What To Look for in Tottenham at Royal Antwerp in Europa League

Tottenham. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Tottenham. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Tottenham, Jose Mourinho
Tottenham, Jose Mourinho (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images) /

Tottenham Approach for Antwerp

Knowing Antwerp likes to be physical and have possession and knowing they are on the road with a team not that familiar with each other, Tottenham will likely start the game conceding possession. This does not mean they will not score early and often, but possession will not be necessary to create chances for Tottenham.

Look for Spurs to be patient defensively and then to quickly strike on the counter. Between, Bergwijn, Vinicius, and Bale Tottenham Hotspur will have speed to burn against the Belgian defense. Whether it is three, five, or eight defenders, if they push too far up the pitch, they are doing to pay for it.

Of course, Antwerp scouts too and may be too smart to try and control possession and instead force Tottenham to unlock a compact defense. If that is the case, look for Vinicius to be a big key with his ability to hold and them distribute the ball in the final third. In Antwerp forces Spurs to unlock them, we have little doubt Vinicius holds the key which can mean a big night for those around him as well as himself.

Finally, whoever is sitting in the #10 slot, whether Lamela as we predicted, Dele, Lo Celso or anyone else, that person is going to have to work extra hard as find space against what ultimately will be eight guys back behind the ball anytime Tottenham is not on the counter. If the #10 can find space between the players, then the opportunity for quick, direct passes between the lines will exist.

If Tottenham can find that ball movement, whether conceding or demanding possession, quick, crisp, direct ball movement; Spurs are simply too good for Antwerp and can leave with all three points and in command of their group. If Tottenham plod around the pitch, indecisive and wishful in their passes, it could be a long day. We think it will be more the former – good ball movement – and expect to see Tottenham leave Belgium winners, 4-1. What do you think?