The pre-match thoughts of Antonio Conte
I decided to pick the same 11 players. I trust them and I think this is the best solution for us today. This game isn’t decisive, but it’s really important. Every manager has a bit of concern about injuries because we are starting a long road with many games in a short period of time. Fingers crossed.
There’s a big game at Anfield tonight, a long overdue first competitive meeting between two of Britain’s giants. Scott Murray is watching that one.
“So Conte starts Emerson Royal,” sniffs Yash Gupta. “That was never a red card but also he shouldn’t have made the challenge anyway. Ever since he arrived at the club, Emerson has been a polarising figure. I still remember his debut against Crystal Palace where I thought, ‘Wow, Tottenham moved on from Aurier only to sign Brazilian Matt Doherty.’ Doherty wasn’t great back then.
”I’ve watched this video many times today. I can’t stop sniggering.”
I feared that video was going to end in a Sopranos-style boat trip.
The other game in this group, Marseille v Sporting Lisbon, is an early kick-off. Marseille lead 3-1 at half-time, and Sporting have had their keeper Antonio Adan sent off. Group D is getting extremely tight.
Antonio Conte trolls the trolls by sticking with the same team that lost at the Emirates on Saturday. Frankfurt make two changes: Kristijan Jakic and Djibril Sow replace Luca Pellegrini and the injured Mario Gotze.
Eintracht Frankfurt (3-4-2-1) Trapp; Tuta, Hasebe, N’Dicka; Knauff, Rode, Sow, Jakic; Lindstrom, Kamada; Muani.
Substitutes: Grahl, Ramaj, Smolcic, Alidou, Borre, Alario, Chandler, Lenz, Dina Ebimbe, Pellegrini.
Spurs (3-4-3) Lloris; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Emerson, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Perisic; Richarlison, Kane, Son.
Substitutes: Forster, Austin, Doherty, Skipp, Sanchez, Gil, Sessegnon, Spence, Sarr, Davies, Bissouma, White.
Good evening. Spurs might be the best counter-attacking team in England, so it’s hard to make sense of their away record this season. They’ve won only one game in five, against Nottingham Forest, and were comprehensively outplayed at Chelsea (even though they drew) and Arsenal. They also lost 2-0 away to Sporting Lisbon in the last round of Champions League games, which makes this trip to Eintracht Frankfurt, if not quite a musn’t-lose game, then at least a really-could-do-without-losing-for-the-sake-of-morale-and-potential-qualification-for-the-knockout-stages game.
A crisis, perceived or actual, is never far away in the extreme world of English football, and Antonio Conte had to use his pre-match press conference to remind people that maybe, just maybe, he knows more about football management than Twitter’s finest. But Conte also knows that, if Tottenham lose tonight against last year’s Europa League winners, the noise will get louder.
Kick off 8pm.