Tottenham Hotspur will be more desperate than ever to claim a morale-boosting three points when they face off against Slovenian outfit NS Mura in Thursday’s Europa Conference League Group G tie.
The Lilywhites opened their European campaign with a 2-2 draw against Rennes on matchday one, while their visitors lost 2-0 to Vitesse.
From opening the 2021-22 Premier League campaign with victory over champions Manchester City to suffering three London derby defeats in quick succession, things are going from bad to worse for Nuno Espirito Santo and Tottenham Hotspur.
After shipping three goals to Crystal Palace and Chelsea, Spurs allowed Arsenal to run riot in the North London derby as Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka all netted before Son Heung-min’s consolation in a humbling 3-1 defeat.
Spurs also had to rely on penalties to dump Wolverhampton Wanderers out of the EFL Cup and could only take one point from their inaugural Conference League group-stage clash, as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s 76th-minute effort saw them rescue a draw away to Rennes.
This week’s hosts have only one win to boast from their last five in all competitions – form which has already led to Santo’s credentials and Daniel Levy’s appointment of the Portuguese being questioned – and they have conceded 13 goals in that miserable streak after opening their campaign with five straight clean sheets.
Failure to record convincing wins over Mura or Newcastle United before the international break would certainly spell trouble for Santo’s future in the hotseat, but their upcoming visitors have also found wins hard to come by in recent times.
After their attempts to make the Europa League group stages for the first time ever ended in failure, Mura were handed a baptism of fire in the Conference League against Vitesse, who claimed a routine 2-0 win on matchday one.
Sondre Tronstad and Danilho Doekhi found the back of the net either side of the half time whistle to send Mura bottom of the group after one matchday, and the reigning Slovenian champions have also endured a less-than-ideal start to their title defence domestically.
Ante Simundza’s side travel to North London on the back of 1-1 and 0-0 draws with Tabor Sezana and Koper in league action, although they did win three on the bounce in the top flight before that, but the visiting coach will not be paying any attention to Spurs’ poor fortunes as they go in search of a shock result.
Thursday’s game unsurprisingly marks the first-ever meeting between Tottenham and Mura in any competition, but Spurs have never lost in their three previous meetings with Slovenian sides, most recently beating Maribor in the 2012-13 Europa League group stages.
Tottenham Hotspur Europa Conference League form:
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):
NS Mura Europa Conference League form:
NS Mura form (all competitions):
We say: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 NS Mura
The Conference League is certainly not high on the Tottenham priority list this season, but Spurs’ young guns and fringe players will be determined to fire their side to a confidence boosting win.
Mura will put up a good fight but are unlikely to experience much joy against Santo’s side, who should ease the pressure on their manager’s shoulders somewhat with a routine success.