TOTTENHAM need a win on Thursday against Qarabag to clinch a place in the Europa League knockout rounds. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) previews the match.
Qarabag v Tottenham | Thursday 18:00 | BT Sport Europe
How arsed can Tottenham be about this match? While pundits and fans throw plaudits at them left, right and centre for their exciting domestic duties this not-so-exotic trip to Azerbaijan dulls the level of glam somewhat.
I’ve just looked up a website called Mapcrow and it tells me there are 2,465 miles between London and Baku where Qarabag ply their trade. Gosh, poor Spurs.
A quick jump on Skyscanner (a website set up in Edinburgh fact fans) tells me that flights from London to Baku take five and a half hours. I hope to god they have wi-fi on those planes.
While this torrid trip takes place this midweek something exciting is happening at Spurs. People are starting to say they can finish in the Top 4 after a run of 12 unbeaten matches in the Premier League.
A destructive knockout blow of West Ham on Sunday was impressive and now none other than Chelsea loom large on Sunday at White Hart Lane. A victory in that game would be a massive statement from the club.
So this match feels fairly overshadowed. It’s like when you’ve got a hot date in a few days but are going on a second date with a girl you’re really not that bothered about a few days earlier. It’s all just a ball-ache really.
With all this in mind I’ll be having a small stake on the draw here at 12/5 here with William Hill. As I’ve mentioned many times in the past Qarabag are no pushovers.
Yes, the Azerbaijani outfit can still reach the knockout rounds themselves after picking up four points in the group. They’ve performed with credit in Group J and are unbeaten at home after holding Monaco and beating Anderlecht on Baku soil. Impressive stuff.
Mauricio Pochettino will almost certainly play a second string side here as he’ll realise the deep importance of Sunday. Finishing Top 4 in the Premier League will appease fans more than reaching the Last 32 of the Europa League.
That shadow side should be capable of getting something here but at quotes of 11/10 I’m happy to swerve the away win. Yes people, this is a true, energy-sapping AWAY fixture for Tottenham.
Qarabag v Tottenham – Draw (12/5 William Hill)
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