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Following a run of five consecutive wins where Tottenham plundered 15 goals, the mask slipped off for Jose Mourinho’s side as they went down to Arsenal in the North London derby.
Those victories came over weaker outfits Wolfsberger, Burnley, Fulham, Crystal palace and Dinamo Zagreb, but they face the latter here and should complete the job after a 2-0 success in the first leg.
Dinamo Zagreb have won nine of their past 10 outings, but aside from domestic encounters, the only other side they faced were Russian outfit Krasnodar in the previous round.
Their preparations for this clash have also been rocked as manager Zoran Mamic has been handed a near five-year prison sentence after being found guilty of embezzlement, with assistant Damir Krznar stepping into the role.
As with the first leg, Sadegh Moharrami is Zagreb’s only absentee, So Spurs will know what to expect.
Mourinho named a strong team for the first encounter with both Harry Kane and Heung-min Son both starting in attack, though with a 2-0 cushion to protect, it would be a surprise if he elected to name his top stars here.
In any case, the South Korean is ruled out after departing the field after just 19 minutes at the weekend.
Tottenham -1 Handicap
The likes of Carlos Vinicius, Erik Lamela, Steven Bergwijn and Dele Alli can all expect to get some minutes here.
However, with a top-four finish looking increasingly difficult, this tournament holds greater importance for them and Mourinho will no doubt have his big-game stars in reserve from the bench just in case.
Spurs have won 10 of 12 games in Europe this term and although both slip-ups came on their travels, they’ve been good enough to suggest comfortable progression.
They netted at least three times in eight of these fixtures, and led at both half time and full time in eight of them as well, so it’s difficult to overlook their chances of doing so again.
Zagreb have encountered English opponents five times in recent years, in the Champions League group stages against Arsenal (2015/16) and Man City (2019/20), as well as the first leg of this tie.
They’ve lost the last four of them, with the English side winning by at least a two-goal margin on each occasion as Zagreb manged just one goal across those defeats.
Given 16 of Tottenham’s past 17 victories dating back to late November have come by a two-goal margin or greater, we’d expect this to be a fairly comfortable night versus limited opponents.