Pacos de Ferreira welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Estadio da Mata Real in the first leg of their play-off tie in 2021-22 UEFA Europa Conference League.
This match marks a second consecutive season in which Tottenham start their European adventures before the Group Stage, after finishing seventh in the Premier League last season.
Pacos have a full squad available for selection following a 3-0 Primeira Liga loss to Boavista on Monday evening.
Tottenham won’t welcome Harry Kane back into the starting line-up after Nuno Espirito Santo left him out for the second consecutive match, following Sunday’s Premier League victory over Manchester City.
Ryan Sessegnon (thigh) and Tanguy Ndombele (fitness) are doubts.
- This is Pacos de Ferreira’s first-ever meeting against Tottenham Hotspur in all European competitions.
- Pacos de Ferreira are facing English opposition for the very first time, although this isn’t their first meeting against a British team, defeating Northern Ireland’s Larne 4-1 on aggregate in the Third Qualifying Round of this competition this season.
- Tottenham are unbeaten in four of six previous away trips in all European competitions against Portuguese opposition (W2, D2, L2).
- Pacos have won just two of eight previous home matches across all European competitions (W2, D2, L4).
- Spurs have failed to keep clean sheets in their last nine away matches in all European competitions dating back to December 2019, conceding 17 goals and scoring 16 goals.
Having conceded four goals in their last two matches, Pacos faces a uphill struggle because they have already slipped out-of-form at a worst possible time, although they do play possession based football attacking up the central and right thirds.
Pacos’ style however will suit Tottenham after the North Londoners delivered a compact defensive display with expansive counter-attacking to defeat Man City at the weekend, which will stand them in good stead if Pacos decides to play with their usual style.
On that note, I expect this to be a match where patience is a virtue for Spurs but with their superior quality and likely return of Kane, it is hard to not see an away victory here.
Prediction: Pacos de Ferreira 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Result: Pacos de Ferreira 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur