Tottenham Hotspur head into tonight’s Premier League meeting with Fulham in an extremely underwhelming run of form, with Antonio Conte‘s side having fallen to defeats in five of their last eight fixtures in the top-flight, results that have left Spurs six points adrift of Manchester United in fourth.
As such, should the Italian head coach wish to give his side the best possible chance of securing Champions League football at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium once again next season, it would appear vital for Tottenham to secure all three points at Craven Cottage this evening – especially as the fixture is something of an unexpected six-pointer.
Indeed, Marco Silva’s newly-promoted side have massively exceeded initial expectations since their return to the Premier League last summer, with the Cottagers currently sitting a mere two points behind Spurs in the table – while a home win would see the west London outfit leapfrog Conte’s team into fifth-place in the top flight standings.
So, with an incredibly important 90 minutes coming up for Tottenham, will Conte make any changes to the team that started the 4-2 defeat to Manchester City last Thursday? Here’s how we at Football FanCast think the Spurs starting XI could look against Fulham, along with the latest team and injury news.
While Antonio Conte revealed in his pre-match press conference that both Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski are fitness concerns ahead of tonight’s clash, we predict that the duo will be given the nod from the off against the Cottagers, while we also anticipate two changes from the side that started the loss at The Etihad last week.
Despite Hugo Lloris suffering yet another night to forget on Thursday, with the Frenchman arguably being at fault for City’s first and being beaten far too easily at his near post for the Citizens’ third, we predict the 36-year-old will keep his starting spot between the Tottenham sticks.
The back three are also unchanged, with Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Ben Davies once again lining up in defence, however, there is one change at wing-back, with Ivan Perisic – who also endured something of a shocker in Manchester – being replaced by “huge talent” – in the words Stefan Johansen – Ryan Sessegnon on the left, while Emerson Royal keeps his place on the right.
In the middle of the park, Conte’s preferred duo of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Bentancur get the nod as the Italian’s central midfield pairing – despite the Uruguay international having only recently recovered from injury and being put through an extremely strenuous 75-minute test on his return to Premier League football against City last time out.
The second and final change comes in the front three, with Heung-min Son – who has been well below par in recent weeks, with Danny Murphy claiming the 30-year-old has “given up” trying to win – making way for Richarlison on the left, while Harry Kane and Kulusevski make up Tottenham’s attacking trident.