Conte accused of ‘getting excuses in early’ with fixture ‘complaints’; Spurs backed to win in CL

·2-min read
Antonio Conte during a match Credit: PA Images
Antonio Conte during a match Credit: PA Images

Sporting’s game plan against Tottenham will “suit” the “counter-attacking style” of Antonio Conte, according to Chris Sutton.

The Premier League club defeated Marseille 2-0 in their opening Champions League fixture.

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Summer signing Richarlison scored both goals in the match, marking his debut in the competition in perfect fashion on an emotional night for him and his family.

Tottenham were handed a pretty favourable group, it has to be said.

As well as Sporting and Marseille, Conte’s side will take on Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt.

Despite the Italian head coach’s poor record in Europe, you would expect his side to advance to the last 16 as group winners.

In 37 games in the Champions League, Conte has won 13, drawn 13 and lost 11.

This is during spells with Spurs, albeit one match, Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan.

He has failed to get any further than the quarter-finals and has been eliminated in the group stage in his last two appearances in the competition, and three times in total out of five campaigns.

This season could be different for the Italian, however.

Spurs made some great signings in the summer transfer window, bolstering their squad accordingly.

Their start to the season has been stellar, as well.

Conte’s side are currently third in the Premier League with 14 points out of a possible 18 and are one of two teams yet to taste defeat in the top flight this term.

Pundit and former Premier League striker Sutton has backed Spurs to win 2-1 against Sporting on Tuesday evening.

Before his side’s win against Marseille, Conte complained about the upcoming fixture congestion.

And Sutton has hinted that the Spurs boss was perhaps “getting his excuses in early” before the club’s opening match in the Champions League.

“Antonio Conte doesn’t boast the greatest Champions League record. Not with Juventus, Chelsea or Inter Milan,” he wrote for the Daily Mail.

“You wondered whether he was getting his excuses in early when complaining about Tottenham’s fixture congestion before last week’s opening group game.

“Yet Spurs got off to a flyer against Marseille, an emotional Richarlison scoring twice as he continues to show why he was worth their £60million investment.

“Sporting are at home in Lisbon so I expect they’ll take the game to Tottenham, but that will suit Conte’s counter-attacking style.

“They have got the flying arrows who can hurt Sporting and make it two wins from two in their group.”

Spurs were not in action over the weekend following the postponement of all football matches in England.

They were poised to take on Manchester City at the Etihad.

Next up in the Premier League for Conte and his players is Leicester City, who are bottom of the table with zero wins.

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