Tottenham Hotspur travel to Bulgaria to take on Ludogorets in the Europa League on Thursday. And in this match, they are likely to be without one of their young defenders.
Spurs bounced back from the defeat to Royal Antwerp last week with a win over Brighton on the weekend. They got the victory thanks to goals from Harry Kane (whose scoring strike was controversial, go here for more on that) and Gareth Bale and the result has propelled them to second place in the Premier League table.
As for the team news, there are no new injuries which is encouraging. The one player who could miss out is youngster Japhet Tanganga, who has a thigh injury. That said, what kind of team will they go with?
Spurs will want to get their Europa League campaign back on track so we can expect a strong team from manager Jose Mourinho. In goal, captain Hugo Lloris will look to continue his commanding presence between the sticks.
The formation is going to be the 4-2-3-1 with Matt Doherty and Reguilon as the full backs.
There will be one change in the centre of defence with Eric Dier making way for Davison Sanchez.
While the Englishman has been great this season, the inclusion of Sanchez makes Spurs aerially stronger. The centre of midfield will see the inclusion of Harry Winks and Giovani Lo Celso. Moussa Sissoko and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg have been the preferred duo in the league, so it’s likely the previously mentioned duo will get a run here.
They will be crucial in getting Spurs control of the game as they will look to set the tempo.
Ahead of them, the attack will also see some rotation from Sunday’s game. The hero from the Brighton game, Gareth Bale will start on the right flank and will look to add to his tally this season.
On the other flank it will be Erik Lamela providing some width and flair for Tottenham.
In the role of the attacking midfielder we are likely to see Lucas Moura being given a go. We could also see Steven Bergwin in the mix, given that Dele Alli is unlikely to play.
With Harry Kane starting at the weekend, it will likely result in another game for Carlos Vinicius.
Spurs will badly want to get this win so that they can keep pace with Antwerp who are the group leaders right now.
Predicted Tottenham Starting XI Against Ludogorets (4-2-3-1):
Hugo Lloris, Matt Doherty, Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, Reguilon, Harry Winks, Giovani Lo Celso, Gareth Bale, Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela, Carlos Vinicius