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Spurs face a trip to Northern Macedonia on Thursday night (kickoff is at 19.00) to take on Shkendija in the second match of the Europa League qualification rounds. Win this one and they’re one match away from the Europa League Groups stage where they’ll face the winners of Rostov and Maccabi Haifa.
Spurs are massive favourites to do the business against Shkendija and we’ve had a look for the Three Best Bets for this Europa League Qualification match.
Spurs put on a great second-half show away to Southampton at the weekend, in particular Son Heung-Min was in excellent form, netting just before half time and going on to score a hattrick in the second half. Harry Kane looked very impressive too, providing the assist for all four of Son’s goals and got on the scoresheet late in the match having had two goals disallowed in the first half.
There’s no sign of Gareth Bale as of yet, although some Spurs’ fans forums are suggesting he may be named on the bench. Imagine being a Shkendija defender knowing that you might be coming up against Bale, Kane and Son. Nightmare stuff. Spurs, however, had to work pretty hard in their last away trip in the Europa League, coming from behind to beat Bulgaria’s nine-man Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1-2 on the night. No doubt Shkendija will be trying the same tactics as Plovdiv and will try to frustrate the away side.
A problem for Shkendija, as opposed to Plovdiv, is that they don’t score loads of goals, they’ve played five home matches this season, scoring eight and have conceded three, going up against Spurs they’re going to find it hard to score and with Spurs in such great attacking form we’re backing them to cover the -2 Handicap here.
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Son Heung-Min, as we’ve already said above, played out of his skin against Southampton and against Everton in their opening Premier League match of the season he was very unlucky on a couple of occasions to not score or his assist was put astray by Kane. When he’s on form he’s one of the best at what he does in Europe and is impossible to stifle. He’s getting the nod here from us because he’s started the season so strongly and while Harry Kane should get on the scoresheet too (see below) we’re getting good odds on a player in such good form.
Rivalry between teammates always makes for some interesting antics on the field, you’re thinking of former Newcastle players Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer going at it aren’t you? That’s not what we meant, we mean things like Cristiano Ronaldo not passing the ball to Gonzalo Higuain or Paulo Dybala because he’d rather get the goal than share the love. Anyway, against Everton in Spurs’ first match of the season, Kane tore shreds out of Son for not passing it to him when he was in a good position to open the scoring and seeing that passion among the players is only a good thing for Spurs.
Kane had two chalked off against Southampton at the weekend and he’s going to want to put things right here and get ahead of Son in the Spurs’ goal-scoring charts. Against a team of Shkendija’s quality Kane is more than capable of getting two goals.