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Ahead of Leicester match, Stellini confirms Conte’s return, confidence in Forster

Spurs could also see the debut of new signing Pedro Porro.

Tottenham Hotspur Training Session Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Antonio Conte is back at Hotspur Way as of this morning, but it was again assistant manager Cristian Stellini who spoke to the press this morning ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s match at Leicester City.

Fresh off of an inspiring and complete home victory over Manchester City last Sunday, Stellini spoke about the latest injury concern in Spurs’ squad — the knee injury to Hugo Lloris that will keep him sidelined for the next couple of months. Stellini was clear that he has full confidence in Lloris’ backup, veteran keeper Fraser Forster, to help Spurs achieve their goals for the remainder of the season.

“I like Fraser like a man because his behaviour this season was perfect. He trained so hard and in this he also pushed Hugo to train hard. We mustn’t forget that we have men before we have players and I like Fraser. Physically he’s perfect for the Premier League and the style we have. He can also use both feet and it will be interesting to see him for the next few weeks.”

Hugo’s injury may be a blow, but that is the extent of Tottenham Hotspur’s injuries as of now. Stellini confirmed that the remainder of Spurs’ first team players are fit and, bar one, available for selection. That also includes Tottenham’s manager, Antonio Conte, who rejoined training for the first time today after recuperating from emergency gallbladder surgery last week.

“Antonio is back. This morning on to the pitch with us. He will have to take it easy for a bit. We were so happy to have him back on the training ground. He took time to hug every player. We didn’t speak about what he would do in the next match but he is back [with us]. We have time to be ready.”

The other player not available to be selected is Cristian Romero, who was sent off against Manchester City after picking up his second yellow card near the end of the match, and is suspended. Stellini said that the coaching staff appreciates how Cuti plays with an edge, but that they’re working with Cuti on his timing to try and cut down on some of the more rash challenges.

“If you get a yellow it’s because you did not get the ball. You have to work on the timing. [Cuti] has to jump and tackle and win the ball. This is something we can work on. We will work on this aspect but keeping the same aggressiveness.”

Another player who is likely licking his chops going into Saturday’s match is Tottenham’s leading scorer, Harry Kane. Harry loves a Leicester match — he’s scored 19 career goals against the Foxes in all competitions in his career, more than any other club, and including six goals in the last six meetings.

Saturday may also see the debut of Pedro Porro in Tottenham’s lineup. The Spaniard, brought in on loan with a purchase obligation on the last day of the January transfer window, was named to the bench against City but was an unused sub. It was also reported he was suffering from an illness his first week after joining the club.

Porro could be favored against a Leicester City defense that is struggling this season. The Foxes have just one win in their last five league matches, while giving up the third highest number of goals in the league thus far. Nothing is certain in the Premier League, especially away, but this looks like a match in which a fit and firing Spurs team can feast.

The match kicks off this Saturday at 10 a.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. UK.