Having seen off Lokomotiv Plovdiv then Shkendija in their two Qualifying ties, Tottenham Hotspur are now one match away from Europa League’s Group Stage as they take on Maccabi Haifa in a Play-Off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Victory for Tottenham will send them into the Group Stage but defeat will see their European adventures come to an unexpected early end.
Tottenham have no fresh injury concerns after Tuesday’s dramatic penalty shootout victory over Chelsea in Carabao Cup as Gareth Bale and Son Heung-min remain absent with respective knee and hamstring injuries.
Maccabi Haifa have no fresh injury concerns to report with a full squad available for selection.
- This is Tottenham’s first-ever meeting with Maccabi Haifa in all competitions.
- Maccabi Haifa have won just one of three previous European away trips against UK and Ireland opposition (W1, L2), beating Northern Ireland’s Glentoran in Qualifying Round of 1988-99 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
- Harry Kane has scored once in each of Tottenham’s two Qualifying matches so far, albeit away at Lokomotiv Plovdiv then Shkendija.
Jose Mourinho will be delighted that the Carabao Cup no longer has extra time because if their clash against Chelsea had gone the distance and onto penalties, I genuinely would be fairly concerned for their prospects here after naming a fairly strong team on Tuesday evening, yet struggling to a 1-1 draw before sneaking through via a penalty shootout.
Maccabi Haifa however will pose tough opposition because this Israelian team somehow seems to be able to scrap wins despite having conceded in every match this season across all competitions, which certainly is going to be a huge test for Spurs who have conceded all season despite often being the more dominant team.
Defending therefore will be crucial to this match and with fatigue likely to be lingering within this Tottenham squad, it is tempting to go for a Maccabi Haifa win but I do feel that Spurs’ quality could be the difference here.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Maccabi Haifa
Result: Tottenham Hotspur 7-2 Maccabi Haifa