Perisic up top with Kane in Tottenham 11, Kulusevski back to bench

(Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
(Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /

In their first match without Heung-min Son, Tottenham Hotspur is leveraging the versatility of Perisic to give Kane a partner versus Liverpool.

It will be a difficult final three matches for Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the World Cup; replacing the injured Son is a near-impossible task. In the first match since the South Korean’s injury, Antonio Conte has gone with the player he knows the best in the team, Ivan Perisic.

Perisic starting is good news for Tottenham

With Perisic starting, along with Ryan Sessegnon and Emerson Royal, it means Tottenham is likely playing with two strikers in a 3-5-2 formation. Perisic offers some of the same attributes as Son: his ability to get behind defenses, run at players, and create service into the box.

Possibly the most important characteristic they share is their ability on set pieces, as Perisic is likely to be on most corners and free kicks in the game.

The real question about Perisic is how much hold-up play he can provide to help link up with Kane. While Son and Harry Kane have an almost symbiotic connection at times, it has not quite been at its peak this season. If Perisic can find that spark on both the giving and receiving end of passes to and from Kane, it can help Tottenham get on track.

Conte has opted for three central midfielders between Sessegnon and Royal.  Yves Bissouma returns to the 11 after his strong showing in place of Son midweek, joining the usual duo of Pierre Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur.

Defensively, with Cristian Romero still out, Eric Dier remains at right back, with Clement Lenglet at center back and Ben Davies on the left. Hugo Lloris is in goal, captaining the team.

Kulusevski is back in the squad for Spurs

Maybe the happiest news for Spurs fans is the return of Dejan Kulusevski to the team. Kulusevski has proven to be a real difference-maker for Tottenham in his short time at the club. Having the Swede back in the team provides a different dimension if he can play. Given the conditions, Conte may not want to take that chance.

Regardless, having Deki back in the team is certainly a boost and, hopefully, like Perisic, will help Tottenham cope in Son’s absence.

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