Antonio Conte has some decisions to make about the 11 players he wants to start against Norwich at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
The Italian has been in charge of the Lilywhites for a month, leading them to three wins, a draw and a defeat in all competitions so far.
Spurs’ most recent fixture was against Brentford and the 2-0 victory over Thomas Frank’s side showed an improved team performance – at both ends of the field.
Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso remain the only two players unavailable with injuries, as everyone came out of the mid-week fixture without a knock.
Tottenham’s battle for a top four place continues and they are currently five points off that top four spot, whilst Norwich are battling it out at the bottom of the table with just two wins so far this season.
Ahead of the 2pm kick-off on Sunday, football.london takes a look at three ways Conte could line-up his Spurs side.
Lloris; Tanganga, Dier, Davies; Royal, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Reguilon; Son, Kane, Moura
After an improved performance against Thomas Frank’s side, Conte may not feel the need to make many changes to the starting XI.
There was more of an attacking force from the home side on Thursday, with 11 shots and six on target, as well as another goal from Heung-min Son.
Davinson Sanchez had a woeful performance against NS Mura and although he contributed in the build-up to Spurs’ second goal, he produced another overall poor display against Brentford.
Therefore, the Italian may give Japhet Tanganga another chance against Norwich. The defender did come on in the London derby, but replaced Emerson Royal in the right wing-back position.
Despite this, Tanganga has been played in the back three under Conte and he may opt to give the Englishman the nod in that role again.
Lloris; Tanganga, Dier, Davies; Royal, Winks, Hojbjerg, Reguilon; Bergwijn, Kane, Son
Conte isn’t likely to swap many players out of the starting XI he has largely kept the same in the Premier League so far.
However, with an important game against Rennes in the Europa Conference League on Thursday and a seemingly weaker opposition on Sunday, the Italian may look to give a couple of players a rest.
Pierre Emile Hojbjerg has played alongside Oliver Skipp for the large majority of games this season, with Harry Winks missing out, more often than not.
Winks has featured in three out of five fixtures under the 52-year-old so far and started the game against Leeds, with Skipp being unavailable due to suspension.
In the game against Marcelo Bielsa’s side, the English midfielder played in a deep role alongside Hojbjerg but improved in the second half and has had some decent spells of play when he has got game time.
Steven Bergwijn has just recently returned from injury, after a solid performance and goal for the Netherlands during the international break.
Conte spoke about the 24-year-old and where he sees him playing in the Tottenham side, in his pre-match press conference, ahead of the Brentford game.
“For sure though he has great quality, quality in one-on-one, fast, quality to beat the man and also to score,” the Spurs boss said.
“Now we are working and he is understanding what I want of him. For me, he is one of the strikers and he can play in any of the three positions.”
Lucas Moura has been the favoured option on the left of a front three under Conte so far, but has struggled with his final pass and end product.
Therefore, the Italian may look to give Bergwijn some more match minutes, after he got just a few minutes on the pitch against Brentford.
Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Royal, Skipp, Ndombele, Reguilon; Son, Kane, Moura
After Sanchez’s poor display against NS Mura, Conte kept him in the starting XI against Brentford, so he may decide to stick with the same back three on Sunday too.
Skipp had an outstanding performance on Thursday and the Italian mentioned the youngster in his post match press conference.
“I think this player [Skipp] is a very young,” Conte said. “He has really a lot of space for improvement.
“He played with great intensity, great passion, with heart, with soul.”
Therefore, he may look to keep him in the starting line-up to give him that consistent game time.
This could potentially see Hojbjerg replaced with Tanguy Ndombele, to give the Frenchman game time and another chance to impress.
Ndombele has been given some game time under Conte but has failed to provide a good enough performance to get a spot in the regular line-up.
However, with Norwich being bottom of the league, the Italian may give the midfielder a chance to add some needed creativity to the Spurs team.
Source by Football London