Tottenham Hotspur insider John Wenham expects summer signing Ivan Perisic to start against Chelsea this afternoon.
The lowdown: Elite performer
The 33-year-old Croatia international joined Tottenham on a free transfer following the expiration of a contract at Inter Milan this summer, reuniting with Antonio Conte in the process.
Having come from the bench for a 24-minute cameo during the opening day victory over Southampton, one well-informed onlooker has suggested that Perisic’s big game experience could see him earn a start in the first London derby of the 2022/23 campaign…
The latest: ‘One change’
Speaking to Football Insider, Wenham – who breaks news involving Spurs on his Lilywhite Rose social media – predicted Conte could make one solitary change to the starting XI, bringing in the 113-cap veteran.
He said: “I would stick with the same back three for Chelsea. So that would be Romero, Davies and Sanchez. I would make one change to the defence and I know it would be harsh.
“I know Sessegnon played well and scored against Southampton but I would bring in Perisic for the Chelsea game. He has played in big arenas, he understands these kinds of games. He will know important it is to go to Chelsea and not lose.
“Apart from that, I would keep it the same. I think Royal has done well and his confidence must be quite high. I’d also keep Hojbjerg in there with the possibility of Yves Bissouma coming on. He will go alongside Bentancur and then we have the usual attack of Kane, Son and Kulusevski.”
The verdict: Spot on
Albeit Ryan Sessegnon performed impressively at left-wing-back in a 7.2 Sofascore-rated display last weekend, a meeting with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge presents a whole new beast for the Lilywhites and utilising Perisic’s vast experience could be pivotal.
Last season, the Croatian – who was dubbed a ‘physical monster’ by Eurosport journalist Siavoush Fallahi in January – scored 10 times and provided nine assists in 48 appearances across all competitions for Inter, operating predominantly in an attacking wing-back role.
Fellow summer arrival Richarlison is also available to Conte and could make a Tottenham debut after serving a suspension carried over from last season, although the Brazilian may have to wait for an opportunity from the bench if Wenham is proven to be accurate in his prediction.
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