Tottenham vs Antwerp | Thursday 10th December 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
It’s a fight at the top of Group J in North London on Thursday night as Tottenham welcome Antwerp to the capital.
For Jose Mourinho’s men, the task is simple, win and top the group, fail to do so and they go through to the knockout rounds as group runners up. Spurs are in red hot form and come into this one after emerging victorious against rivals Arsenal in the North London derby at the weekend.
The Lilywhites have secured clean sheets in both of their home group games so far and if they can do so again, you have to fancy them to pick up the win, claim the top spot in the group and avoid the Champions League dropouts in the next round.
Antwerp will be hoping they can repeat the reverse fixture and claim another win over their English counterparts. Antwerp were the last side to actually beat Spurs and a win here would mean they’ll be the first side from Belgium to win three successive European away games since Anderlecht in 2011.
This is a competition that Mourinho would love to win for Spurs. A victory here would be a huge step closer to reaching that target.
- Commit on average 16.5 fouls per game when playing at home this season (UEL).
- Receive on average 8 fouls per game when playing at home this season (UEL).
- Have seen 2+ cards in 1/2 home UEL games this season.
- In those games the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 1/2 occasions.
- Have scored at least THREE goals in SIX of their last SEVEN UEL games.
- Over 2.5 goals has landed in EIGHT of Spurs last NINE UEL games.
- Erik Lamela misses out owing to an ongoing thigh issue, while Tanguy Ndombele is a doubt having missed the North London Derby through injury.
- Joe Rodon is ineligible.
- Jose Mourinho is expected to name his usual Europa League XI, with Dele Alli and Carlos Vinicius among those who could return to the side at the expense of Ndombele and Son Heung-Min.
- Mourinho may also turn to the youth team players he previously used in the 4-0 win over Ludogorets, with Alfie Whiteman, Dane Scarlett and Harvey White all options.
- Commit on average 15 fouls per game when playing away from home this season (UEL).
- Receive on average 11 fouls per game when playing away from home this season (UEL).
- Have seen 2+ cards in 2/2 away UEL games this season.
- In those games the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 2/2 occasions.
- Have scored TWO goals in both of their away group stage games so far.
- Have only failed to score in TWO of their TEN away games this season (all comps).
- SIX of those TEN games has seen over 2.5 goals land.
- Head coach Ivan Leko remains without injured duo Matheus and Sander Coopman for the trip to Tottenham.
- While qualification is already guaranteed, Leko is unlikely to make wholesale changes to his side as he looks to top Group J.
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano
- Has taken charge of just ONE UEL game this season, where he showed a red card but no yellows.
- Has taken charge of TWO UCL games where he awards an average of 5.50 cards per game.
- In his last 20 games, Manzano has given the home side 2 cards or more on 14 occasions (70%).
My first pick is for Spurs to see 20+ booking points. It’s a generous price as I believe this is going to be a fast-flowing and aggressive match up. Spurs are committing a lot of fouls at home in this competition and Antwerp will do everything they can to try and disrupt Spurs’ play as all they need to do is avoid defeat in order to top the group.
Both of Antwerp’s previous opponents, when they’ve been playing away, have picked up at least TWO cards and I like the price for that to happen again.
Jesus Gil is usually fairly consistent with his cards, and this bet has landed in 70% of his last 20 games officiated.
My second bet is a Betfair oddsboost of Spurs to score 2+ goals, win five or more corners and for Antwerp to see 2+ cards.
Mourinho’s side have scored at least THREE goals in SIX of their last SEVEN UEL games, with Spurs trying to qualify as group winners, I think this should be the easiest segment of the bet.
The home side have won 5+ corners in both their group stage home games thus far and with the Antwerp box and flanks likely to be under constant bombardment, I fancy them to get FIVE corners minimum. For it to land we then just need Antwerp to pick up 2+ cards.
I like the chances of a few cards here and Antwerp commits a fairly high average number of free-kicks per away game in this competition so far.