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Europa League matchday 6 preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Royal Antwerp (20:00h. GMT; 21:00h. CET) - Team news, lineups

Tottenham Hotspur and Royal Antwerp face off in North London on Thursday evening to determine which side finishes top of Europa League Group J.

Antwerp beat Spurs 1-0 in the reverse fixture on matchday two and are two points better off than their opponents heading into this concluding game, with both teams already assured of a place in the knockout stages.

Match preview

Spurs are flying high in the Premier League, sitting top of the division following Sunday's 2-0 win over Arsenal, but they have not quite fired on all cylinders in Europe.

As well as suffering a shock loss in Belgium six weeks ago, Spurs also dropped points in a 3-3 away draw with LASK Linz last time out.

Mamoudou Karamoko scored a 93rd-minute equalise in a thrilling conclusion to the match, shortly after Dele Alli had put Spurs back in front.

Jose Mourinho questioned the attitude of his players after the game, although he did acknowledge that motivation can be an issue in the early stages of this competition.

Spurs now have the task of having to beat Antwerp on Thursday if they are to finish above their opponents, thus meaning that they avoid one of the Champions League dropouts.

Mourinho has made clear that this is a competition he realistically believes that Tottenham can win, but that task will be made all the more difficult should they not be seeded for the last 32.

Antwerp have been near perfect in Group J, failing to win just one of their five matches - a 1-0 home loss to LASK on matchday three.

Ivan Leko's charges are now looking to become the first Belgian club to win three successive away games in European competitions since Anderlecht in December 2011.

This is a competition Mourinho loves, though, having won 14 of his last 16 home matches, including all five in the group stage with Man Utd and Spurs.

Extend that streak by another game on Thursday and Tottenham will be in a strong position to achieve their aim of going all the way in the Europa League.

Tottenham Hotspur Europa League form: WLWWD
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): WWWDDW

Royal Antwerp Europa League form: WWLWW
Royal Antwerp form (all competitions): DDWWWL

Team News

Tanguy Ndombele missed the Arsenal game with a minor issue and Erik Lamela has not featured in five weeks, but they are Tottenham's only two injury concerns.

Centre-back Joe Rodon will play no part, however, as he was not named in Mourinho's Europa League squad in time.

Mourinho seems certain to field what is now effectively a regular European XI, meaning returns to the side for Gareth Bale, Lucas Moura, Vinicius Junior and Alli.

As for the visitors, Matheus and Sander Coopman are injured and will not make the trip to the English capital.

Antwerp need a point to finish top so Leko will name his strongest possible side, which should be spearheaded by Lior Refaelov, who has three goals in five Group J matches.

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Hart; Doherty, Sanchez, Tanganga, Davies; Lo Celso, Winks; Bale, Alli, Lucas; Vinicius

Royal Antwerp possible starting lineup:
Butez; Seck, Gelin, De Laet; Miyoshi, Gerkens, Haroun, Hongla, Juklerod; Rafaelov, Benavente

Source: Sports Mole / Daniel Lewis 

 

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