North Macedonia’s Shkendija face a tough test as they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Tose Proeski Arena in a straight knockout Third Qualifying Round clash as both teams look to qualify for 2020-21 Europa League Play-Offs.
Victory here will see Tottenham move into the Play-Offs and a step closer to qualifying for the Group Stage next month, whereas Shkendija are looking to qualify for the Play-Off Round for the fourth time in last five seasons.
Shkendija are understood to have a full squad available for selection by manager, Ernest Gjoka.
Tottenham could be without new signing, Sergio Reguilon due to a sprained ankle but the Spaniard is expected to be fully available for Sunday’s Premier League game against Newcastle United.
Gareth Bale (knee) and Japhet Tanganga (thigh) are also ruled out.
- This is Shkendija’s first-ever meeting against Tottenham in all competitions.
- Shkendija are unbeaten in two previous meetings against British opposition (D2), drawing both legs with Aberdeen in First Qualifying Round of 2015-16 Europa League but lost on away goals after a 1-1 draw at home.
- Tottenham have never faced an North Macedonian team in any UEFA competition before.
Jose Mourinho will be secretly relieved that Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie at Leyton Orient was postponed because he will definitely have a full strength squad of fresh-legged players to choose from, having dug deep last week to beat Lokomotiv Plovdiv before turning out a dominant performance at Southampton on Sunday.
Shkendija meanwhile scraped past FC Botosani in their Second Qualifying tie so I am expecting to see this to be another difficult tie for Spurs, although if they can pick up where they left off on Sunday then there will be just one outcome.
Prediction: Shkendija 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Result: Shkendija 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur