Why is Antonio Conte not in the dugout for Tottenham's Premier League clash with Man City? Italian coach's absence explained
- Conte recently underwent gallbladder surgery
- He remains in Italy during recovery
- Assistant coach Stellini to take charge
WHAT HAPPENED? After having surgery to remove his gallbladder just days ago, the Spurs boss was deemed unfit to take charge of a crucial Premier League clash against Manchester City. This was after the Italian coach fell ill with severe abdominal pain last Sunday. While he recovers from surgery, he'll watch the game from his home in Turin, with assistant manager Cristian Stellini taking over as the main man on the touchline.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: During his time as Spurs manager, Antonio Conte has been affected by a number of personal setbacks, including the recent death of his close friend and former team-mate Gianluca Vialli. His recent health problems are another blow, but he'll be keen to recover and return to London as soon as he's fit and healthy.
WHAT THEY SAID: Stellini spoke out about Conte's absence, stating: "We have to accept the situation. Maybe more Antonio has to accept the situation. It’s not easy for him not to be here with us but health is more important than everything." When asked about the matter of team selection, he added "We will [pick the team] together, because Antonio is not here to feel the training and everything so I will explain it to him and we will decide it together."
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WHAT'S NEXT FOR SPURS: For now, Stellini remains in charge, his side focused on a stern test against title contenders Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. And with an impressive recent record against City - Spurs have won their last four home games against Guardiola's team - Kane and co. will be going into this fixture targeting three points.