Why was Yves Bissouma not playing in Tottenham vs Portsmouth?

Tottenham Hotspur advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup thanks to a narrow but hardly nervy 1-0 win at home to third-tier Portsmouth on Saturday lunchtime.

Antonio Conte made seven changes to the starting XI which swept aside Crystal Palace 4-0 on Wednesday night. Harry Kane survived the cull, scoring a crisply taken goal to move one strike behind Jimmy Greaves' all-time club record haul.

Bryan Gil and Son Heung-min completed an unchanged attack. Oliver Skipp also kept his place - though that wasn't the initial plan as Yves Bissouma was named in Tottenham's official starting lineup only to be removed nine minutes before kick off.

Why was Yves Bissouma not playing in Tottenham vs Portsmouth?

Bissouma warmed up with his colleagues at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but pulled out shortly before the first whistle, citing a flare-up of an existing injury, as Conte's assistant manager Cristian Stellini explained after the victory.

“The injury came from the last match - an ankle problem," Stellini outlined as took the place of his superior in the post-match press conference. "He tried to push himself but he was not 100%. It’s very good when the player tells us they are not 100% as Skippy was and he played well."

When will Yves Bissouma be back for Tottenham?

Bissouma's absence is the latest in a swelling list of ailing Spurs players. While Richarlison and Rodrigo Bentancur continue to edge their way back from injuries sustained at the World Cup, Dejan Kulusevski has been a notable absentee while he nurses a muscular problem.

However, Bissouma isn't expected to be squeezing into the crowded treatment room for long. Stellini was confident that the 26-year-old midfielder would be fit for Tottenham's north London derby against Arsenal which is fast approaching.

Spurs host the Premier League leaders next Sunday sitting fifth in the top flight, a yawning 11 points behind their fiercest rivals despite playing a game more than the Gunners.

Whether he'll be named in the XI remains to be seen, but Bissouma is expected to be available for the tantalising fixture next weekend.

Source : 90min