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Ivan Perisic and Matt Doherty are doubts for Tottenham against Southampton

Ivan Perisic and especially Matt Doherty may not be ready to start Tottenham Hotspur’s opening Premier League game against Southampton on Saturday.

Head coach Antonio Conte said on Thursday he will make a decision on their availability, with the wing-back duo both having been in recovery from serious injuries.

Oliver Skipp is the only Spurs player definitely out of the match, with new signing Yves Bissouma to be checked on Friday.

Conte said: “In this moment, we have only one player that I’m sure will miss against Southampton which is Oliver Skipp.

“Bissouma we have another day to check very well his physical condition.

“Nothing serious but I don’t want to take any risks for the next games.

“But tomorrow we have another training session to make an evaluation about the team. The other players are all available.”

Asked whether Perisic was fit enough to start, Conte said: “It’s normal after a serious injury to be struggling a bit to come back in the best physical condition. Honestly I’m surprised because he reduced his time to recover. We are really happy.

“At the same time we are not worried but we have to pay a bit of attention to give him the right time to adapt himself to recover 100 per cent after his injury.

“But I know him very well and he is a very good addition for will be really important for his experience for the younger players. Sessegnon is a player who plays in the same role. Ivan can teach him a lot of situations to improve Sess. But even for sure he is a really good addition for us for many aspects. Then we will see.”

“We have another training session tomorrow,” he continued, and added with a smile: “Play him or Sess.”

On Doherty, Conte added: “Also for the right side (laughs) we have a similar situation like Ivan to Matthew. Matthew had a serious injury and I think worse than Ivan. Now he is working a lot. He has had a bit of time to come back to be fit like last season.

“I hope to bring him in the same situation as last season as I think Matthew, he played really well. At the moment we need to have a bit of patience. He needs to have a bit of patience but is working very well to be fit quickly.”

Perisic, 33, and Doherty, 30, started Spurs’ final pre-season game against Roma last Saturday. Both were substituted off during the 1-0 loss.

Another summer arrival, Richarlison, is suspended for the match having been given a one-match ban by the FA for throwing a smoke bomb during Everton’s 1-0 win over Chelsea last season.

Conte also addressed the futures of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Harry Winks and Sergio Reguilon, all of whom have been linked with moves away from Spurs this summer.

“There is the World Cup, and for this reason, many players want to play regularly,” Conte said.

“And then for this reason, sometimes it’s better for the player and for the club to find the right solution for both. Because to keep unhappy players is not good.

“I cannot assure a player to play regularly in Tottenham. We are talking about good players and if they want to play regularly maybe they deserve to play regularly.”

Spurs have already allowed Wales international Joe Rodon to leave on loan to Ligue 1 side Rennes, while Steven Bergwijn has joined Ajax on a permanent deal.

As well as Perisic, Richarlison and Bissouma, the north London club have also brought in Clement Lenglet, Djed Spence and Fraser Forster this summer.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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