Antonio Conte is reportedly ready to use one of his Tottenham summer signings in a new position ahead of Sunday’s Premier League visit of Liverpool.
Sunday’s clash is a huge one in terms of where both clubs could finish the season, despite the contest coming with plenty of games still to go and more twists and turns surely on the horizon.
If Spurs win they will go 13 points clear of the currently ninth-placed Reds. However, a victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side will see them cut the deficit to the London side to seven.
Tottenham are hampered by more injury concerns though, with Son Heung-min and Richarlison both unavailable and now Lucas Moura also struggling.
The Brazilian has not long returned from several weeks out but has had a setback and is unlikely to feature on Sunday, while Dejan Kulusevski will almost certainly start on the bench.
That leaves Conte with no natural attacking wide players to flank Harry Kane against Liverpool.
The Croatian has played the majority of his career as a winger. However, he has developed as more of a wing-back as the years have passed.
That is the position Conte likes to use the 33-year-old, but his hands may be forced – if he opts to go with his normal 3-4-3 formation.
If Perisic does play wide left then Ryan Sessegnon will line up behind him, leaving Emerson Royal to play at right wing-back.
Bentancur set for midfield attacking role
Rodrigo Bentancur is also expected to be pushed further forward after excelling playing closer to Kane recently.
Either Yves Bissouma or Oliver Skipp are likely to partner Pierre-Emile Hiojbjerg in the midfield engine room.
But it’s Perisic’s new role that is the talking point. And part of that may be with a view to keeping Trent Alexander-Arnold pinned back.
The Liverpool right-back’s defensive issues are well highlighted. But his attacking threat is massive in this Liverpool team.
Klopp’s men have been struggling domestically, having only won four of their opening 12 games. However, the German will be hoping they take their midweek Champions League form into the game in north London.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 10 games against Tottenham, including the Champions League final win in 2019.
And although both games were drawn last season, the Reds are yet to lose in Spurs’ swanky new home.
Tottenham will, however, be boosted by Conte being back in the dugout for the game. He was suspended for the dramatic Champions League win in Marseille that secured their passage to the last 16.