Antonio Conte explains Cristian Romero absence from north London derby
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Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - Premier League

Cristian Romero misses Tottenham’s big game with Arsenal on Thursday (Picture: Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur defender Cristian Romero will not be involved in Thursday’s massive game with Arsenal in the Premier League due to a hip injury.

The 24-year-old has been a huge part of Spurs’ success this campaign, quickly becoming an integral part of their defence since arriving from Atalanta last summer.

However, he will not be involved in the huge north London derby as the two local rivals battle it out for the fourth Champions League spot.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte confirmed on Thursday that the Argentine defender suffered a blow to his hip in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool last time out and has not recovered in time for this match.

‘In the game against Liverpool he received a hit on his hip,’ said Conte. ‘After the game he had pain and is not right to recover.’

Conte is fielding three centre-backs against Arsenal, with Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier and Ben Davies filling the back three in Romero’s absence.

Former Arsenal defender Matthew Upson feels that it is a huge problem for Tottenham that Romero is not involved, having been very impressed with the centre-back so far this campaign.

‘Cristian Romero is a really big blow for Spurs because he is a player that allows them to play the way they play,’ Upson said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

‘He is a bit more positional savvy than Davinson Sanchez. Romero is in very good form and it is a real shame for Spurs and him personally that he can’t play in such a big game.’

Arsenal have their own problems at the back with Ben White only fit enough to make the bench, so Rob Holding partners Gabriel in the middle of the back four.

MORE : Jorge Sampaoli confirms Marseille want to buy on-loan Arsenal star William Saliba

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