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Why Antonio Conte won’t be on Spurs touchline vs Chelsea for Premier League clash



(Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Graham Potter won’t come head-to-head on the touchline with Spurs manager Antonio Conte this weekend when Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea meet in the Premier League.

Chelsea make the short trip across the capital on Sunday afternoon to face their fierce London rivals, looking to end a run of two straight defeats and without a win in their last five matches in all competitions.

Potter will be in charge of Chelsea after receiving further backing from the club’s hierarchy after a dismal run of just two wins from their last 14 league matches.

READ MORE: Graham Potter’s alarming three Chelsea problems which need resolving against Spurs

But Conte won’t be joining him on the touchline in north London. After undergoing gallbladder surgery at the start of February, Conte took time sime to recuperate before returning to fulfil his duties against Leicester City and AC Milan.

However, after a check-up in Italy, Conte, a former Chelsea boss, has been told to take more time to rest before returning to the touchline.

His assistant coach Cristian Stellini will continue to take temporary charge of the side, including for this weekend’s London derby.

“No, I am not expecting Antonio is back for Chelsea,” said Stellini, as quoted by Eurosport, on when Conte could return. “But I expect Antonio will be back the week after Chelsea.

“For Milan or Wolverhampton. We have also the game in the FA Cup so maybe not Chelsea but we don’t know – because if Antonio feels well and he can live some stress without some pain or feel something strange, Antonio will be back.”

The 53-year-old penned a message on his Instagram confirming he would need to be absent until he fully recovers from his surgery.

“My great sense of responsibility towards the club, the players, the staff and the fans brought me to anticipate my comeback on the field,” wrote Conte on his Instagram story.

“Sadly I underestimated the procedure which wasn’t a routine operation, but a sudden and serious emergency.

“My body has suffered my impatience and now I am forced to stop until my entire recovery. Who knows me understands what a burden this is for me but it is necessary.”