Tottenham Hotspur-Norwich City Preview
Antonio Conte says Tottenham can stomach any sickness crisis ahead of their crucial final-day Premier League showdown with bottom side Norwich City on Sunday.
Spurs know that anything other than defeat at Carrow Road this weekend will see them finish above fierce rivals Arsenal in the final Champions League qualification spot. But their preparations for the game have been hit by an illness bug in the camp, with several players – star striker Harry Kane among them – being laid low.
Providing an update on Friday, however, head coach Conte stated he expects Kane to be available against Norwich.
"In the last game we had Dejan Kulusevski ill, and he didn't train on Saturday but was good to play (on the Sunday)," Conte said. "Harry doesn't want to miss this type of game. If you remember the last game, the game against Burnley, we had three, four cases of a stomach problem. This week we've also had a couple of cases. But in this moment, this virus is the last of our problems, because we are very close to reaching a big achievement for the club, for our fans and for the players.
"We are totally focused on the game and the situation of the players, and the availability is the same as for the last game against Burnley."
Norwich are playing for pride alone, with their relegation to the second tier being confirmed nearly three weeks ago.
The Canaries can provide Arsenal with a huge helping hand by beating Spurs, but City boss Dean Smith is only focused on his own side signing off with a positive performance.
"I have had texts off Arsenal fans, and I have had texts off Tottenham fans, but I have no allegiance to either so there is no extra motivation at all," he said. "That (top four battle) doesn't affect us at all. It is a game of football. It is our last home game of the season and last Premier League game of the season."
Norwich City - Teemu Pukki
Pukki was on target for Norwich in their 1-1 draw at Wolves last weekend and now has 11 league goals for the season. That is the same amount the striker managed the last time City competed in the top flight two years ago, and he now has a chance to better it in this final game of the campaign.
Tottenham - Son Heung-min
Even if Kane is not fit enough to play a part against Norwich, Tottenham have another prolific forward in Son to lead their attack. The South Korea international has enjoyed his best goalscoring season to date with 21 goals in the Premier League, just one short of Golden Boot leader Mohamed Salah.
- Norwich have won just one of their last nine league games against Tottenham (D3 L5), a 1-0 home victory in February 2014. The Canaries have conceded at least twice in each of their last five against Spurs (D1 L4).
- Spurs have lost just one of their last 10 away league games against Norwich (W6 D3), going down 1-0 in February 2014.
- This is the sixth time Spurs have faced a side already relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the season, though they have lost more of those games (three) than they have won (two) – they beat Wolves in 2003-04 and Hull City in 2016-17, but lost against Leicester City in 2001-02, Burnley in 2009-10 and Newcastle United in 2015-16.
- Norwich have won their final league game in just two of their nine Premier League campaigns (D3 L4), beating Aston Villa in 2011-12 and Manchester City in 2012-13. The Canaries have lost their last three such games by an aggregate score of 10-0.
- Conte could become the fifth manager to finish in the top four of the Premier League with two different clubs, after Kenny Dalglish, Rafael Benitez, Claudio Ranieri and Jose Mourinho.
Updated May 20, 2022