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Tottenham/Shkendija winner drawn at home vs. Rostov or Maccabi Haifa in Europa playoffs

The path to the Europa League group stages is clear, and includes (gasp) a home match.

UEFA Champions League and Europa League Draws Photo by Harold Cunningham - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur’s path to the group stages of the 2020-21 Europa League is now clear, and finally, FINALLY it includes a home match. The draw for the Playoff Round of Europa League qualifying was made this morning, and Spurs, should they defeat North Macedonia side Shkendija, will host either Russian Premier League side FC Rostov, or Israeli club Maccabi Haifa at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

After a close away trip to Bulgaria, and assuming that they get past a Shkendija side that plays in a stadium that looks like it last got an update in 1973, it is refreshing and relieving that they’ll actually get to play at home for once. Rostov and Maccabi Haifa are both bigger challenges than either Lokomotiv Plovdiv or Shkendija; Haifa is ranked 138 in the UEFA Club Coefficient Rankings (compared to Tottenham’s 22), while Rostov are out of the top 200.

Of course, Spurs have to actually beat Shkendija first, and as we saw yesterday that’s not a foregone conclusion.

Even so, a home match within the friendly confines of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium makes me feel a little better, as the idea of traveling to Bulgaria, North Macedonia AND Russia/Israel within three weeks would’ve been awful. The match is scheduled to slot in right before Spurs’ trip to Manchester United on October 3.