Former Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson believes four players will return to the starting XI for Tuesday’s huge Champions League clash at Marseille, which is likely to bring about a change in formation.
Spurs need a point from the game in France to qualify for the knockout stage and Robinson believes Antonio Conte will ring the changes, even though the Italian will not be on the sidelines.
Conte was red-carded after his protests following Tottenham’s disallowed goal against Sporting that would have seen them already through to the last 16.
Cristian Stellini, Conte’s assistant will be the man in the dugout and is ready for the challenge.
Speaking ahead of the game, Stellini said: “It’s a change that’s difficult. But we have to prepare ourselves all together before the match.
“It’s a totally different world because normally the days before the game, Antonio will do all his preparation himself, alone.
“But now, we have to do this all together so it changes everything. We have to work on the strategy and this can become complex.
“However, we’ve already gone through this together in our time at Inter. So we know what to do when he’s not there.
“Luckily, I’m not there on my own. We’ve got the whole staff, such as Ryan Mason, alongside me so that makes me feel better.”
Conte and Stellini are expected to recall Eric Dier and Rodrigo Bentancur for the game. However, Robinson also thinks Lucas Moura and Ivan Perisic could return.
The quartet all started the win at Bournemouth on the bench but were introduced as Tottenham came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 on the south coast.
Lucas return a potentially bold move
And while Dier, Bentancur and Perisic would all be like-for-like swaps, bringing Lucas back in suggests Spurs switching back to a 3-4-3 from Saturday’s 3-5-2.
Speaking to Football Insider, Robinson gave his thoughts on selection, saying: “I think the reason Dier and Bentancur didn’t start was because they were being rested for the Marseille game.
“I’m not sure that was the case with Lucas Moura but I expect him to start on Tuesday as well.
“Dier and Bentancur will definitely come back in. Perisic might come back in as well.
“Conte is going to be of the mindset of not caring about the World Cup coming up. Between now and the World Cup he needs to play his best side in every game.
“The selection for the Bournemouth game was clearly made with one eye on Marseille.
“He had to change things in the second half though because it was not working. The fact they came back to win puts them in the right frame of mind for Tuesday night.”
Three Tottenham players are expected to be missing for the contest, however.
Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison and Cristian Romero all missed training on Monday and are highly unlikely to feature.
Of the three, the latter probably has the best chance to play and there is every chance Romero has been wrapped in cotton wool just for this game.