Football

Antonio Conte complains about fixture schedule after World Cup


Antonio Conte has admitted he is unhappy Tottenham are playing so soon after the conclusion of the World Cup.

The Premier League is back just over a week after Argentina and France battled it out in Qatar’s final. Cristian Romero got the better of Spurs teammate Hugo Lloris as the Albiceleste won on penalties after a 3-3 draw.

Tottenham boss Conte has already confirmed Romero will not play and Lloris will feature on the bench, while decisions will be made on quarter-finalists Harry Kane, Eric Dier – who appeared as a substitute in the friendly draw with Nice – and Ivan Perisic.

Spurs are up first on Boxing Day as they visit Brentford in the early kick off and Conte admitted the mid-season World Cup and its effects on fatigue will impact his team selection.

He said: “It is a strange situation and honestly to play so quickly – only one week after the World Cup – I am not really happy.

“But it is normal that when you have so many players play a tournament like this, especially during the season, that now it is not easy because the physical condition is not at the top.

“It is impossible to give them a lot of rest and for sure with the players that didn’t play the World Cup and we work for four weeks, now they are in a great physical condition.

“We work a lot on the tactical aspect and physical aspect. Now they are at a level that is better than the players who finished the World Cup.

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“For this reason I think I have to make the best decision for the game against Brentford. On one side I have players who I worked with for four weeks really well and on the other side, I have players who worked at the World Cup and are not at the top at the moment.”

Son Heung-min also got some minutes in the draw with Nice, while Kane has been pictured back in training ahead of the trip to Brentford.

Rodrigo Bentancur is injured but serving a suspension regardless, while Richarlison is sidelined for a month. Oliver Skipp and Djed Spence have also been suffering with fevers.





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