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The Tottenham games Yves Bissouma will miss with suspension


Upon his unveiling at Tottenham Hotspur, Yves Bissouma admitted: “If I don’t play football, I’m not happy.”

The Mali international’s mood is set to plunge over the coming weeks after receiving his second red card of the season against Nottingham Forest.

Tottenham had already scored both goals in a 2-0 victory when Bissouma caught Ryan Yates high on his shin in the second half. After the match, Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou lamented: “Unfortunately we pay the price now as, not just for this game, he obviously misses a huge chunk of football between now and when he comes back. It’s disappointing, but it is what it is.”

Here’s a look at quite how much football Bissouma will miss for Spurs.

Yves Bissouma

Bissouma was part of the Tottenham team that defeated Everton 2-0 last season / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Recent history suggests that Tottenham may not greatly miss their defensive linchpin for the visit of Everton. The Toffees have won just one of their previous 15 away games against Spurs, losing heavily at three different venues during this bleak sequence.

However, Sean Dyche’s side have been at their best on the road this season, harnessing a direct brand of football diametrically opposed to Postecoglou’s preferred possession-based approach. Without Bissouma, Tottenham’s rearguard has one less layer of protection.

Yves Bissouma

Yves Bissouma made more than 100 appearances for Brighton / Bryn Lennon/GettyImages

Brighton owner Tony Bloom isn’t often lured into the spotlight but the former professional gambler admitted that Bissouma’s sale to Spurs was “a big loss” in a rare interview last year.

On his first return to the Amex, Bissouma was part of a Tottenham team that won 1-0 but this iteration of Spurs will have to travel to the south coast without the former Seagull.

Andoni Iraola

Andoni Iraola has inspired an uptick in form at Bournemouth in recent weeks / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Unlike Postecoglou, who made a record-breaking start to his Premier League managerial career, Andoni Iraola has taken longer to implement not wildly dissimilar playing principles at Bournemouth.

After a sticky spell, the team has “just started clicking” according to in-form forward Dominic Solanke. While Spurs lead the Premier League for high turnovers, Bournemouth have scored more goals from these situations than any other club this season.

Bissouma has been guilty of some high-profile blunders in possession – notably against Manchester City – but whoever fills in for him at the base of Tottenham’s midfield will have to be wary of the Bournemouth players snapping at their heels.

Yves Bissouma

Yves Bissouma started the season so well for Spurs with an early victory over Burnley / Stu Forster/GettyImages

As this is Bissouma’s second red card of the season, his dismissal against Forest for violent conduct has earned him a ban for four (rather than three) games.

The suspension carries across all domestic competitions, ensuring that the 27-year-old will miss out on Tottenham’s FA Cup third-round tie against Burnley to start the new year.

Spurs have already swatted the Clarets aside this season but earned a 5-2 victory in September with a fully fit squad. The injured duo of James Maddison and Micky van de Ven are set to still be on the sidelines next to Bissouma for this cup tie.

Tunisia v Mali - FIFA World Cup African Qualifiers

Yves Bissouma has won 29 caps for Mali / Anadolu/GettyImages

Tottenham’s next match after the visit from Burnley is a trip to Old Trafford on 14 January. However, Bissouma was always expected to be absent for this league meeting with Manchester United.

The Mali midfielder will likely represent his nation in their group-stage opener against South Africa at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on 16 January, just two days after Tottenham visit the Theatre of Dreams.

At the earliest, Bissouma could theoretically be available for the London derby against Brentford on 31 January. However, that best-case scenario hinges on Mali crashing out of the group stage for the first time since 2017.

AFCON ends with a final on 11 February 2024, one day after Bissouma’s former employers Brighton travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Date / Kick-off time (UK)

Fixture

Competition

14/01/24 – 16:30

Man Utd vs Tottenham

Premier League

31/01/24 – 19:30

Tottenham vs Brentford

Premier League

03/02/24 – 15:00

Everton vs Tottenham

Premier League

10/0/24 – 15:00

Tottenham vs Brighton

Premier League

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