We’ve been paired with Anderlecht, Monaco and Qarabag FK of Azerbaijan in Europa League Group J – the draw for which was made in Monaco on Friday lunchtime.
That followed on from news of a blockbuster tie on the horizon in the Capital One Cup, as Tuesday night’s draw pitted us against North London rivals Arsenal in the third round.
The Gunners will come to White Hart Lane on Wednesday, September 23, less than a week after our European campaign gets underway in earnest.
Having discovered which teams stand in our way in both competitions, the players have said they’re relishing the chance to test themselves against some tough opponents both at home and on the continent in the coming weeks.
“It doesn’t get any bigger!” said Eric Dier after learning of our impending clash with the Gunners. “It’ll be great for the fans and great for us as players as well.
“We all love playing in the big games, especially in the cup competitions. It’ll be a night game so there will be a fantastic atmosphere at the Lane and we’re all really looking forward to it.”
Midfielder Mousa Dembele agreed with those sentiments: “It’s a very big game,” he said. “It’s going to be a brilliant match for all the fans and players and we’re very motivated to win.”
After scoring his first Premier League goal last weekend at Leicester, Dele Alli said he’s relishing the prospect of his first North London derby.
“I jumped up out of my seat when we got Arsenal!” he revealed after watching Tuesday night’s draw.
“When you come to a new club you want to experience the big games and the fact that it’s in the cup as well means it will be a fantastic occasion. It’s what dreams are made of to play in derby matches and we’ll go into it determined to get the win.”
As for our opponents in the Europa League, Tom Carroll watched the draw unfold before declaring: “It’s a very tough group but that’s what we’re looking for. You always want to play against the best teams and you’ve got to beat the best teams to win.
“Obviously we’ll play Monaco in the group – we had a friendly there a couple of years ago and we know they’re a good side. Hopefully we’ll put on some good displays and get the results we’re looking for.”