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Antonio Conte confirms Fraser Forster will start against Brentford

Antonio Conte confirms Fraser Forster will start against Brentford

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has revealed that Fraser Forster will make his Premier League debut for the club in their Boxing Day clash with Brentford.

The 34-year-old has acted as Hugo Lloris‘s backup since arriving on a free transfer over the summer and has only made one appearance in an EFL Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Forster started for Tottenham in Wednesday’s friendly draw with Nice in the absence of Lloris, who has been representing France at the World Cup for the past few weeks.

Conte’s number one suffered penalty shootout heartbreak to Argentina in last Sunday’s final, and the Tottenham boss has admitted that he is in no position to bring Lloris back into the starting lineup for Monday’s game.

As a result, Forster will make just his second appearance for Spurs at the Brentford Community Stadium, and Ivan Perisic will also be in contention to play, but World Cup winner Cristian Romero will understandably miss out.

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris celebrates on December 10, 2022© Reuters

“About the players that played the final and third-fourth place, Perisic, Hugo and Cuti, only Ivan, who came back today and had a training session with us, is available for the game against Brentford. About Lloris we want him to stay with us and want him to stay on the bench against Brentford,” quotes Conte as saying in his pre-game press conference.

“As you know very well it is important also after World Cup to give a bit of rest to these players. About Cuti, he will be available for next game against Aston Villa, I hope so.

“Fraser, we are talking about a reliable keeper, a good keeper. I remember when I was the coach of Juventus that he played with Celtic, and he impressed me a lot during the game.

“We played there in the last-16 against Celtic. We are talking about a really good professional player, and he is reliable, and I can count on him. He is going to play against Brentford.”

Conte’s contract with Tottenham is due to expire at the end of the current season, but the Italian is understood to have reopened discussions with the Lilywhites over a renewal during the World Cup break.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte looks dejected on November 6, 2022© Reuters

The 53-year-old was reluctant to discuss his future on Friday, but he insisted that he was “really happy” with life at Tottenham, saying: “No, but I think I would like also in the future to not speak about this matter in the press conference.

“I think it is much more important the game we are going to play, in this case Brentford. But what I can tell you is I am really happy in the club, to work here and I have a really good relationship with the club.

“We talk every day with the club and try to find in every situation the best solution. But I think we have six months to stay together, to enjoy the situation and then we find, I repeat, the best solution. But I am really happy here. This is very, very important for me.”

As well as Romero, Tottenham are also working without the suspended Rodrigo Bentancur for Monday’s game, although the Uruguayan is nursing a groin injury anyway.

Ben Davies has shaken off a concern of his own to make himself available, but Richarlison will spend between three and four weeks recovering from the hamstring issue he sustained in Brazil’s quarter-final defeat to Croatia.

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