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Tottenham Hotspur: Predicted XI to face Brentford

Tottenham Hotspur return to action today with a trip to face Brentford as the Premier League gets back underway.

Having entered into the World Cup break off the back of an unconvincing 4-3 win over Leeds United, Spurs face a tough test away from home against the 10th-placed Bees.

Welcoming back a host of players who featured in Qatar, it remains a tough task to predict who will be given extra rest by Antonio Conte, and who will be thrown straight back into the fold.

With that in mind, here’s the starting XI that we’re predicting for today’s clash at the Gtech Community Stadium (3-4-3):

(GK) Forster; (RWB) Royal, (CB) Davies, (CB) Dier, (CB) Lenglet; (LWB) Doherty; (CM) Hojbjerg, (CM) Bissouma; (RW) Kulusevski, (ST) Kane, (LW) Son

Conte is expected to make just four changes from the team which defeated Jesse Marsch’s side, all of those set to be enforced alterations.

Following the disappointment of losing the World Cup final, this game will come just too early for the returning Hugo Lloris. As such, their £13m-ratedleader”, as dubbed by The Athletic’s Seb Stafford-Bloor, will drop out for Fraser Forster’s first Premier League start of the season.

The £75k-per-week shot-stopper has only made one appearance in all competitions since his summer move and is yet to make his Premier League debut for the Lilywhites.

Cristian Romero is also likely to be absent today, having been on the other end of the result in that unforgettable World Cup final in which Argentina triumphed over France.

Therefore, the back three will again be made up of Eric Dier, Clement Lenglet and Ben Davies, who should all return well-rested having either exited the World Cup before the semi-finals or not gone to the tournament at all.

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Ivan Perisic made it to the third-placed play-off, therefore featuring as deep into the World Cup as Lloris and Romero. This will see him drop out of the team from the win over Leeds. In turn, Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty are expected to take up the wing-back roles, with the latter coming in for Perisic on the left.

Due to their team’s group stage exits in the World Cup, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur returned to north London with little fatigue. However, with the latter suspended, he will have to be replaced, with Yves Bissouma the likeliest candidate to fill the void.

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In the front three, despite thriving in Qatar with three goals, Richarlison will be unavailable following his injury for Brazil two weeks ago. He will be replaced by Heung-min Son, who continues to play in a mask after fracturing his eye socket in the autumn.

That leaves Dejan Kulusevksi and Harry Kane to take up the final attacking places, leaving Conte with a strong team despite the various absentees.