Antonio Conte needs all three points in Sunday’s North London Derby as he looks to get Tottenham back on track following a tough month in N17.
Battling to a 1-0 win away at Watford on New Year’s Day to keep pace in the top-four race, Spurs have since lost twice against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup and also needed three late goals to avoid an FA Cup humiliation at the hands of League One side Morecambe.
With a host of injuries at present, as well as no new incomings just yet following the opening of the January transfer window, Spurs really do need a win against their arch rivals to give everyone a boost ahead of an important few weeks for the club.
Well, Conte appears to have four big calls to make when it comes to his Tottenham XI to take on Arsenal.
football.london takes a look at the four positions up for grabs and who could come in.
Eric Dier’s absence through injury for Sunday’s North London Derby means that Conte has a call to make in regards to his backline.
Either he persists with the three who started against Chelsea in midweek or he brings Joe Rodon into defence.
The Welshman, who didn’t look entirely at ease against Morecambe last weekend due to a rib issue, is seen as Dier’s deputy in the heart of defence and his introduction to the team would allow Davinson Sanchez to move to the right where he looks at home.
Japhet Tanganga would be the Spurs player at risk if Rodon comes in, although that may not be a bad thing for the youngster at present following errors in the past three games.
Sergio Reguilon has not played for Tottenham since the New Year’s Day win over Watford and Conte has a decision to make over him ahead of Sunday.
The boss did explain that the Spaniard was a “bit tired” for the Morecambe match and was left out as a result but he was also then not included vs Chelsea.
However, football.london understands that he took part in full training on Friday.
Matt Doherty got the nod in the position in midweek and didn’t look comfortable there given the right flank is his natural position, although Conte’s thinking may have been to rest Ryan Sessegnon ahead of Arsenal as three starts in one week may have been too much for him given his previous injury woes.
The Italian now must decide who out of the three starts against the Gunners.
Oliver Skipp looks a certainty to come into the Tottenham midfield against the Gunners after dropping down to the bench in midweek.
Spurs do look so much better with him in midfield and he is a must in the North London Derby.
It will then be down to Conte to decide whether Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg drops out or Harry Winks makes way.
The Dane may have struggled to hit his best form of late but it would be a big call to leave him out altogether given he is one of Conte’s most trusted men.
Giovani Lo Celso didn’t exactly grasp his chance in the team against Chelsea and as a result could find himself out of the starting XI.
Conte did reveal ahead of the cup showdown that it was between the Argentine and Bryan Gil for the No.10 role, with the summer signing possibly an option to start now despite the magnitude of the occasion.
Gil did perform well off the bench in the reverse fixture in September and he may in fact be a wildcard the head coach opts to play.
As Steven Bergwijn is not 100 per cent fit yet and will take his place on the bench, Dele Alli could also be an option to start if the boss wants to change formation and go 3-5-2.
football.london understands that Tanguy Ndombele has been training away from the first team this week and has not been involved in tactical and game work, thus meaning his participation in the derby is extremely unlikely.
Source by Football London