Tottenham Hotspur face an uphill task of overturning an one goal deficit as they welcome Pacos de Ferreira to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the second leg of their 2021-22 UEFA Europa Conference League Play-Off.
Spurs need to score twice without conceding if they’re to stand any chance of advancing to the Group Stage, whereas Pacos know that a win or draw would see them through although a defeat would too via away goals if they score and lose by an one goal margin.
Son Heung-min is a doubt for Tottenham after suffering a minor hamstring injury in Sunday’s Premier League win at Wolves.
Cristian Romero (knee) is also doubtful but Cameron Carter-Vickers (ankle) and Tanguy Ndombele (personal) are set to remain absent.
Pacos have no fresh injury concerns to report with a full squad set to be in contention,
- Tottenham lost their only previous meeting against Pacos de Ferreira, losing 1-0 in the first leg last week.
- Pacos de Ferreira are playing away against English opposition for the very first time.
- Spurs have won each of their last six home matches in all European competitions (W6), scoring 20 goals and conceding just twice.
- Pacos are winless in eight away trips in all European competitions (D3, L5).
- Tottenham won their only previous clash refereed by Ruddy Buquet, defeating Maccabi Haifa 7-2 at home in 2020-21 Europa League Play-Off.
After his mass squad rotation changes backfired in the first leg, Nuno Espirito Santo surely will minimise the changes made for this leg because he now has plenty of decent alternatives in Harry Kane and Ryan Sessegnon who could start here whilst others are rested.
Spurs though do need to improve defensively because they were outplayed at Wolves on the flanks and failed to close gaps down in and around the box, although they did look great on the counter and were able to attack more once Kane was unleashed from the bench.
Pacos meanwhile know that they can afford to sit back and defend deep to protect their first leg lead, yet they could try and go for an early second goal to kill off the tie but if Tottenham score first then I can see the hosts finding a way to snatch victory and progress to the Group Stage.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Pacos de Ferreira
Result: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Pacos de Ferreira (Tottenham Hotspur win 3-1 on aggregate!!)