As revealed by manager Antonio Conte during his pre-game press conference, the Italian is able to welcome back versatile defender Ben Davies to his matchday squad, having missed the north London derby defeat over the weekend.
“We have recovered Ben Davies. He will be on the bench. He is available,” he said (via The Athletic).
A hairline fracture beneath his knee ruled him out of international duty for Wales and he had missed Spurs’ last two outings in the Premier League, though he is now set to be named on the bench this evening.
The 29-year-old is a vital part of Conte’s squad, through both his experience and versatility, and whilst he may not feature from the off at the Waldstadion, he could come off the bench and now he’s also in contention for this weekend’s Premier League clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.
A full-back by trade, Davies has benefitted from the Italian’s three-at-the-back system by being his primary choice for the left-sided central defensive role, where to some extent, he has thrived. It’s a role he knows well from his Wales duties too.
Indeed, when compared to his positional peers across Europe, the former Swansea City ace ranks amongst the top 5% for progressive carries (5.82), the top 6% for shot-creating actions (1.06), the top 10% for progressive passes (4.21) and the top 13% for assists (0.06) per 90, via FBref.
The £60k-per-week talent is clearly astute on the ball, so it’s no wonder that Conte trusts him to start every week when fit – only three other players have registered more minutes under the Italian since his arrival in November 2021.
Speaking about his adaptable defender, Conte has previously lauded the 29-year-old as a “reliable” and “really good” player to the club’s official website, whilst Bundesliga statistician Ben Griffis once dubbed him a “beast of a player” who’s become “truly world-class,” which only adds to just how good he is for club and country.
As such, it’s certainly a big boost to have him back around heading into tonight’s game. Conte will surely be delighted by the news, irrespective of whether he starts over in Germany or is kept back for the trip to the Seagulls this weekend.