Three Things I Want to See from Tottenham Versus Ludogorets

RAZGRAD, BULGARIA - NOVEMBER 05: Giovani Lo Celso of Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
RAZGRAD, BULGARIA - NOVEMBER 05: Giovani Lo Celso of Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images) /

Tottenham Hotspur take on PFC Ludogorets 1945 for the second time in Europa League in London on Thursday evening, here is what I want to see from Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspur continue their Europa League campaign by hosting Ludogorets in the London half of the home-and-home series for matchday 4 of the Group Stage. Tottenham took a lot of shots in the last match, but it was not until a late second half goal from substitute Giovani Lo Celso that Spurs had the game fully in hand. Tottenham should have the edge in this rematch and here are the things we at HotspurHQ would like to see.

Keep a Clean Sheet

In three games thus far in Europa League, Tottenham have only kept one clean sheet the in the 3-0 win on matchday 1 versus LASK. With Jose Mourinho in charge, things are finally starting to look the way one would expect, where the defense is getting better and provides a foundation for the team. With shutouts in three of the last four Premier League matches, we know the team is capable, so it is about the focus.

Keeping a clean sheet, particularly in European competition where strange things tend to happen takes a lot of focus and discipline. This focus and discipline is at the heart of the way Jose Mourinho is looking to set up his side and if Spurs do not give up any goals, they cannot lose. Getting a shutout in the first game without Toby Alderweireld is especially important to prove to themselves, things will be okay until the big Belgian can return.

A Goal from Someone Other than Son or Kane

Heung-Min Son has already scored 11 goals and assisted 5 in all competitions this season for Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Kane has 13 goals and 11 assists across all competitions for Spurs. Combined that is 24 goals and 16 assists between the two of them. Ironically, Tottenham have scored exactly 40 goals thus far this season.

While Kane and Son accounting for 40 goals combined does not represent all 40 of Tottenham’s goals – given they have assisted each other several times – their 24 goals do account for 60% of all Tottenham’s goals. Likewise, their 16 assists account for more than 40% of all assists on the season for Spurs. In other words, many of the goals have been scored or created by either Kane or Son or both.

While there is nothing wrong with having a couple of great players like Son and Kane, Tottenham are going to need contributions from across the squad to win trophies and give the two talisman the rest they occasionally need. To this end, Spurs really need some other folks to step up and score. Ideally Carlos Vinicius can open his Tottenham account, but it could come from anyone – Bergwijn, Lucas, Bale – but needs to come from someone other than the two stars who ideally never take the pitch.

Play Well, Play Hard, and Win

Tottenham Hotspur have been known to let us down from time-to-time when we start feeling a bit too full of ourselves. Following a big win over Manchester City a let down seems almost inevitable. However, if this Spurs team is truly something different, then that letdown will not happen because Jose Mourinho will not let it happen.

Lucas Moura spoke in the pre-match presser about the idea that every game is a final and that the players need to play to win. Given Spurs are technically top of the group and have already beaten Ludogorets – with Chelsea looming on the weekend – this game smells like a trap. The way to avoid a trap in football is by playing well and not falling victim to ones own over confidence.

Tottenham Hotspur desperately need three points and desperately need to do it without taxing their superstars. We need to see a team that is hungry, aggressive, and swarming from the opening whistle. This should not be a sit back and wait kind of game, this should be an all systems go, full frontal assault kind of match. Tottenham need to push to score early and score often and take the pressure off for the last 30 minutes.

In truth, Tottenham are simply the better team, if Spurs show up and play as they can play, it will be a good evening for the Lilywhites and a tough trip to England for Ludogorets. If Tottenham can keep a clean sheet, get some production from players outside of Kane and Son, and simply play their brand of football, it should be three points for Tottenham.