Date: 27th October 2020 at 8:00pm
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With a hard-fought, but very welcome, victory over Burnley in Monday evening’s Premier League clash, Tottenham Hotspur turn their eyes to Group J of this years Europa League campaign and next up is Royal Antwerp.

With one game played in the group, it’s first vs second on Thursday evening and the aim for manager Jose Mourinho’s boys will be to make it six points from an available six and begin building up a buffer zone on the three sides below us.

There will inevitably be changes to the starting line-up once again, but on an injury front there are doubts about Serge Aurier, Steven Bergwijn and Japhet Tanganga remains out with no return date listed by

Whether or not either of the first two come back into JM’s thoughts remains to be seen, but we certainly shouldn’t struggle to put out a squad that leaves us confident of yet another three points.

Then, it’s down to how they perform.

Royal Antwerp...







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70 Replies to “Match Thread – Spurs Looking For A Royal Performance To Return A Maximum Points Haul”

  • Looked at this teams record. They are the defination of” Spursy” they have won a few (4), drawn a few (2)lost a few this season(2). Their wins are comprehensive, but I think we’ll be too much for them.
    These results may have changed since I looked at them around 10 days ago.
    Monday was a tough physical game and I expect some changes in the line up.

  • Same as before, rotate the squad and win the game. Its a long, packed season and for now the European games are easier than the league games so its essential the squad players can win them. It also means the new players get game time which should mean they improve quicker.

  • TQ2Spurs asked me to write about Antwerp in another thread, so here is my little scouting report:

    It’s a team from the Belgian league, so by definition, you can’t expect the quality of a Premier League side. This being said, this is a very tricky team to play.

    Form-wise, they’re currently top of the table in Belgium, with 16 points from their last 6 league games. They’ve also won their opening EL game last week. Red-hot form.

    This is a team whose recruitment strategy consists of buying up all of the players that the bigger clubs in Belgium (Bruges, Standard, Anderlecht) have let go because they were deemed surplus to requirements or too old, but who remain decent players in their own right. A bit like a PL club like Crystal Palace buying up players like Zaha, Townsend, Ayew, Benteke, Batshuayi… Those players maybe aren’t good enough for the bigger clubs they once played for, but they remain decent players who can hurt the opposition on their day. That’s what Antwerp have assembled.

    Their main goal threat is Dieumerci Mbokani (some might remember him for unsuccessful spells at Norwich and Hull). He’s spent the majority of his career playing for Standard Liège, then Anderlecht, winning golden boots in the process. Every time he’s tried to move to a bigger league/club (Monaco, Wolfsburg, Kiev), he’s failed, but he’s been deadly in Belgium. In 74 games for Antwerp, he’s scored 56 goals.

    Other important players for them are Lior Refaelov, a winger from Israel (who played many years for Bruges before being let go once he got too old), Pieter Gherkens (ex-Anderlecht, Belgian midfielder once touted for the national team before fading a little), and Ritchie De Laet (Man United academy, played for a number of English sides before returning to Belgium). Romelu Lukaku’s younger brother Jordan has also just joined from Lazio.

    Their strategy is to buy players whose stars have faded somewhat in bigger environments, and offering them a chance to revive their careers in a low-key environment.

    It’s a collection of talented, albeit flawed/inconsistent players, but they’re very well coached. Ivan Leko, the manager, won the title with Bruges 2 years ago before getting sacked for failing to repeat. Antwerp snapped him up in a heartbeat.

    Side note: Antwerp is nicknamed “the Great Old” because it is the First football club in Belgium (1880).
    You won’t see it Thursday, but it’s usually a raucous atmosphere, blue collar type fans, with a hint of violence and, sadly, sometimes racism. Think of English football in the 80s.

    I could go on, but it’s a good start.

    • Thanks for the report BS, I knew absolutely nothing about them beforehand so at least have some idea what to expect fom them now.

  • Thanks for that info, BS.

    It’s weird that a manager could win a trophy one year and get the boot the next year for not repeating the effort. Continuing that theme; any manager that wins something can look forward to the sack the following year. After success there is only one way eventually …. down! That’s probably the reason we didn’t win any trophies under MP. He’d never have lasted 5 years! : – )

  • There are instances of that in England too. Mourinho at Chelsea, Pellegrini at City.

    For a big club that has spent a ton of money, there are increased expectations.

    Comparably (for Belgium), Bruges have spent a fortune on players and have twice the budget of the next biggest club. The expectation is to win the title every year. Any coach failing to do so will get the sack.

    I’m sure if a smaller club won the title and failed to repeat, the manager would be safe enough.

    Similarly, I’m pretty sure Rainieri would still be managing Leicester now if the team hadn’t struggled so badly in his second season. The club would have been very happy with a mid table finish in 2017, I’m sure.

    It all depends on the context, the expectations and how much a club has spent to try to win things.

  • Well a thank you Danny for another match thread, they are coming thick n fast.

    Way I see, Spurs will have to much for them, thus a win on their patch. COYS

  • Thanks for comprehensive info BS .

    Knowing them as well as you do how do you think that we ought to line up ?

    A defensive or attacking formation ?



  • BS… Thanks for your scouting info.

    Looks like this game is another banana skin waiting to happen. However Jose and staff will have done their homework and our players will be too strong for them. A spurs win 2-0 or more?

  • The biggest different between Belgium and the PL is the fitness levels. Around the hour mark, Belgian teams tend to fade.

    I would just try to play at a high tempo, but be patient. There’s no need to go all out attack from minute 1 and leave space on the counter. Chances will come as the game wears on. I think the worst case scenario would be to concede early and give them a chance to park the bus.

    I’d go for a game plan similar to the Burnley game, be patient and change things after 70 minutes if need be.

  • BS, am sorry for forgetting to thank you in my last post, so thanks for your info.

    Agreed, no straight at them, keep good possession, wear em out, score early if possible, do not concede, but more importantly be patient, Spurs to win by a margin of 2 goals. COYS

  • Lloris (C), Aurier, Sanchez, Davies, Reguilon, Winks, Dele, Lo Celso, Bergwijn, Bale, Vinicius.


    Hart Doherty Toby Cirkin Clarke White Sissoko Hojbjerg Lamela Lucas Son Kane

  • At least all the ludicrous talk of Spurs being title contenders will stop. Europa League is our level

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