Date: 18th February, 2021
Time: 11:25 PM IST
Venue: Puskas Arena, Budapest
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Europa League action is back as Austrian Bundesliga side Wolfsberger face Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in the first leg of the Round of 32 clash. The match will be played at Puskas Arena, Budapest due to coronavirus restrictions in Austria. While Wolfsberger would be riding high on confidence after their fantastic 2-1 win against Flyeralarm Admira in the domestic league, Spurs come into this contest on the back of a huge 3-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City.
Ferdinand Feldhofer’s side will have two key absentees in the form of Mario Leitgeb and Eliel Peretz. There aren’t any other injury concerns and they are likely to stick with their 4-1-3-2 formation. Dejan Joveljic and Dario Vizinger will lead the attack.
Jose Mourinho’s side will be without their star midfielder Giovani Lo Celso due to a hamstring injury. While Joe Rodon has not been registered in the squad, full-backs Serge Aurier and Sergio Reguilon are also doubtful for this contest. Joe Hart and Gareth Bale are expected to start for Spurs.
Wolfsberger are currently sixth in the Austrian Bundesliga, with 2 wins in their last 3 matches. They qualified for the Round of 32 after an impressive show in the Group Stages. Ferdinand Feldhofer’s side finished ahead of Feyenoord and CSKA Moskow and will be hoping to continue the same form in knockout stages. Dejan Joveljic and Dario Vizinger will be the key players up-front while experienced Michael Lendl will play a crucial role in the centre of the field.
Tottenham’s domestic campaign has derailed completely after losing 4 out of their last 5 matches. They have also been eliminated from the FA Cup and Europa League becomes ever so important for The Lilywhites now. Although Spurs have had a rather impressive show in Europe as they topped the group featuring Antwerp, LASK and Ludogorets. Jose Mourinho will be hopeful that the trio of Gareth Bale, Dele Alli and Carlos Vinicius can link up well and give Spurs an advantage going into the second leg.
This is the first time these two sides are meeting. This will be Wolfsberger’s first appearance in the knockout stages in major UEFA European Football. Considering the difference in experience, Tottenham will definitely start as favourites in this contest.
Probable Playing XI:
Alexander Kofler, Michael Novak, Luka Lochoshvili, Dominik Baumgartner, Jonathan Scherzer, Kai Stratznig, Matthaeus Taferner, Michael Liendl, Sven Sprangler, Dario Visinger, Dejan Joveljic
Joe Hart, Matt Doherty Japhet Tanganga, Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies, Moussa Sissoko, Harry Winks, Lucas Moura, Dele Alli, Gareth Bale, Carlos Vinicius
Goalkeepers: Alexander Kofler, Joe Hart
Defenders: Dominik Baumgartner, Jonathan Scherzer, Matt Doherty, Japhet Tanganga, Davinson Sanchez
Midfielders: Michael Liendl, Dele Alli, Moussa Sissoko, Sven Sprangler
Forwards: Gareth Bale, Carlos Vinicius, Dejan Joveljic
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