Tottenham Hotspur vs Antwerp preview: Team news, ones to watch, predicted lineups and how to watch
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 09: Gareth Bale and Ben Davies of Tottenham Hotspur during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group J stage match between Tottenham Hotspur and Royal Antwerp at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 09, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Antwerp, who are two points clear of Tottenham Hotspur, sit top of Group J as they travel to North London in the final game week of the Europa League group stages.

In the reverse fixture on matchday two, Antwerp shocked Spurs winning the game in Belgium 1-0.

A win will see Tottenham top the group, at the expense of the Belgian side, as both teams already booked their place in the Round of 32 last week.

Jose Mourinho has never lost a Europa League home fixture in the group stage as manager of Manchester United or Spurs and will be looking to finish in the top spot to signal intent.

The Belgian outfit are in very good form in the competition, winning four of their last five games in the Europa League.

Coming off the back of a performance that lacked motivation in the eyes of Jose, he'll be hoping the side he picks on Thursday night show a reaction and put in a good performance.

  • Team news

Tanguy Ndombele, who has impressed in the Tottenham midfield this season, did not feature in the weekend win over Arsenal because of illness.

He has now recovered and can be named in the matchday squad, however, Mourinho has options in Giovani Lo Celso and Dele Alli having used this competition to rest regulars in recent weeks.

Mourinho confirmed Serge Aurier misses out with a knock in the press conference and he also said he will rest Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Argentine Erik Lamela is ruled out yet again over the foot injury he sustained while on international duty and his recovery seems to be taking longer than expected.

Mourinho will probably field a weakened European starting 11, meaning a return for the likes of Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura.

Joe Rodon remains ineligible for the group stages of the Europa League.

Antwerp manager Ivan Leko will be without midfielder Sander Coopman and defender Matheus as they miss out through injury.

The Belgian outfit will be aiming to hold onto their top spot and therefore Leko will most likely start his strongest 11.

  • Ones to watch

Tottenham: Giovani Lo Celso

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Argentine Giovani Lo Celso will be looking to play his way into the Spurs midfield.

The resurgence of Ndombele, combined with the solidity offered by Moussa Sissoko and Hojbjerg, has seen Lo Celso become second fiddle in the starting trio.

He scored moments after coming on in the game against Manchester City and started the North London Derby.

He hasn't quite shown the capability he possesses since his £27m move from Real Betis, but he may have a good opportunity to showcase that talent and give Mourinho some selection head-aches. 

Up against the expected Antwerp back three, Lo Celso will look to find pockets of space and dictate the tempo of the game, looking for the in-behind runs of the forward three.

Some of the Tottenham faithful are growing impatient with the midfielder, and the return of fans - albeit only 2000 - could be the perfect time to remind them what he brings to the club.

Antwerp: Lior Refaelov

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Striker Lior Refaelov scored the only goal of the game the last time the two sides met, firing in emphatically when through one on one.

The Israeli has scored three goals and recorded one assist in five Europa League appearances and is the danger man for Leko's side.

He holds onto the ball successfully and this will be useful to Antwerp as he can also be a useful outlet when relieving pressure on the defence.

Refaelov also has a good eye for a pass, he is capable of creating a chance as easily as he can score one.

Having a tendency to draw fouls and being dangerous on set-pieces is a great combination, as this will give the striker an opportunity to test the keeper or put in a dangerous delivery.

If Spurs are to finish top of this group, the centre-back pairing will have to keep an eye on the striker and marshal him well to avoid conceding.

  • Predicted lineups

Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Hart; Doherty, Sanchez, Tanganga, Davies; Sissoko, Winks; Bale; Lo Celso, Lucas; Vinicius

Antwerp (3-5-2): Butez; Seck, Gelin, Laet; Miyoshi, Gerkens, Haroun, Hongla, Juklerod; Refaelov, Benavente

  • How to watch

Tottenham's final Europa League group stage game this season will be broadcast live from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on BT Sport 2, and BT Sport Ultimate. Kick-off will be at 8pm (GMT).

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