Who are NS Mura? A guide to Tottenham’s European opponents
Tottenham will welcome NS Mura to North London for their second group stage fixture in the inaugural Europa Conference League on Thursday evening.
We have compiled a brief guide to Spurs’ little-known opponents, covering the five key facts you need to know about the minnows.
Where are NS Mura from?
NS Mura — or Nogometna sola Mura to give them their full title — hail from a small town called Murska Sobota, in the northeast of Slovenia.
With a population of just over 11,000, the residents of Murska Sobota could fit inside Spurs’ new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium five times over with plenty of seats left spare.
The club’s name has ties to the nearby Mur river, which also flows through Austria, Croatia and Hungary.
Are NS Mura a successful club?
In their current guise, Mura were only actually founded in 2012 — though the club's history actually stems back as far as 1924.
The original side, NK Mura, went bust in 2005 and reformed as NS Mura 05, who subsequently went under in the 2012-13 season.
It is the third reform that has seen Mura enjoy their most successful period both domestically and continentally, though the original club did win the Slovenian Cup on one occasion in 1995.
How did NS Mura qualify for the Europa Conference League?
NS Mura won the Slovenian PrvaLiga for the first time in their entire history last term, dramatically pipping national powerhouses Maribor to the title by a solitary strike on goal difference.
That league win saw them qualify for the Champions League’s early qualifying rounds, where they beat North Macedonian outfit Shkendija 6-0 on aggregate before exiting to Bulgarian regulars Ludogorets Razgrad 3-1 over two legs.
Dropping into the Europa League qualifiers from there, they edged out Lithuanian champions Zalgris 1-0 but fell at the final hurdle — comfortably beaten 5-1 by Austrian side Sturm Graz.
In previous campaigns, that loss would have meant the end of their European journey but instead they have dropped into the first-ever edition of the Europa Conference League.
Where do NS Mura play?
Although the upcoming clash is in North London, NS Mura play their home games at the Fazanerija City Stadium.
Built in 1983, the ground has a seated capacity of just 3,782 but can fit up to 5,500 if terracing areas are in use — something which will not be the case in their Europa Conference League matches.
Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse were the first visitors to the Fazanerija City Stadium in this competition, leaving Slovenia with a 2-0 victory.
Is this NS Mura’s biggest ever game?
There is no doubt that two meetings with Premier League giants Tottenham will represent Mura’s most high-profile clashes in history — though they have faced European champions before.
In last season’s Europa League qualifiers, PSV Eindhoven visited Slovenia for a one-legged clash due to the coronavirus pandemic in a contest that finished 5-1 to the 1988 kings of Europe.
With that being an early season qualifier however, international interest was significantly lower than it will be come Thursday evening.