Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has suggested he may have to rest players for Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth, with the club’s Champions League showdown with Marseille looming on the immediate horizon.
Spurs’ Champions League group remains finely poised, after a controversial VAR call saw Harry Kane’s last-gasp winner against Sporting CP disallowed for offside in midweek.
The result leaves Group D well and truly in the balance, with any of its four sides still mathematically able to win the group.
Spurs currently lead the group, but will be wary of complacency ahead of what is sure to be a challenging away trip to Marseille.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of the trip to Bournemouth, Conte said: “What I think is that in the Premier League we have a lot of games to play in front of us.
“In the Champions League we want to have more games to play but there is a final on Tuesday and this is the difference between the game tomorrow in the Premier League and a game in the Champions League. In the Premier League you can have time to recover. In the Champions League, we are going to play a final.
“Also for this reason my decision has to be to make the best decision and to understand very well who are the players who are really tired because I don’t want to take risk (against Bournemouth) as for us it is a final on Tuesday.”
Spurs could rest the likes of Cristian Romero and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg against Bournemouth, with both players reportedly rushed back for the game against Sporting.
However, Harry Kane is almost certain to play against the Cherries, with other attacking options such as Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski out injured.
“There was a possibility if you have players to play in his place,” said Conte on the prospect of Kane being rested. “If Richarlison is out, Kulusevski is out, I have to ask the players to play otherwise we are in trouble. But Harry is okay, he stays well, he wants to play, he gives his availability and is always an important player for us.”
Spurs go into the game against Bournemouth third in the Premier League, but looking to arrest a recent slump that has seen them lose their last two league matches.