Antonio Conte just finished up his press conference ahead of Sunday’s Tottenham Hotspur match at Nottingham Forest, and there are still a couple of injury concerns in the squad. Conte ruled out both Cristian Romero and Oliver Skipp from contention in this match as they continue to recover from injuries, but noted that both Skipp & Romero would be returning to training next week.
#THFC team news: Romero’s recovery “going well” and he is expected to be training with the rest of the team next week. He’ll miss the forest game.— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) August 26, 2022
Same with Skipp.
Moura and Gil missed today’s training and a decision will be made on them re Forest tomorrow.
“About Cuti, Cuti is recovering very well. I think start of next week like Skippy they start to have training session with rest of team. This game not available. Have to check couple of situations, Lucas and Gil as today didn’t have training session with us. Have tomorrow to make the right decision for both players.”
That’s obviously good news for Spurs. It remains to be seen what lineup Conte will put out vs. Forest; Occam’s Razor suggests we will again see Davinson Sanchez deputize for Romero as the right-sided central defender in Conte’s preferred back three. However, considering the difficulty Spurs have had controlling the midfield in their opening three matches, might this be the time Conte brings in a player like Clement Lenglet who’s long passing ability could add a different dimension to Spurs attack?
It’s not clear from Conte’s comments why Lucas Moura and Bryan Gil are potentially being held out. The most likely scenario is injury, but Bryan Gil has also been pushing for a loan to Valencia, something which Spurs has not yet approved as Conte has made it clear he wants another incoming player to replace anyone currently in his first team plans. We have not heard of any credible links to a move for Lucas.
And speaking of Spurs’ attack, it doesn’t look as though Conte has any problems with Son Heung-Min’s slow start to the season. When asked about Sonny’s struggles at the beginning of this season, Conte said that he has full confidence in last season’s Golden Boot winner to regain his form.
“You know very well that we are talking about a really important player for me and for the club. For sure I think Sonny in the last three games he had chances to score but there is moment but lucky or unlucky. No problem with Sonny’s performance, his attitude and commitment is always very high. Happy about his performance and I don’t see any problem with him.”
Conte was also asked about Sunday’s opponent — Nottingham Forest have made 18 signings this summer, essentially turning over the entire squad that achieved promotion from the Championship last season, and have taken four points from their first three games including a win over West Ham and a draw at Everton.
“Forest started season very well. It’s nice to have Nottingham Forest in the Premier League as we are talking about a club with great history.
I think Nottingham Forest did great [in the] transfer market and to have a lot of signings can help them. For sure they want to keep in the Premier League and this is very clear. I think the owner is really strong and yeah... we’re talking about a really good team. [Jesse] Lingard now is playing there and the whole team is really good.”
They’ve certainly looked impressive at The City Ground, and Spurs will need to be wary of them when they visit on Sunday. The match kicks off at 11:30 a.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. BST.