Europa League, the second-tier European competition behind the prestigious Champions League, is often criticized for its Thursday night fixtures leading to fatigue and fitness woes for the relatively high-profile participants. But the same is a blessing for the minnows financially, as it offers an opportunity to those who belong to low-key leagues but are determined to leave an impression against the elites. The story of Royal Antwerp is quite the same who would be aiming a result in North London against Tottenham Hotspur and finish as the group winners defying the odds.
The Lilywhites were stunned in Belgium in the first-leg tie and the Great Old club (founded, 1880) showed they are not here by fluke. Antwerp have already made it through to the knockouts of the tournament and are not afraid of Jose Mourinho’s men even though they are currently leading the Premier League race. But the charismatic Portuguese cares little as his side are high in confidence after defeating Arsenal 2-0 in Sunday’s North London derby. The reverse fixture was a major upset and the players are unlikely to repeat the same while hosting the headstrong Belgians this time around.
4-2-3-1 Tottenham Hotspur Predicted Lineup To Face LASK
Spurs have got an immense depth across the pitch enabling Mourinho to rest his key personnel and field the sporadic options. Joe Hart has been preferred over skipper Hugo Lloris between the sticks and the former England international is expected to return into action for this midweek game.
The entire ‘four-man backline’ is likely to be altered with Matt Doherty and Ben Davies getting the nod for the fullback slots ahead of Serge Aurier and Sergio Reguilón respectively. Toby Alderweireld delivered a stellar show against the Gunners upon his injury return but is tipped to make way for Davinson Sanchez who might pair up with academy graduate Japhet Tanganga over Eric Dier..
Tanguy Ndombele failed to recover in time for the Arsenal outing but is in contention to feature against Antwerp and operate as double pivot alongside Harry Winks. Giovani Lo Celso, along with Moussa Sissoko and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, should be rested keeping in mind Sunday’s London derby versus Crystal Palace.
Tottenham have an array of wide attacking options (five to be precise!) and we hope to see Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura occupying the flanks as they did in their 3-3 draw against LASK. Dele Alli has slipped way down the pecking order failing to live up to his reputation so far this season, but the Europa League has handed him an opportunity to resurrect the once-decorated career and showcase his expertise and creativity in and around the attacking third.
Heung-min Son started upfront against LASK, but neither the South Korean sensation nor the hitman Harry Kane is expected to be involved from the start with Carlos Vinícius waiting for his turn following a brace versus Ludogorets a couple of weeks back.