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Tottenham: Conte must unleash Lucas Moura v Sporting Lisbon

Tottenham Hotspur are back in action on Wednesday night at home to Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon, with Antonio Conte’s side still having it all to do to secure their place in the next round of the Champions League.

The north Londoners are currently top of Group D having picked up seven points from their opening four group games, although with only three points separating the Premier League side and bottom club Eintracht Frankfurt, it is likely to go down to the wire in terms of who will progress.

The Lilywhites head into the clash against Ruben Amorim’s side having lost their last two top-flight games, suffering a 2-0 defeat away to Manchester United at Old Trafford in midweek before slipping up at home to Newcastle United on Sunday.

That latter result saw the hosts ultimately undone by first-half strikes from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron, with a Harry Kane header after the interval unable to spark a late rally against Eddie Howe’s side.

That frustrating loss to the Magpies did see forgotten man Lucas Moura make arguably his most telling involvement of the season so far, though, with the Brazil international featuring off the bench for the final 24 minutes, having only been involved sporadically in recent months.

Niggling injuries have reduced the 30-year-old to a bit-part role so far this term, although it will likely be pleasing to see the fleet-footed forward working his way back to full fitness having now featured as a substitute in each of the past three league games.

The £13.5m-rated ace unsurprisingly looked somewhat ‘rusty‘ at the weekend – according to football.london’s Alasdair Gold – but he did make his presence felt in that cameo outing after winning six of his ten duels, while also attempting three dribbles.

Although it remains to be seen if the 35-cap Brazilian can start tomorrow night’s clash – with Conte suggesting that he will have to “check” on the player’s fitness – it could well be worth the gamble to thrust the diminutive ace into the fray, particularly amid the lack of attacking options at present.

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How well do you know Spurs manager Antonio Conte? Question 1. During his playing days, in which position did Conte typically operate?

The injury absence of both Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison has seen the former Chelsea boss forced to deploy a 3-5-2 formation in recent games, but that approach has seemingly not been fruitful, with an extra attacking body needed alongside Heung-min Son and Harry Kane.

In Moura, the Italian could well unleash an asset who can provide something “different” – in the words of Glenn Hoddle – as a result of his ability to run with the ball and also chip in with a telling goalscoring touch when needed.

The £90k-per-week dynamo – who has 65 goal contributions to his name in 208 Spurs appearances to date – is yet to start a match this term having previously been linked with an exit over the summer, although now could well be his chance to shine.

A man who knows all about being the hero on Champions League nights – following that hat trick against Ajax a few years ago – Moura could prove himself the difference-maker yet again for Tottenham if Conte unleashes him here.

Article title: Tottenham: Conte must unleash Lucas Moura v Sporting Lisbon

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