Joao Sacramento has confirmed on Tottenham Hotspur’s official website that Gareth Bale will, once again, start in the Europa League in their latest group-stage game.
Jose Mourinho’s men take on Royal Antwerp in Belgium. They go into the game off the back of a dominant 3-0 victory over LASK last week.
The game saw Bale make his second full debut for the club. He had previously been involved in the dramatic draw with West Ham. And he then got just over an hour under his belt as LASK were brushed aside.
He did not feature in Monday’s narrow win over Burnley. But Sacramento has now confirmed that he will return to the starting lineup.
“We believe that with the squad that we have, even with rotation, the team will keep the level and the quality of play,” he told the club’s official website.
“Tomorrow, Gareth Bale will start. Gareth is improving a lot – in terms of fitness level, his condition is much, much better, he’s feeling better every day and with the interaction that we have with him, he’s feeling very positive and we believe that soon he will be at his top level again.”
Spurs appear to be making the right decision not rushing Bale. The Welshman has obviously not had the easiest time with injuries in the past.
Easing him back in should boost his chances of being able to play a consistent role in Tottenham’s season. But perhaps, it could also have another benefit.
Spurs are playing some superb football at the moment. And when they are not at their best, they are getting results – as they proved at Turf Moor.
The better the likes of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min perform, the less pressure there may be on Bale.
Of course, he is one of the best players the Premier League has seen. So he will be aware that there still will be great expectation whenever he plays.
But after a difficult time in Madrid, perhaps not having quite so much pressure on his shoulders may ultimately help bring the very best out of the forward much sooner.