Marseille vs Tottenham: Antonio Conte absent as Spurs prepare for a ‘final’ in France
Having come from behind on Saturday to claim all three points against Bournemouth, Tottenham now face a crucial game in the Champions League against Marseille.
The winner of the game will qualify for the knockout stages, whilst a draw would only see the North London side progress in the competition.
A point against Sporting, after late VAR drama, was not enough to send Antonio Conte’s side through into the next round.
With the Italian receiving a red card in the dying embers of that game, it will be down to Cristian Stellini and Ryan Mason to motivate the players on the touchline.
Tottenham are without Dejan Kulusevski, Cristian Romeroand Richarlison for Tuesday’s game, meaning places in the side are up for grabs.
One player who has earned an opportunity to showcase his ability is Bryan Gil, with the Spaniard making impressive cameos in recent fixtures.
The Champions League final three years ago was a milestone in Spurs’ history, one experienced by Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies.
These three may find themselves starting alongside each other in a game Antonio Conte himself has deemed a final.
After defeating Bournemouth, Conte said, “In the end I think it was vital for us this win, especially after two losses.
“Now this win has to give us enthusiasm, passion to go into Marseille and play a final.”
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg was interviewed ahead of the game, giving us insight into how the players will cope without Antonio Conte.
The former Southampton captain said, “We will all try our best to fill the role. In the end no one can fill his role but we will do our best to be together.”
It was suggested to Højbjerg that Antonio Conte couldreplicate the actions of Jose Mourinho and hide in a laundry basket.
“If he will hide in a laundry basket, I’m not sure I’m the one to ask,” the Dane commented. “So, in this case I don’t know, I think no.”
The half-French midfielder also remarked on the history of the opposition the Lilywhites are facing. “The history of the club is enormous; they have always had great players and it is true today.
“It is going to be a tough game in an aggressive stadium. It will be a hard match but we will do our best.”
Marseille failed to hold on to all three points in their previous game when they drew 2-2 with Strasbourg, due to a Kevin Gameiro 93rd minute equaliser.
Despite this, they currently sit fifth in the Ligue 1 table, eleven points behind league leaders PSG.
Tottenham sit third in the Premier League and will be hoping to continue their European journey in the Champions League.
This will be one of the biggest games of the season for Antonio Conte’s side and with his absence it will be no easy feat to overcome Marseille.