Antonio Conte: ‘Spurs must learn how to kill the game’
New Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has told his players that ‘when you have to kill the game, you need to kill the game’ and not let teams back into matches. Conte was speaking after Tottenham survived a second half scare to win 3-2 over Vitesse in the Europa Conference League.
Everton vs Tottenham: Line-ups
Everton Could Ruin Conte Party
October’s 5-2 humbling at the hands of Watford represented Everton’s ninth league defeat of the calendar year at Goodison Park – not since 1993 has that record stretched into the double figures – but their record against the Lilywhites makes for bleak reading for the home crowd.
The Toffees did march to a 1-0 win over Tottenham in the capital last season, but that triumph represents their only victory from their last 17 Premier League games against Spurs, who have gone unbeaten in their last eight top-flight games at Goodison Park.
It was far from an ideal way for the Premier League and Serie A-winning coach to open his account for Spurs, but a victory on his debut cannot be sniffed at as the Italian prepares to return to hostile away territory in English football.
After the Lilywhites capitulated against Manchester United under Nuno Espirito Santo, Conte takes over with his side sat ninth in the Premier League table – which could change after Saturday’s games – and they sit just one point and one place above Everton ahead of this clash.
Spurs suffered three defeats from their last four Premier League games of the Santo era – conceding nine goals in that miserable run – but Conte knows a thing or two about shutting up shop in this fixture, with his former Chelsea side not conceding once against Everton under his tutelage.
Spurs’ new manager bounce seemed to last for all of 30 minutes against Vitesse, and with Conte set to stick with the majority of players who started that game, the quick turnaround and jellied legs will impact the visitors’ chances of a positive result here. Everton have hardly inspired confidence in recent weeks either, but with the hosts feeling far more refreshed, we have confidence in the Toffees to pick up a point against a fatigued Spurs outfit.