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Spurs: Antonio Conte must make brutal Lucas Moura call vs Leeds

Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action in Sunday’s late kick-off as they welcome Leeds United to north London for Antonio Conte’s first home game in charge of the club.

And the 52-year-old Italian has plenty to ponder after his first two matches in the dugout saw his Spurs side narrowly defeat Vitesse 3-2 in the Europa Conference League before making his top-flight bow with a 0-0 draw at Everton before the international break.

A lot of Spurs’ major problems still linger but that should be expected having only been appointed a week before his key stars competed on the biggest stage.

Should Conte axe Moura for a no.10 vs Leeds?





For instance, the Lilywhites have failed to score a Premier League goal in around five hours of playing time, the last being Heung-min Son’s winner at Newcastle United, whilst their last shot on target came nearly four hours ago.

Similarly, the north Londoners rank second-bottom for shots per game (10.1), meaning only the division’s basement boys, Norwich City (10), have managed fewer. Meanwhile, they are also the second-worst team for expected goals, managing an xG of just 11.43.

It’s clear, on the evidence above, that Conte has a massive problem with creativity in the final third, and scoring goals. Perhaps his initial system at the club – a 3-4-3 of sorts – isn’t helping.

Recently, it has been mooted by reporter Alasdair Gold that the former Chelsea boss could tinker with his system to deploy an attacking no.10, rather than two inside forwards behind Harry Kane.

You could argue that the lack of a creative middle man is exactly what is holding them back right now, so wingers – on top of wing-backs – isn’t necessary.

That could well be a solid solution to the problem but it means someone has to unfortunately make way, and that won’t be Son. We could well see Lucas Moura most at risk, despite his performances for the club this season.

Indeed, only Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (7.15) has managed a better average WhoScored rating this campaign than the £18m-rated Brazilian winger (7.04) but given the change in system, he simply cannot be accommodated.

However, what makes this even better for the Italian head coach is the subsequent use of the 29-year-old dynamo from the bench.

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His pace and tenacity could cause all sorts of problems when the opposition is looking a little leggy, and with Marcelo Bielsa demanding relentless work rate throughout, Moura could feast as a substitute late in the second half today.

Spurs teammate Eric Dier once dubbed him a “nightmare” to train against, so that only bolsters such claims.

Conte needs a man in the middle to pull the strings and that can’t be Moura, so he should be be the unlucky casualty from the starting XI. Instead, the 52-year-old ought to turn to Tanguy Ndombele or Dele Alli.

It’s bold and brutal but it could be the solution Spurs need.

AND in other news, Spurs could find new Christian Eriksen after big January transfer boost

Article title: Spurs: Antonio Conte must make brutal Lucas Moura call vs Leeds

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