Tottenham will look to finish their wretched September with a crumb of positivity when they host NS Mura in their second Europa Conference League match of the season.
Spurs were battered 3-1 by Arsenal in the north London derby on Sunday, making it their third Premier League loss on the trot. After a superb August, Nuno Espirito Santo is now floundering with serious questions already being raised about his style of play and suitability for the club.
Their opponents on Thursday, NS Mura, are currently fifth in the Slovenian PrvaLiga. Anything less than victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the atmosphere could turn sour towards Santo.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of this one.
How to watch Tottenham vs NS Mura on TV/live stream
When is it being played? Thursday 30 September, 20:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
Referee? Yigal Frid
Tottenham team news
Changes are always made in heaps whenever Tottenham compete in Europa League or Europa Conference League matches, but given their recent performances it’s tough to know which players will feature in the rotated XI.
Bryan Gil performed well from the bench against Arsenal and may be given another start in this competition, while Argentines Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso may also be drafted in.
In terms of injuries, there are doubts over the availability of wingers Ryan Sessegnon and Steven Bergwijn.
NS Mura team news
There are no household names in NS Mura’s squad. Their top scorers this season are centre forwards Amadej Marosa and Kai Cipot with three apiece.
The Slovenian side often play with three centre backs, though have reverted to a more traditional 4-2-3-1 in recent weeks.
They’ve made a slow start to their title defence, sitting six points behind NK Bravo, and also lost their Europa Conference League opener 2-0 to Vitesse Arnhem.
Tottenham vs NS Mura predicted lineups
Tottenham: Gollini; Emerson, Rodon, Romero, Davies; Skipp, Lo Celso, Winks; Lucas, Kane, Gil.
NS Mura: Obradovic; Pucko, Marusko, Gorenc, Sturm; Kozar, Horvat; Kous, Lotric, Skoflek; Marosa.
Have Tottenham played a Slovenian team before?
Yes. In fact, they’ve played two sides from Slovenia, and are undefeated in those three games.
The first came back in the 1995 Intertoto Cup, when they faced off against Rudar Velenje. Spurs actually went behind in the fourth minute before clawing back an equaliser through Ian Sampson. John Hendry got the winner just after the hour mark.
In more recent times, Tottenham faced NK Maribor during the 2012/13 Europa League group stage, winning 3-1 at home courtesy of a Jermain Defoe hat trick. Gylfi Sigurdsson’s strike helped them bag a draw in the return fixture.
Tottenham vs NS Mura prediction
Anything less than victory here would be seriously alarming for the state of things at Spurs, but while there likely won’t be a glut of goals on Thursday night, Santo should get the result to ease some pressure on him.
Mura are the reigning Slovenian champions and while they have started this season slowly, you wouldn’t back against them getting on the scoresheet given Spurs’ recent struggles. That said, the hosts should come out on top.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-1 NS MuraInternet Explorer Channel Network