Tottenham could drop four stars for Marseille ahead of Man City clash

Antonio Conte is set to make a number of changes for Tottenham’s Champions League group stage opener against Marseille as he looks ahead to a daunting clash with Manchester City at the weekend. Spurs have made an unbeaten start to the new Premier League season and will be keen to maintain that against the reigning English champions when they travel to the Etihad on Saturday.

The Lilywhites became just the fourth team to complete the Premier League double against Pep Guardiola’s City last season and they will be determined to see history repeat itself this weekend. Son Heung-min scored the game’s only goal as Conte’s side claimed all three points from Guardiola’s men at the start of last season before Harry Kane became the hero of a dramatic comeback.

The Spurs skipper netted twice, including a 95th-minute winner, to stun City on their own patch in February and, at the time, inflict a title shock on Guardiola’s side. With both sides posting identical Premier League records at the start of this season – four wins and two draws – it is hoped the clash will once again produce fireworks.

Tottenham will be keen to mark their return to the Champions League for the first time since the 2019-20 season with a midweek win, but City miss out on Saturday – one of the toughest fixtures on the Premier League calendar – will undoubtedly take precedence. . In this spirit, sports express take a close look at who Conte might be looking to rest against Marseille ahead of the decisive game with City.

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Harry Kane

As if he hadn’t already, it’s fair to say that Kane has well and truly dispelled the myth that he’s a slow starter who doesn’t score in August. The Spurs striker has enjoyed a scintillating start to the new Premier League campaign after scoring five goals in his first six games at the start of this season.

Conte may argue that Tottenham are “three more transfer windows” away from challenging for the Premier League title, but in this form Kane could well be the man to propel the north Londoners into the running. The man who put City to the sword at the Etihad last season is fit and shooting, and Conte is desperate to preserve the 29-year-old’s current state.

With City undoubtedly out of the bigger of Tottenham’s two games this week, there’s every chance that Conte will rest the England captain for the home clash with Marseille to keep him fresh for a huge clash at the champions’ home. Premier League on Saturday. Summer signing Richarlison has played for Spurs for the past few weeks, largely on the bench, and could well replace Kane after impressing on his first start of the season against Fulham at the weekend.


Son Heung-min

A joint Premier League Golden Boot winner last season alongside Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Son is still looking for his first goal of the new season. Kane recently admitted the South Korean was ‘frustrated’ at playing blanks this season, but the striker remains key to Conte’s cause this campaign.

The 30-year-old has a stunning record against City having netted eight times in 15 appearances against Guardiola’s side and he will again be key to Spurs’ hopes of causing another shock in Manchester. Dejan Kulusevski will likely be reinstated for Tottenham’s Champions League commitments against Marseille, but with Kane also likely to be rested, Conte may have to rethink his forward line.

It could well mean summer signing Ivan Perisic being pushed into a more advanced role to play alongside Kulusevski and Richarlison in attack. The versatile Croatian has a wealth of Champions League experience under his belt and a winner’s medal to boot, having helped Bayern Munich lift the trophy in 2020.

Rodrigo Bentancur

A key part of Tottenham’s impressive start to the new season has been the contributions of Rodrigo Bentancur. The Uruguayan midfielder cuts a calm, collected figure in the center of the park for Conte’s side and has undoubtedly improved the quality of Spurs’ midfield since signing in January.

The 25-year-old returned to Tottenham’s starting XI for their 2-1 weekend win over Fulham after missing the midweek draw with West Ham with a head injury. against Nottingham Forest. Bentancur is another who could find himself rested for the Champions League clash with Marseille as Conte looks to preserve his side’s backbone for the trip to the Etihad.

Summer signing Yves Bissouma will likely take his place for the visiting Ligue 1 side, having recently done the same against the Hammers. If the Malian international is accepted, he will realize a “dream” of playing in the Champions League for the very first time.

Eric Dier

In a classic Conte back five system, Tottenham have made a strong start to the season defensively, conceding just five goals in six games – including two against Chelsea. Eric Dier has been integral to that record, having played every minute of Spurs’ Premier League campaign so far.

The 28-year-old has credited Conte as a key factor in his career-best form and the 45-time England international is another who could well be rested ahead of the City clash. Conte has a multitude of alternatives at his disposal.

Cristian Romero returned to the Italian starting XI this weekend while Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies are other available options. Clement Lenglet was also praised for his debut performance against Fulham so the Barcelona loanee could be rewarded with a second straight start.

Tottenham could drop four stars for Marseille ahead of Man City clash

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