Tottenham team news – Conte returns for Milan tie with Richarlison woe
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is reportedly ready to return to the dugout as Spurs attempt to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the Champions League last 16 first leg in AC Milan. Assistant coach Cristian Stellini has been leading the team as Conte recovered from gallbladder surgery and began preparations for Wednesday’s tie during the 1-0 defeat to Wolves on Saturday.
Eric Dier was left out of the side at Molineux as Stellini chose a back three of Cristian Romero, Clement Lenglet and Ben Davies while the England defender took up a role on the bench.
Dier is suspended for the Champions League tie after picking up his third booking of the competition and Stellini tried a back three without him in preparation for the Italian side, but were unable to keep Wolves at bay.
The defence is one of several areas that Conte will be pondering over as he will also wrestle with the idea of starting Richarlison, as Express Sport predicts the Spurs team to face Milan.
Goalkeeper: Fraser Forster
Fraser Forster looks set to continue deputising in goal amid Hugo Lloris’ absence. The French stopper could return in April from a knee injury, but Forster has played in every game since Lloris was sidelined following the 1-0 victory over Manchester City a month ago.
Brandon Austin has been named on the Spurs bench but has yet to make a start for the north London side and is unlikely to be thrown into the deep end for a crucial European tie.
Defence: Emerson Royal, Cristian Romero, Clement Lenglet, Ben Davies, Ivan Perisic
One change to the Spurs defence could come on the right, as Emerson may be preferred to January signing Pedro Porro. The Spaniard has shown flashes of improvement since he was lambasted by Tim Sherwood for his performance against Leicester, but Emerson has begun to make a U-turn on his Spurs career following some impressive displays in recent weeks.
Emerson has been nursing an injury that kept him out of the FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United, but could return while Ryan Sessegnon is unlikely to recover in time on the opposite flank.
Davinson Sanchez could come into the team as the trialled back-three without Dier failed to keep a clean sheet, but Stellini and Conte preferred the trio that started and Wolves and will likely use the same defence again.
Midfield: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp
Since Rodrigo Bentancur’s ACL rupture forced Oliver Skipp into the midfield, the young Englishman has been a bright spark and will likely continue alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Pape Matar Sarr has been used occasionally and the 20-year-old has also impressed, but it would be a surprise if he usurped either Skipp or Hojbjerg for the visit of Milan.
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