Despite Antonio Conte’s Tottenham side sitting third in the Premier League table, there have been concerns that the performances have not matched their results and the north London side may begin to fall behind their rivals. Spurs came under criticism after their 2-0 defeat away to Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Tuesday, and their Italian boss may face some big decisions during the international break. Here, Express Sport looks at four changes Conte could make after Leicester’s visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.
Give Son Heung-min an extended rest
Son Heung-min has been one of Spurs’ key players since Conte took over alongside Harry Kane, and shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah last season but his form has dipped considerably this campaign. The Italian coach has reiterated that he has no worries regarding the South Korean, but there have been suggestions that Son may benefit from a spell out of the team to regain his confidence.
In the past Spurs have lacked depth up front, but after the acquisitions of Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison they now have the option to rest Son and Kane. The Swede has been dropped to the bench in each of Spurs’ last two games to accommodate Richarlison in the team despite his impressive start to the season, and it may be time to consider playing both forwards alongside the England captain.
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Give Djed Spence a chance
Despite Conte recently defending Emerson Royal in his pre-Leicester press conference, having started every game this season at wing-back, Tottenham’s right flank has been notably blunt compared to the left-hand side with Ivan Perisic and Ryan Sessegnon. The Brazilian is a considerably better defender than Djed Spence and Matt Doherty, which is helpful for games against top-six opposition but in games where Spurs can dominate possession, Emerson is not needed as much in the final third.
Spence impressed on loan at Nottingham Forest last season, and despite being raw his ability to take players on could add another dimension to Spurs’ attack, while Doherty had just broken into the team under Conte before his season-ending injury earlier this year and either player could provide more of an attacking impetus.