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Mourinho ‘cannot take risks’ with Shkendija after Plovdiv scare

Jose Mourinho will name a strong Tottenham team at Shkendija on Thursday, rather than calling on the…

players who were set to face Leyton Orient.

The compact nature of the new season has provided Spurs with a frantic fixture list, with three matches scheduled for this week.

However, the EFL Cup meeting with Orient was called off after the League Two club announced a number of positive coronavirus tests in their first team.

That development gave Tottenham an unexpected night off on Tuesday ahead of the trip to North Macedonia for their Europa League third qualifying round match.

Mourinho will not simply send out the same side that had prepared for Orient, however, explaining the gap between Sunday’s win at Southampton and this fixture was far more manageable for his big names.

Indeed, having required a late turnaround against nine men to beat Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the previous round, the coach is wary of taking Shkendija lightly.

“The team that was supposed to play last night is different than the team that plays tomorrow,” Mourinho said.

“The main reason is we played Sunday against Southampton and one thing is Sunday-Tuesday, another thing is Sunday-Thursday.

“It is a normal situation for a football player of this level to play on Sunday and have three days rest and play again Thursday. That’s normal.

“It’s not normal to play Sunday and then Tuesday, so obviously the teams are going to be different. The main reason is the health and conditions to perform.

“Is the Europa League a competition that we want very, very much to go to the group phase? Yes, it…

Sports Desk

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