Nuno Espirito Santo is expected to name a relatively strong Tottenham side tonight for what looks like the toughest assignment of their group stage campaign in the new Europa Conference League.
Spurs play their first game in the new third-tier European competition away to French side Rennes and will do so without both Eric Dier and Heung-min Son, the former having failed to shake off a dead leg and the latter still missing with the calf strain he picked up on international duty.
Goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini made his Spurs debut in qualifying after signing from Atalanta, initially on loan, and is expected to start between the sticks, while Japhet Tanganga will likely feature in the backline given he is suspended for this weekend’s Premier League clash with Chelsea following his red card in the defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Nuno, meanwhile, could hand more minutes to Harry Kane as he looks to get his talisman firing. The England captain looked sharp on international duty, continuing his terrific goalscoring run for the Three Lions in qualifiers, but was a peripheral figure at Selhurst Park.
Rennes, meanwhile, have started domestically with just one win from five, sitting in mid-table as they look to cope after the sale of Eduardo Camavinga to Real Madrid.
Spurs will be without Heung-min Son and Eric Dier for the Europa Conference League opener in France. Son picked up a calf strain on international duty with South Korea earlier this month, while Dier suffered a dead leg in the defeat to Crystal Palace, and are joned on the sidelines by Ryan Sessegnon. After being sent off against Palace, Japhet Tanganga is available for selection, with his suspension not applicable in UEFA competitions.
South American trio Giovani Lo Celso, Cristian Romero and Davinson Sanchez will still be absent for Spurs, who are still undergoing a training camp in Croatia to avoid quarantine on their return to the UK.
Steven Bergwijn has made the trip to France after missing the defeat to Palace.
Rennes forward Martin Terrier was forced off with a suspected thigh problem in the 2-0 defeat to Reims at the weekend, and is a major doubt for Thursday’s fixture. Two more blows for Genesio’s side will be the absence of speedy winger Jeremy Doku who will miss the game with a hamstring injury and Lovro Majer, who is nursing a hip injury. Norway full-back Birger Meling has recovered from an adductor problem, and goalkeeper Alfred Gomis could return to the hosts’ line-up after completing his stint in quarantine.
Rennes could be without Martin Terrier after he was subbed in the first half at the weekend, though he did train on Wednesday. Alfred Gomis has been isolating and is due back with the group from Thursday, so Oscar Garcia must decide if his first-choice goalkeeper comes straight back in or he goes again with the veteran Romain Salin.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the match.
When is the game?
The match kicks off at 5:45pm on Thursday 16 September.
Where can I watch it?
The game will be shown live on BT Sport 2 and subscribers can stream the match via the BT Sport app and desktop website.
REN – Gomis; Traore, Omari, Aguerd, Truffert; Bourigeaud, Santamaria, Tait; Laborde, Guirassy, Sulemana
TOT – Lloris; Royal, Sanchez, Romero, Davies; Hojbjerg, Skipp; Moura, Dele, Gil; Kane
Neither side look at their best right now and key absences have played a part there. A draw isn’t out of the question but Spurs should have enough firepower to trouble their hosts – if the midfield is arranged better than it was at the weekend. Rennes 1-2 Spurs.