Ange Postecoglou explains why James Maddison is DROPPED vs Chelsea | Football

Maddison will start from the bench tonight (Picture: Getty)

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou stressed the need to ‘freshen up his team’ after dropping James Maddison to the bench for Thursday’s London derby against Chelsea.

Maddison enjoyed a brilliant start to his Tottenham career after his summer arrival from Leicester City, registering three goals and five assists in his first 11 league appearances of the season, also forcing his way back into the England picture.

An ankle injury suffered in the reverse fixture against Chelsea at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last November derailed his campaign somewhat.

Since returning in late January, Maddison has struggled to hit those heights with just three goal contributions since his return, turning in a largely anonymous performance in the north London derby defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.

He was dropped to the bench for tonight’s clash with Chelsea, one of five changes made by the Spurs boss with Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur also dropping out of the midfield.

Ahead of kick-off, Postecoglou was asked if the reason for Maddison dropping to the bench was due to his recent struggle for form.

He told Sky Sports: ‘Yeah, look he’s like a lot of the lads. It’s about freshening up the team.

Richarlison also into the starting XI (Picture: Getty)

Richarlison also into the starting XI (Picture: Getty)

‘There are some guys who did not play on the weekend like Pape Sarr and Bissouma who I think will help us in midfield.

‘Madders doesn’t start but it doesn’t mean he can’t have an impact on the game.’

Tottenham are also without Ben Davies who joins fellow left-back Destiny Udogie on the injury list.

Emerson Royal slots in at left-back with Richarlison and Brennan Johnson also coming into the starting XI.

Chelsea beat Spurs 4-1 in one of the most chaotic games of the season in November, a game where both Udogie and Cristian Romero were sent off.

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