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Hart; Aurier, Dier, Sanchez, Davies; Ndombele, Sissoko; Bergwijn, Dele Alli, Lamela; Harry Kane
Lokomotiv Plovdiv will host Tottenham in the second qualifying round of UEFA Europe League. There will be just one match, so everything will be decided in Bulgaria. Lokomotiv Plovdiv managed to eliminate Iskra Danilovgrad in the first round of this competition. The lone match was played in Montenegro, but the Bulgarians won 1:0 thanks to the goal scored by Dimitar Iliev from the penalty. Just to mention, Iliev is one of the best players and he netted 12 times last season. Lokomotiv have never made it to the competition’s group stages and their inexperience is probably the biggest problem here. In addition, they were eliminated from Bolton when last time faced English opposition 15 years ago. However, Plovdiv will not give up easily. The owner Hristo Krusharski is optimist and he believe a miracle could happen. They already played five rounds in the domestic competition and have collected nine points. It is worth mentioning that Lokomotiv have a 100% home record, with two wins from two games. Last weekend they suffered a 3:1 defeat at Ludogorets Razgrad, but losing from the best club in Bulgaria was somehow expected. Coach Bruno Akrapovic has no new injury or suspension worries ahead of this match.
Tottenham suffered a painful home defeat from Everton in the opening round of the Premier League. It was uninspiring display by Jose Mourinho's men that concern the fans. The best striker Harry Kane has only touched the ball twice in Everton's penalty area. He looked a shadow of the player who usually find the way to be dangerous. Dele Alli was replaced at half-time after poor performance in the first half. It was a first time the Special One to be defeated on the opening matchday of a league campaign in his managerial career. Maybe that was the reason why the club officials intensified the talks with Real Madrid about Gareth Bale. The 31 year-old Welsh international left Spurs to join Real for a then world record £85m in 2013, but rarely played in the last period. "Gareth still loves Spurs," his agent Jonathan Barnett told BBC Sport Wales. "It's where he wants to be." Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is working through the details of the deal, but the biggest problem is the salary. For this match Mourinho has almost all players available. Giovani Lo Celso, who missed the weekend's game due to a thigh strain, has recovered. It's up to the Portuguese coach to decide if he is fit enough to play. Japhet Tanganga is definitely ruled out due to injury. Some of the players that skipped the match against Everton (Joe Hart, Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Mohamed Sissoko, Erik Lamela) could start here.
Lokomotiv Plovdiv vs Tottenham Prediction:
Mourinho heavily criticized the players after the defeat from Everton, so I expect a much-improved performance in Bulgaria. However, it is clear the Spurs are out of form. Lokomotiv Plovdiv will play defensively, no doubt about that. In situation like that I expect a low scoring match here.
Lokomotiv Plovdiv vs Tottenham Pick: Under 3.5 goals @ 1.73 with BetVictor