After Tottenham sealed a sixth-place finish in the Premier League with their draw against Crystal Palace, Jose Mourinho and his coaching staff broke into hugs and celebrations, a clear indication that they were desperate for a spot in next season’s Europa League.
However, with Arsenal beating Chelsea in the FA Cup final last week, the Lilywhites will now have to play three qualification matches just to book their place in the group stages of the competition.
Football.London’s Alasdair Gold has revealed that the Europa League qualifiers will not be as big a hindrance as they were in previous seasons due to the modifications made to the competition as a result of the pandemic.
All three matches will reportedly be one-legged affairs, rather than the usual two-legged contests.
Additionally, while the Europa League qualifiers usually begin before the start of the Premier League season, Tottenham’s first qualification game (second qualifying round) will be held five games after the season starts.
Gold suggests that the additional games at the start of the campaign could help the players attain match sharpness quickly, with a relative lack of pre-season friendlies on offer.
He also suggests that the additional matches against potentially weak opposition could be exactly what Harry Kane needs to fill his boots and avoid making a slow start to the season.
Spurs Web Opinion
The fact that the qualifiers will contain just one leg will stop players from accumulating too much fatigue at the start of the season. However, it is also a double-edged sword as it could mean that one bad game could see Tottenham lose their place in the competition. While one would expect Spurs to get the job done with relative ease, given the quality of some of the teams we will be facing, we have to turn up with the right attitude. Whoever we come up against in the qualifiers will be playing one of the biggest matches in their history and so we have to be prepared to match their work rate.
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