When Richarlison first joined Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur side, there were questions about how long it would take for him to earn regular minutes. Conte had a settled front three of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dean Kulusevski leaving the new signing as an option off the bench to start his time with Spurs. Six matches in, however, after getting his first crack at the starting lineup, t’s clear that Richarlison is going to do everything possible to make sure that Conte doesn’t drop him from the team. On the fringes of Tite’s Brazil squad ahead of the World Cup, Richarlison knows that regular playing time is important for him to stay in the squad.
Along with that, good performances allow Richarlison to stay in Conte’s Champions League squad making his summer step up from Everton worth it. Following a brace against Marseille on matchday one, Richarlison now has two goals and two assists in six appearances for Spurs but that doesn’t tell the story of his impact on the squad. The team has been even, scoring seven goals with him and seven goals without him on the pitch, but four of those were during the opening match against Southampton that the Brazilian was suspended for.
Removing that match, it’s clear that Richarlison pushes the attack on despite logging only 257 minutes in all competitions. When he came on against Chelsea, Richarlison’s work rate was critical to earning a draw. It was a similar story against Nottingham Forest who were pushing for an equalizer when Richarlison created an assist to Harry Kane to put the game out of sight.
So, there were signs in the Premier League that Richarlison was settling in just fine, but the Champions League could really be his coming out party.
Richarlisons track record shows that he thrives under pressure. He was involved in four goals over Everton’s last five matches to end the season last year, an absolutely crucial run to stave off relegation. That do-or-die attitude is also needed for Champions League play. When Spurs struggled to break down Marseille’s organized defense, it was Richarlison that found a way through.
His next challenge will be an away trip to face a Sporting CP side that is struggling in Liga Portugal but still has threats to challenge Spurs if they aren’t on their game. On a week of full rest, it’s likely that Conte keeps the same lineup that played last week which gives Richarlison another chance to stake his claim to a regular spot.
With Kulusevski being a good attacker himself, this is the kind of rotation that keeps the entire team in top form while chasing success on all fronts. It’s why Richarlison was singed over the summer and so far, things are going according to plan.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Tuesday, Sep 13 | Time: 12:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Estadio Jose Alvalade — Libson
- TV: None | Live stream: Paramount+
- Odds: Sporting CP +255; Draw +250; Spurs +107 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Sporting CP: Sporting will be up against it in the match but anything that they do will likely go through Pedro Goncalves and Francisco Trincao. Spurs will be familiar with Trincao from his loan spell with Wolverhampton but he is performing much better in Portugal. Goncalves has four goals and three assists in league play so Spurs will need to be aware of his location all match. Sporting’s defense is susceptible which will make things tough in the match.
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Tottenham: Conte’s toughest choice will be in deploying his winger. Heung-Min Son has yet to score a goal as Conte looks to play him into form but eventually, with Richarlison and Kulusevski performing well, Son will likely need to rest. Lucas Moura will miss the match due to an injury but the rest of the squad is available for selection.
Harry Kane scores a brace as Spurs take control of their Champions League group only two matches into things. Pick: Sporting CP 1, Spurs 3