Tottenham injury news: 'Real Blow' for Antonio Conte ahead of North London derby

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Sky Sports reporter Michael Bridge said that he thought Cristian Romero would be fit enough to return for the north London derby – and admitted that his absence will be a big blow for Tottenham.

Spurs face their arch rivals in a crunch Premier League clash on Sunday afternoon, but Romero won’t be available to play.

What’s the latest news with Romero?

The centre-back hasn’t played since suffering a hamstring tear whilst playing for Argentina in a World Cup qualifier against Brazil on 17 November.

Since hobbling out of that game, Romero has missed 15 games in all competitions, eight of which have come in the Premier League.

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But Spurs have coped well in his absence, collecting 18 points from those eight league matches and have conceded just four goals.

Antonio Conte was recently asked for an update on Romero’s condition and said that he’s “very close” to returning to action. Unfortunately, he won’t recover in time to play any part against Arsenal, but he appears ahead of schedule, with Conte initially ruling him out until around February.

Regardless, with Spurs facing one of the most in-form sides in the top-flight and also their biggest rivals, Bridge knows exactly how key his absence could prove.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

What did Bridge say about Romero?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “He’s obviously going to miss the derby, which is a real blow. I thought he might be back for that.”

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Who will start in Romero’s absence?

Conte has some huge decisions to make ahead of the Arsenal game, but his hands are almost tied behind his back in a defensive sense. Romero is already out, while Eric Dier, another of his first-choice centre-backs, has missed the last three games.

Ben Davies has started all but one Premier League game under Conte, so will slot into the left-sided centre-back role, while Davinson Sanchez has shown slight improvements in recent weeks and should also start.

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But if Dier isn’t available, Conte has a major problem in terms of who starts alongside those two
Japhet Tanganga has started the last three games but was arguably at fault for each of the four goals that Spurs conceded in that period. Meanwhile, Joe Rodon still hasn’t played a minute in the league under Conte and remains out of favour.

Therefore, ahead of essentially Spurs’ biggest game of the season, it could be another anxious afternoon for the Italian.

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