Tottenham Hotspur face a tricky test as they visit Royal Antwerp at the Bosuilstadion in a battle between the current top two teams in Group J of 2020-21 UEFA Europa League.
Victory will see Royal Antwerp move into the first qualification position for the knockouts and leave Tottenham at risk of slipping to third in the group, although an away win could see Tottenham potentially extend their lead in the group to three points.
Antwerp have no fresh injury concerns to report after Sunday’s 3-2 win over Beerschot although it is expected that there will be squad rotation.
Tottenham could be without Serge Aurier and Steven Bergwijn after the duo missed Monday’s Premier League win at Burnley with knocks.
Japhet Tanganga continues to remain absent with a thigh injury.
- This is Royal Antwerp’s first-ever meeting against Tottenham in all competitions.
- Antwerp have won two of four previous matches against English opposition, defeating Aston Villa 5-1 on aggregate in First Round of 1975-76 UEFA Cup before losing 10-2 on aggregate to Newcastle United at same stage in 1994-95 edition.
- Tottenham are winless in five previous away trips against Belgian opposition (D2, L3).
In normal times, Tottenham would likely be nervous coming into this game given that Belgium seems to be their bogey country in terms of European competitions but with Harry Kane and Son-Heung-min enjoying a strong partnership at present, Spurs really do have a shot at ending their hoodoo here if they turn out another impressive display.
Antwerp however have found form since September’s international break with a series of strong attacking displays yet can be defensively sloppy which is quite similar to Spurs’ defensive showings despite the North Londoners managing clean sheets in their last two matches.
I therefore can see a cracking match between two attacking teams with defending potentially proving key to the result and judging by Tottenham’s last two showings at the back, I reckon that they might just have the edge here to end their Belgian nightmares otherwise it’s a score draw.
Prediction: Royal Antwerp 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Result: Royal Antwerp 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur