The reason why Eric Dier is absent from Antonio Conte’s Tottenham squad for Brighton FA Cup tie

Antonio Conte is without Eric Dier for Tottenham’s FA Cup fourth round clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.

A regular in Spurs’ three-man defence over the course of the season, the ex-Sporting CP man has been left out as a precautionary measure against the Seagulls due to his recent thigh issue.

Dier did start in Tottenham’s last game prior to the international break against Chelsea but he was spotted with heavy strapping on his right thigh during his 90 minutes on the pitch.

With Premier League games coming up against Southampton and Wolves next week, Conte has decided to leave his centre-back out with a big week on the agenda for the club.

The absence of Dier has been softened by the return of Christian Romero to the Tottenham XI after not featuring since November due to the hamstring injury he sustained on international duty for Argentina.

Romero’s start against Brighton is in fact only his third under Conte after last appearing for the Lilywhites in the 0-0 draw against Everton in November.

Brighton come into the game in decent form and the Spurs boss is fully aware of the task facing his side.

“They are a good team, if you look at the table, they are almost in the same position (Brighton are ninth),” Conte told the club’s official website. “That means Brighton have good players, they play well, they have a good manager.

“Brighton, for sure, are a reality, like Wolverhampton. We have to be ready to fight and to know that it won’t be easy to go into the next round. For sure, we want to win this game.”

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