Tottenham Hotspur v Ludogorets Razgrad – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – UEFA Europa League – Thursday 8pm – Preview
It’s a bit of a welcoming balancing act for Jose Mourinho and Tottenham Hotspur these days.
The Lilywhite sit on top of the Premier League with a tasty trip to Chelsea hanging just over the horizon. However, with the fight being carried on all fronts, Mourinho was quick to remind the media that Europa League progress is also high on the agenda and the focus, for the time being, is on Bulgarian outfit, Ludogorets Razgrad, and not their West London rivals who themselves made European progress earlier this week,
“Every game in the Premier League is important and since the moment that we were in the Europa League we knew we were to always play on the Thursday,” Mourinho explained.
“In the Champions League, they (Chelsea) have the option of the Tuesday or Wednesday and in that case, they were lucky this week that the draw gave them a Tuesday match that will allow them to prepare for the match on Sunday.
“Eventually, I don’t know if they gave them a day off but plenty of time to work.
“That’s not a new thing – that happens all the time. We knew that since we went into the Europa League so we’re not going to complain about it.”
Mourinho continued: “The next match is not even Chelsea, it’s Ludogorets and we, of course, already have a defeat in the group stage and we need to win the match tomorrow.
“We have to focus on that match and then after that, we will focus on Chelsea.”
Nevertheless, the Spurs chief will certainly ring the changes for the tie, adding: “I will not play the same team I played against Manchester City. Of course, I’m not going to. There are different reasons for that.
“Of course, the accumulation of matches is a problem. The Toby (Alderweireld) injury has a relation with an accumulation of minutes.
“It’s also about players that work a lot. They’re not starting matches and they deserve to start. Ben Davies has to start. He didn’t play Sunday, he plays tomorrow.
“Just as an example, good players, good professionals, working very hard for the team. I consider them the first options. So between Sergio (Reguilón) and Ben, they are the first options. So of course after Sergio played on Sunday it’s normal that Ben is going to play tomorrow.”
Jeevesie’s prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Ludogorets Razgrad