Lokomotiv Plovdiv vs Tottenham Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

Dele Alli
Tottenham suffered defeat on the opening day of the Premier League | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Tottenham face a lengthy mid-week trip to Bulgaria on Thursday night where they'll come up against Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the single-leg Europa League second qualifying round.

Jose Mourinho's men have been thrust into early action on the continent as a result of their sixth-placed Premier League finish in 2019/20, forcing them into a packed early season schedule.

Spurs received criticism from many following their lacklustre display at the weekend, but the start of the new European campaign gives them a chance to put in a more hopeful performance for the season ahead.

Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Thursday 17 September
What Time Is Kick Off? 17:00 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Lokomotiv Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports 2

Team News

Odion Ighalo, Giovani Lo Celso
Lo Celso missed the Everton match through injury | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Argentine midfielder Giovani Lo Celso missed out on the Everton match after he failed a late fitness test (thigh injury) and he remains a doubt for this one.

Japhet Tanganga is the only guaranteed absentee from Mourinho's squad, having picked up a thigh injury, but the Portuguese boss could be tempted to rest key players such as Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min. Spurs face a tricky test away at Southampton just three days after their trip east, which could allow for some fringe players to build up their game time.

One of those that will be hopeful of benefiting from the busy schedule is goalkeeper Joe Hart. The 33-year-old former England international joined the north London side on a free transfer in the summer and will be looking to make his competitive debut.

Predicted Lineups

Lokomotiv Plovdiv: Almeida; Vitanov, Salinas, Pugliese, Tsvetanov; Iliev, Karagaren, Ilic, Petrovic; Masoero, Lukov

Tottenham: Hart; Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Sessegnon; Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Sissoko; Moura, Bergwijn, Lamela

Recent Form

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-EVERTON
Hojbjerg endured a difficult debut against Everton | ADAM DAVY/Getty Images

Plovdiv are already five games into their domestic league campaign and are currently sitting in fifth after picking up nine points from a possible 15. They lost 3-1 away at early pace-setters Ludogorets at the weekend but they have a 100% record at home so far in the current campaign, with two wins from two.

Tottenham have far fewer minutes under their belt, with Sunday's uninspiring loss at the hands of Carlo Ancelotti's Toffees their only competitive fixture of 2020/21 to date. Summer signing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg endured a difficult debut at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and will be aiming to put in a more assured display in what could be his first appearance in a European competition.

Here's how both teams have fared in their last five matches.

Lokomotiv Plovdiv

Ludogorets 3-1 Plovdiv (12/9)
Plovdiv 2-1 Cherno More (30/8)
Iskra 0-1 Plovdiv (27/8)
Slavia Sofia 0-2 Plovdiv (21/8)
Plovdiv 2-1 Botev Vratsa (15/8)

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham 0-1 Everton (13/9)
Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham (26/7)
Tottenham 3-0 Leicester (19/7)
Newcastle 1-3 Tottenham (15/7)
Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal (12/7)

Prediction

Tanguy Ndombele
Ndombele could stake a claim for a starting spot with a strong performance | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

While this is early away trip to Bulgaria is about as unwelcome as it gets, it does offer Spurs a chance to forget all about Everton and test out some of their fringe stars.

The likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon and Steven Bergwijn (and more) all have points to prove to Mourinho and this could be the perfect setting to start doing so.

Plovdiv, though a solid outfit on home soil, have never made it past the qualifying rounds of the Europa League - falling to Strasbourg last year.

Prediction: Lokomotiv Plovdiv 0-2 Tottenham