Spurs can pass the first real test of their Europa League campaign.
Spurs don’t have an easy start to their Europa League Group C campaign with a trip to Serbia to face Partizan Belgrade.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side cruised past AEL Limassol of Cyprus in qualifying but Partizan came within a penalty shoot-out of reaching the group stages of the Champions League and currently sit top of their domestic league with a perfect five from five record so far.
The Serb Superliga runners-up have won their last six matches in all competitions, beating Neftci of Azerbaijan in the final qualifying round of the Europa League.
They’ll miss Petar Skuletic through suspension for their opening group match with the Londoners, who will definitely be without Kyle Walker and probably Jan Vertonghen and Roberto Soldado who missed Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland when Spurs when led twice.
Tottenham have begun the new Premier League season in fairly positive fashion, taking seven points from a possible 12 so far, and are old hands in the Europa League having taken part in the competition in each of the last four seasons, though they’ve yet to get past the quarter-final stage.
Younes Kaboul is expected to lead Spurs against Mark Nikolic’s team having being named club captain this week following Michael Dawson’s move to Hull City – he’ll have Hugo Lloris and Emmanuel Adebayor as his deputies.
Under previous managers, Spurs often fielded weakened sides in the early stages of the Europa League but there are signs that Pochettino is taking the competition more seriously.
Spurs haven’t spent as much money as some but England U21 defender Eric Dier is already looking a good signing and Erik Lamela is starting to fulfill his potential so there is no reason why Tottenham won’t go far in Europe this season and they can start off with a win in Belgrade at 8/13.
A 1-2 correct score could be some value at 6/1.
The match kicks off at 6.00pm on Thursday, September 18th at the Stadio Partizana, Belgrade.