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Spurs: Antonio Conte handed potential boost ahead of Marseille clash

Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a potentially huge boost ahead of their Champions League meeting with Olympique de Marseille on Wednesday evening.

What’s the latest?

According to the UEFA website, Dimitri Payet is a doubt for the Ligue 1 side’s visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this week, as the 35-year-old forward is still struggling with a calf injury that saw him miss Marseille’s 2-0 victory over AJ Auxerre on Saturday.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the weekend’s fixture, the French club’s manager, Igor Tudor, said of the French international’s current condition: “Payet has calf pain. [Samuel] Gigot and Payet will not be available [against Auxerre].”

Conte should be delighted

Considering just how important Payet is within the Marseille side, the news that the attacker could be ruled out of the Tottenham fixture this Wednesday will undoubtedly come as a source of huge delight for Antonio Conte and his side.

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Indeed, the £4.5m-rated talent was in sensational form over his 31 Ligue 1 appearances last season, scoring 12 goals, registering ten assists and creating an enormous 18 big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.2 shots – 0.8 of which hit the target – making 3.2 key passes and completing 0.9 dribbles per game.

These returns saw the 35-year-old average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.73, not only ranking him as OM’s best performer in the league but also as the third-best player in the French top flight as a whole – behind only Paris Saint-Germain duo Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi – last time out, playing a key role in his side securing an impressive second place finish.

The £99k-per-week forward also caught the eye over his 11 fixtures in both the Europa League and Europa Conference League in 2021/22, scoring four goals and registering three assists over the two competitions.

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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?

As such, should the former West Ham United star indeed be ruled out against Spurs this week, it would most certainly come as excellent news for Conte, as the Frenchman is quite clearly one of Marseille’s most dangerous attacking threats – with his absence only likely to provide Tottenham’s chances of taking all three points from the Champions League clash with a considerable boost.