Antonio Conte “relaxed” due to Tottenham vs Manchester City being postponed before Sporting CP clash
Tottenham vs Manchester City, as it is common knowledge by now, was postponed along with other gameweek 7 fixtures last weekend due to Her Majesty The Queen’s passing on Thursday, September 8 in Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
This being a World Cup year, the fixtures are already congested due to the event in Qatar taking place in the Winter season in November. To add to that, the postponed gameweek 7 fixtures are now supposed to be played later in the season.
The revised dates aren’t released as of now but it remains to be seen if they can be fit in before the end of 2022, or if we see them being played out next year. However, manager Antonio Conte says he is more “relaxed” due to the game being postponed.
After the 2-0 win against Olympique de Marseille, Conte admitted that City had an advantage going into the game due to an extra day of rest. Now, the Italian manager says he has the liberty to choose strong teams for the clash against Sporting CP tonight, and the one against Leicester City next weekend.
He said in his pre-match press conference before the clash against the Portuguese side (h/t Manchester Evening News):
“The game against City being postponed gave us the possibility to recover well and let me be more relaxed picking the starting XI. It let me try something different. I have changed some things in my mind.”
Spurs and Marseille played on Wednesday night, one day after Manchester City’s Champions League clash against Sevilla. The two were scheduled to play on Saturday night at the Etihad before the game was postponed. Conte added:
“The Premier League postponing helped us recover and have the chance to pick the best XI [against Sporting] and then for the next game against Leicester.”
Spurs played more or less their strongest team against the French giants at N17 knowing that it was an important game. If they have ambitions of winning the title, losing against Manchester City in both league games would make things next to impossible for us.
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Hence, it could have been a case of Conte having to choose his priorities early on this season – whether he wanted the Premier League title (or a top-four finish) more than a deep run in the UCL.