Partizan plot Spurs shock

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Partizan Belgrade’s Europa League fate is already sealed but manager Marko Nikolic is demanding a strong performance from his players at Tottenham.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side will progress to the round of 32 with a game to spare should they overcome the Serbians at White Hart Lane.

Few expect Spurs to come a cropper against Partizan, despite having been held to a goalless draw in Belgrade in the first match of Group C.

The hosts put in an impressive display that night, but the three successive defeats which followed means they arrive in north London with elimination already confirmed.

Few expect the sequence to get better for Partizan on Thursday – one bookmaker has priced them at 13/1 to win – but manager Nikolic wants his side to show their true quality.

“It will be a great pleasure playing in Europe in a country where it all started,” he said in a press conference, Partizan’s website reported.

“The ambience at White Hart Lane will surely motivate my team and this will be another opportunity for us to prove ourselves against one of the best Premier League clubs.

“On the other hand, Tottenham will be motivated to show the Belgrade draw was not a real show of power. They are picking up form gradually.

“Spurs are practically in the next Europa League group stage and I expect them to play in a similar fashion as they did in Belgrade.

“However, whoever they field, it will be a very strong team. This will be another opportunity for us to enjoy a football game and I hope there will be no lack of competitive tension.”

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