Tottenham Hotspur hosts Portsmouth in the third round of the FA Cup Saturday at lunchtime; this is the team Conte should start for the cup clash.
Having just recovered all their players from the World Cup and having had time to work with a number of his squad players, Antonio Conte should lean into his rotation on Saturday to face Pompey at home. With the opportunities to break in more of his squad diminishing, Conte has to leverage this opportunity.
Several Spurs are still out, injured
Several players, including Rodrigo Bentancur, Richarlison, Dejan Kulusevski, and Lucas Moura, will not return for this game. This means the squad is thin, and Conte can take one of two approaches.
One approach could be to play all his stars like Harry Kane and Heung-min Son from the beginning, hoping to win the game early and bring on squad players later. The other approach would be to play the squad players from the start and have the likes of Son and Kane available as super-subs if the need arises.
Given the poor starts from the regular line-up of late, Spurs are better off with some rotation to start, which is reflected in our team.
Projected Tottenham Forwards
Tottenham will still play with three forwards; they will not be the three forwards we would normally expect.
Left forward – Ivan Perisic
Given his minutes at the World Cup and since starting, Ivan Perisic seems strange. However, the Croatian does not play forward enough, and getting Sonny some rest is more important for the team. Perisic’s versatility and ability to run at defenders should benefit a weaker-than-normal team.
Center-forward – Harvey White
It is a Tottenham academy graduate and former loanee starting at center-forward, just not Kane. White spent some time on loan at Portsmouth and played well in the friendlies during the World Cup break. With opportunities for minutes growing more limited, this seems like the perfect time to start White.
Right-forward – Bryan Gil
Maybe the Spaniard starts on the left, but Bryan Gil has to start either way. Gil was loads better against Crystal Palace than he was against Aston Villa and showed a willingness to work on the pitch. Hopefully, his assist to Kane will grow his confidence. Gil needs the minutes to grow his confidence and his game.