS MACCABI HAIFA, Europa League qualification Rd.
Thursday, October 1 2020 – 20:00, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
After being robbed on Sunday, by VAR, to the benefit of Newcastle (where even their manager criticised), and then our reserve side taking on and beating Chelsea in the Carabao Cup, we have another wild game in a very hectic schedule. This time it is against Maccabi Haifa, at our stadium. However, a stronger starting XI is going to take to the field for this vital fixture with a place in the group stage up for grabs. Maccabi Haifa have won their previous five matches and can’t be taken lightly, but this match represents a step up in class, but we should have the quality to progress.
After this game, we’ve got to face Manchester United on Sunday. So this game – which we need to win – could cause us severe problems for Sunday. And we need to beat United to get back on track in the league.
Gareth Bale and Japhet Tanganga remain out of action with injuries, while Son is likely to miss out due to a hamstring injury suffered against Newcastle.
Maccabi Haifa: they appear to have a full-strength squad to choose from, although their winger Yanic Wildschut is likely to be unavailable.
Jose Mourinho says “it is possible” Dele Alli will play in Thursday’s Europa League qualifying play-off against Maccabi Haifa. Alli was left out of our draw with Newcastle and win over Chelsea. On being left out, Mourinho says he was impressed with Alli’s attitude in response.”The only thing I can say is he’s very professional. He trained very hard.”He then went on and said, “It would be perfectly acceptable to have a lack of motivation, even a lack of professionalism for this training session [on Tuesday] but it was exactly the opposite. He has my respect and the respect of his team-mates, so it is possible he plays.”
The winners of Thursday’s Europa tie will advance to the group stage of the competition. Mourinho has won it once as the Europa League and once in its former guise, the Uefa Cup. On tomorrow’s game, he said, “We are going to have a good go, and we are going to try and win it. These knockout ties are very dangerous. We have to make sure tomorrow [Thursday] we win it.”
I shall go for a 4-0 win, unless we decide to sit back once we’ve got a few goals, to take it easy for Sunday’s game against United. If that was the case, that could be very risky and could backfire.
As I said in previous articles, we are getting better and better, and I see us winning trophies this season.