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Champions League: Tottenham possibly without four key players for Sporting Lisbon game, says Conte

London, Oct 24 (IANS) Tottenham manager Antonio Conte revealed on Sunday that the team could remain without four key players for the UEFA Champions League Group D match against Sporting Lisbon, scheduled to be played at the Jose Alvalade Stadium in Lisbon on Wednesday.

Cristian Romero and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg have missed Sunday’s 2-1 home loss to Newcastle after they joined Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison on the injury list.

“At this moment, we are struggling because we have injuries, players are recovering from injuries like Oliver Skipp, today, he played and his last game was in January, his performance was good. Also, Lucas Moura is recovering from an injury in his tendon, and you have to give time and go step by step to bring him back to the best physical condition,” Conte told Tottenham’s official website.

“Then, we have Richarlison, Kulusevski, Hojbjerg and Romero to check. After the game against United, for sure, fatigue, Pierre has played every game, the same for Cuti. Now, we’ll see. Richy and Deki are not available (for Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Wednesday night), the other two, we have to check and not take a risk, because we have other games to continue to play,” he said.

Antonio Conte praised the players for sticking to the task as the team fell to a 2-1 home loss against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday.

“We started well and had registered 11 efforts at goal – Nick Pope denying Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane – before the visitors opened the scoring on 30 minutes. Callum Wilson challenged Hugo Lloris outside the box, Hugo went down, Wilson clipped the ball into the empty net and after a VAR review, the goal stood.

Speaking to SPURSPLAY, Antonio said, “There is big disappointment because against United, I think we deserved to lose, after the game I said they deserved to win because they played better than us. Today, I think we started very well, Newcastle’s goalkeeper made two amazing saves and we created situations to score, to go ahead. Instead, with a long ball, it happened that we conceded a goal.”

“We started very well, we were playing well and creating situations to score but when we conceded, the confidence, for sure, went down a little. Also, we conceded the second goal after a few minutes. This second goal could kill everybody, but I have to be happy with the reaction of my players for what they showed in the second half,” he said.

–IANS

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