Advancing from the Europa League Group Stage always seems like a formality, but the matches still need to be played. Tottenham Hotspur has experienced one hiccup thus far, but any result on Thursday would clinch a top-two spot in Group J and a place in the Round of 32. With some key Premier League fixtures on the docket, not having to worry about next week’s final Group Stage contest would be nice.
Spurs will be expected to take care of LASK, a side who they beat 3-0 to open the round in October. An early strike by Lucas Moura was soon followed by an own goal by the visitors off a Gareth Bale pass, and the match was just about over from there. A late tally by Heung-Min Son was the finishing touch, but it was clear well before then that the two sides are not quite equal.
Tottenham remains hot, as Sunday’s draw against Chelsea was the first time Jose Mourinho’s team failed to win in six matches. The manager continues to take the Europa League somewhat seriously, though he can likely get by with plenty of rotations on Thursday, especially given the talent gap.
All it takes is a draw for Spurs to move on in the competition, but three points will be the goal in Austria. With the North London Derby slated for this weekend, maybe as important as advancing is keeping the momentum. After some late collapses earlier in the season, things are going just about as well as possible for Tottenham lately, and there is no sense is ending the good times now.
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