Tottenham Hotspur v Royal Antwerp – UEFA Europa League Group J – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Thursday 8pm – Preview
A win from their final Group J fixture with Royal Antwerp will be enough for Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur to make UEFA Europa League progress as group winners.
However, with both sides already in the hat, it is the Belgians who go into the clash in pole position having seen off the Lilywhites by a Lior Refaelov goal to nil when the pair met at the Bosuilstadion in late October.
Nevertheless, despite Tottenham largely firing on all cylinders across the board just now, Mourinho insisted he job in hand had largely been done and his side shouldn’t be overly concerned about whoever they face come the round of 32.
“Yes, if before the first match you tell us that in the last match we are qualified and we have that in the pocket and we have the chance to win it and to be first in the group I would say immediately yes,” the Lilywhites chief explained.
“We did our job – could do better but could be worse. We did our job to qualify in the first five matches and now in one game at home – with 2,000 fans behind us – we have the chance to play one game to try to win the group.
“Is that fundamental? I don’t think it is. I don’t think we should be afraid of playing any team in the next phase, but of course, normally the teams that win the groups are the best team’s so if you can avoid them in the next draw I think it will be an advantage.”
Mourinho will rotate his squad following their 2-0 North London derby over Arsenal on Sunday. Mourinho confirmed that Serge Aurier will miss out through injury, but Tanguy Ndombele should be available after missing the Gunners clash.
Jeevesie’s prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Royal Antwerp