Experienced XI Projected to Start for Tottenham vs Antwerp

ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 29: Tottenham. (Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images)
ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 29: Tottenham. (Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images) /
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Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius Tottenham
Tottenham Hotspur’s Brazilians Lucas Moura (L) and Carlos Vinicius (R) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Tottenham Strikers

Spurs keep their usual three-man front line for Antwerp as we continue to see players competing for time and opportunity across the attack. Having missed last week, Carlos Vinicius will want to get back in there and continue to score. Seemingly on the cusp of breaking into the Premier League team in earnest, Gareth Bale will  alsowant to show he has the right stuff but the attack starts with Lucas Moura.

Lucas Moura (LW)

Lucas Moura is almost an automatic at the left wing for Tottenham in the non-Premier League matchups. Having taken on the role of closer in the Premier League, José Mourinho knows what he is going to get from Moura, in terms of effort and intensity. Sometimes that effort and intensity turns into amazing production, other times he simply puts in a good shift which a coach like Mourinho enjoys. Considering the only match Moura has not started in Europa League proper was the 1-0 loss at Royal Antwerp, expect vintage Lucas Moura Thursday.

Carlos Vinicius (ST)

Carlos Vinicius seemed to have gotten himself in order and contributed to three goals against Ludogorets. Then Vinicius was one of several players simply out last week. While an unused substitute against Arsenal shows he is healthy, Vinicius will be anxious to get back on the pitch and get his scoring touch going again. Like many other squad players Vinicius will have limited opportunities during the season, so he needs to get the confidence here and now.

Gareth Bale (RW)

The goal may have been a penalty and Bale may not have played Sunday versus Arsenal, but his performance last week against Ludogorets was quality. The converted penalty was of course appreciated and needed. However, it was the effort everywhere else on the pitch that caught our eye with Gareth Bale. The winger worked hard to recover and be part of the team defensive structure. Additionally, Bale demonstrated the ability to still beat his man and get off a cross. Seemingly on the cusp of breaking through, maybe Thursday is that day for Bale, which would have him primed to potentially start against Liverpool on Wednesday next.

Tottenham Extended Bench

Europa League means the extended bench and given we are hoping to see some of the youth in the game, we sure need to include them on the pine for that to happen. Essentially the bench comes down to two halves the half with the five players we want to see – sorry one goalkeeper gets the short straw – and half with all the players we hope never even warm-up.

The in case of emergency six are simple enough. You have Eric Dier and Sergio Reguilón to help cover defensively and we know that Højbjerg will be out based on José Mourinho’s comments in the pre-match presser. If Tottenham need more help on the attacking side, there will be Son Heung-Min, Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, and Harry Kane. The quartet can make a lot happen in a short period of time, but we all hope they next get that chance against Palace on the weekend.

With the six we hope do not have to play covered, we get to the six who hopefully do get to play, well five anyway. Mourinho has been bringing two keepers with the team to home matches so both Alfie Whiteman and Brandon Austin will get to come. Of course, only one will play and maybe it is Austin’s turn after Whiteman played against Ludogorets.

Dennis Cirkin is hopefully included so Serge Aurier can get a night off and the young back can get a run out. Additionally, Harvey White is with the group, ideally playing instead of Lo Celso or Ndombele in the back half of the midfield for the last 30 minutes. Jack Clarke seems almost a given since he is a full-fledged member of the senior team and then last but certainly not least is Dane Scarlett. Scarlett recently followed up his senior debut by scoring a hattrick in the Premier League 2. If that young man could get a run out and score, oh what a night.

That is our team, who would you pick?

Line-up (4-2-3-1)

Hart – Doherty – Sanchez – Tanganga – Davies – Sissoko– Winks – Dele – Bale – Vinicius – Lucas


Whiteman – Austin – Cirkin – Lo Celso – Kane – Son – White – Clarke – Ndombele – Reguilón – Dier