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Preview: Vitesse vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Vitesse vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa Conference League clash between Vitesse and Tottenham Hotspur, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to claim their fourth victory in as many games across all competitions, when they travel to Dutch outfit Vitesse for their Europa Conference League encounter on Thursday night.

The visitors have claimed four points from their opening two games in Group G, while the hosts sit just behind them with three points on the board.

Match preview

Following a run of just one win – in the EFL Cup on penalties – in five matches across all competitions, Tottenham have since claimed three successive victories, including last weekend's 3-2 triumph away against Newcastle United.

After being faced with a roaring crowd of over 50,000 jubilant Geordie supporters, in the Magpies' first game under new ownership, and then going behind in just the second minute through a Callum Wilson header, Nuno Espirito Santo faced an uphill task in motivating his side to turn the game on its head.

However, first-half strikes from Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min – before a late Eric Dier own goal pulled one back for the hosts – ensured the visitors completed their comeback and came away with all three points.

Santo will be particularly pleased that Kane was able to break his Premier League duck, and will hope that the striker can now put a solid goalscoring run of form together in the weeks to come. Kane himself will be hoping he can pick up from where he left off in the Europa Conference League, after scoring the competition's first ever hat-trick in Tottenham's 5-1 thrashing of NS Mura last month.

Spurs currently sit joint top of Group G on four points along with Rennes after their first two matches, and on Thursday they will face a Vitesse outfit who are positioned two places and one point behind them.

Tottenham and Vitesse have never played against each other in a competitive fixture before, though the North London club's last visit to the Netherlands was certainly memorable, as Lucas Moura scored a dramatic 96th-minute winner to complete his hat-trick and secure a 3-2 triumph in the Champions League semi-finals.

A repeat of that success, and by a more comfortable margin, is to be expected on Thursday as Santo's side aim to maintain their place at the summit of Group G.

After claiming an impressive 2-1 victory against Feyenoord before the international break, Vitesse secured another three points away against NEC, who they beat 1-0 last weekend.

Nikolai Frederiksen scored the only goal of the game and his fourth of the campaign to help Vitas claim their third victory in their last four league matches.

That result has moved Thomas Letsch's side up to sixth in the Eredivisie standings after nine games, six points behind league leaders Ajax.

Vitesse now turn their attention to Thursday's difficult task against Spurs on home soil, where they will be hoping to cause an upset and return to winning ways in Group G, following their 2-1 defeat to Rennes in their last group match.

In recent years, Vitas have had several players on loan from Tottenham's rivals Chelsea due to the affiliation between the two clubs. However, this campaign, they have no players from Stamford Bridge on their books so cannot rely on temporary talent to get one over the Lilywhites on this occasion.

Success in midweek is unlikely for the hosts, but should not be ruled out, especially if Spurs are to make several changes to their starting lineup.

Vitesse Europa Conference League form:
  • W
  • L

Vitesse form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Tottenham Hotspur Europa Conference League form:
  • D
  • W

Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Vitesse will still be without goalkeeper Daan Reiziger due to a shoulder injury, though they will be able to welcome back midfielder Oussama Tannane, who was suspended for their last league game.

Letsch is expected to stick with a 3-4-3 formation, which will likely see Eli Dasa and Maximilian Wittek keep their places in the side as wing-backs.

Frederiksen, who joined from Juventus over the summer, is set to keep his place in the side and could join Lois Openda and Oussama Darfalou in attack.

As for Tottenham, Santo is expected to freshen up his first XI after not making a single substitution in the win against Newcastle last weekend.

The visitors will be without winger Ryan Sessegnon, who continues to recover from a hamstring injury, while right-back Matt Doherty is suffering with a knock.

Goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini may be handed a start between the sticks ahead of first-choice stopper Hugo Lloris, while defenders Japhet Tanganga, Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies could all be brought into the back four at the expense of Emerson Royal, Cristian Romero and Sergio Reguilon.

Harry Winks will be hoping he can force his way into the starting lineup ahead of either Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg or Oliver Skipp, while Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil are all expected to feature, which could mean Son, Moura and Ndombele begin as substitutes.

Vitesse possible starting lineup:
Schubert; Doekhi, Bazoer, Rasmussen; Dasa, Tronstad, Tannane, Wittek; Fredericksen, Openda, Darfalou

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Gollini; Tanganga, Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Skipp, Winks; Lo Celso, Alli, Gil; Kane

We say: Vitesse 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham have already dropped points away from home against Rennes in Group G, and so Vitesse cannot be taken lightly on Thursday.

Nevertheless, Santo's men will be the strong favourites to win this clash, even if there are several changes made to their starting lineup.

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