Antonio Conte has described his job at Tottenham Hotspur as "the biggest challenge" of his career so far.
The Italian replaced Nuno Espírito Santo last month after Tottenham's slow start to the campaign, which saw seven defeats in 17 outings. Conte has won one, drawn one, and lost one of his games in charge so far, that defeat a humbling Europa League outing against Slovenian minnows NŠ Mura.
The ingredients are there for Spurs to fight on many fronts this campaign. They are five points off the top four with two games in hand, have a Carabao Cup Quarter-Final against West Ham United to look forward to later this month, and will progress through to the Europa Conference League knockout stages if they beat Rennes next week.
However, there is a feeling that a squad packed with internationals, including Hugo Lloris, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Son Heung-min (above), Harry Kane, is nowhere near fulfilling its enormous potential.
Only Norwich City (8) have scored fewer goals than Tottenham this season (11), Spurs also average the fewest shots per game (10.3) in this season's top flight. Harry Kane (below), who netted seven goals for England in two games last month, has just one Premier League goal to his name.
When asked for Hot Off The Press how Tottenham will line up under Antonio Conte, football.london's Emma De Duve, said: "Unless anyone picks up knocks beforehand, I would imagine he will line-up the same as he was going to against Burnley, sticking with his favoured 3-4-3 formation. I think he will keep mostly the same team with Davinson Sanchez seeming to get the nod to replace the injured Cristian Romero and Oliver Skipp replacing Harry Winks after he was suspended against Leeds.
My predicted line-up would be: Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Royal, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Reguilon; Son, Kane, Moura"
Zanka and Tariqe Fosu (both hamstring) are out, joining Kris Ajer (hamstring), Josh Dasilva (hip), Julian Jeanvier and David Raya (both knee) on the absentee list.
Antonio Conte will be without Christian Romero (hamstring) and Giovani Lo Celso (knee) for tonight's game.
- Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane has scored eight goals in eight Premier League appearances on Thursdays, more than any other player in the competition. He averages a goal every 84 minutes in Thursday matches, only having a better record on Tuesdays (one every 81 minutes).
- Spurs are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings with Brentford in all competitions (W8 D3), since a 2-0 defeat in March 1948. Their most recent meeting was in the EFL Cup last season, a 2-0 semi-final victory for Spurs.
- Brentford striker Ivan Toney has scored four Premier League goals for the Bees this season, two more than any team-mate. Since the start of last season, Toney has netted 11 penalties in league matches, more than any other player in England’s top four tiers.
- The Bees have only lost one of their six Premier League away matches so far this season (W2 D3). However, they’ve conceded six goals in their last two on the road in the competition, three times the amount they had in their first four away from home (two).
A serial winner, Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping that Antonio Conte can add to his 23 career trophies and end Spurs' 13-year wait for a major piece of silverware.
The majority of Conte's playing career was spent at Juventus where he made 418 appearances in 13 years. While at the heart of the Juve midfield, he won five league titles, four Italian Super Cups, the Champions League, UEFA Cup, Italian Cup, Intertoto Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Intercontinental Cup. He also earned 20 caps for Italy, scoring twice, and helping his nation to the 1994 World Cup Final and the 2000 European Championships final.
After retirement in 2004 he was assistant manager at Siena before becoming Head Coach at Arezzo. Despite relegation during his first season in charge, Serie B Bari appointed him as Head Coach in December 2007. He led them away from relegation during his first six months in charge and the following season they were crowned Serie B Champions. He left that summer, joining Atalanta and Siena before eventually landing the Juve job in May 2011. He led Juve to the title in all three of his seasons in charge, picking up two Italian Super Cups as well, before becoming Italian National Team coach. As coach of the Azzurri, he won 14 of his 25 games in charge, reaching the Quarter-Finals of the 2016 European Championships, joining Chelsea immediately following the tournament. Conte won the Premier League during his first season in England and added an FA Cup the following year with a ninth Serie A title coming with Inter Milan last season.
THE OPPOSITION VIEW
Antonio Conte told tottenhamhotspur.com: "We were all angry [after NS Mura defeat]. It was a bad effort and it was not a good match for us, but now we have to move on. We have a game against Brentford and we know it's a good team.
"We must be well organised, because they are. They have played together for many years and they have a good and young coach, so we need a good effort. We need to be well prepared, and that is on many parameters, physically, mentally and tactically."
Referee: Jon Moss
Assistant Referees: Marc Perry and Timothy Wood
Fourth Official: Graham Scott
Video Assistant Referee: Peter Bankes
Additional Video Assistant Referee: James Mainwaring
Tottenham Hotspur 2021/22
117 fouls - 16th in Premier League
22 yellow cards - 14th in Premier League
1 red cards - Third-most in Premier League
Visiting fans are accommodated in Blocks 114-118 located in the North-East corner of the stadium, accessed via Gate 11. Please note, that the closest station to the away section is Northumberland Park. Brentford fans should enter from Worcester Avenue.
Tottenham ask fans to complete the following before making their journey to the ground:
- Be ready to present your NHS Covid Pass or proof of a negative PCR or rapid Lateral Flow Test (LFT) taken no more than 48 Hours before kick-off.
- Bring a face mask or face covering
- Leave your bags at home, unless they meet the bag policy
- Bring a form of cashless payment as cash is not accepted anywhere in the stadium
HOW TO FOLLOW
Tonight's game is live on Amazon Prime.
Charlie Macdonald and Jonathan Douglas will also be joining Mark Burridge for live commentary on BeesPlayer.
For fans around the world, the game is being shown live through the Premier League's broadcast partners. Click here to see if the game is on where you are.