Europa League: Tottenham vs AEL Limassol match preview
A look ahead to Thursday evening’s Europa League play-off second leg at White Hart Lane
Thursday 28 August 2014
Tottenham will look to secure their place in the group stages on Thursday when they welcome AEL Limassol for the return leg of this Europa League qualifier.
Spurs were always heavy favourites to progress but an upset was on the cards when AEL took an early lead last week. Mauricio Pochettino’s men didn’t panic, though, and managed to turn the tie in their favour thanks to goals from Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane. They weren’t just goals; they were away goals and should make this match a case of simply getting across the line.
Erik Lamela was instrumental in that first leg victory, setting up both goals and was equally dazzling at the weekend as Spurs put four past QPR. The Argentine may have finally found his form after a shaky start to life at White Hart Lane and may now be deemed too important to be risked for this clash. Pochettino made seven changes ahead of the first leg and is likely to do the same here, affording further opportunities to the likes of Soldado and Kane.
Spurs have reached the group stages in each of the last three seasons and don’t look like spoiling that record now. The groundwork was laid in Cyprus and they should be even more dominant on home soil.
KICK-OFF: Thursday, 7.45pm
Roberto Soldado celebrates after scoring Tottenham's equaliser in Cyprus
Last week’s first leg was the sides’ first competitive meeting. The only other time they have faced each other was in a friendly all the way back in 1968 when Spurs ran out 7-1 winners.
Spurs have lost just one of their last eight European away fixtures.
AEL have made it through to the group stages of the Europa League once before (2012-13)
Tottenham have faced Cypriot opposition once before in European competition, beating Anorthosis Famagusta 6-1 at White Hart Lane before drawing 1-1 away.
Spurs have won every game this season.
Tottenham to win: 1.17
AEL to win: 18
Live on ITV4 at 7.30pm
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