Ahead of the clash at White hart Lane tomorrow, Andre Villas-Boas has said that he has no concerns about the fitness of his players returning from the international break. Jermain Defoe was in action for England on Wednesday, and Clint Dempsey had to return from America but the manager believes that this early in the season, fatigue shouldn’t be a factor. Spurs could also be buoyed by Kyle Naughton and Jake Livermore returning from injury.
Chelsea have failed to win on their past six visits to White Hart Lane in the league, losing three, and Spurs have had an impressive unbeaten record in all 20 home London derbies in the last five years. Whether they can maintain that record will largely depend on the three talented Belgians that will be on display tomorrow.
Eden Hazard has heaped praise on his international team colleagues Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen, singling out Dembele as “one of the best players in the league at this time.” Dembele himself has talked up Hazard recently, saying he could play for any team in the world.
Despite some speculation that Villas-Boas may hand Adebayor a start tomorrow Jermain Defoe has praised the new manager’s impact at the club saying:
“He has been good for everyone. If you speak to any of the boys, they will say he has been fantastic.”
The other position on the pitch where there is real doubt over who will start for Spurs is in goal, with Villas-Boas hinting Friedel may return to the starting line-up despite Lloris’ clean sheet against Aston Villa.
Predicted line ups:
Spurs: Lloris, Vertonghen, Gallas, Caulker, Walker, Sandro, Demeble, Bale, Dempsey, Lennon, Adebayor.
Chelsea: Cech, Cole, Cahill, Luiz, Ivanovic, Lampard, Mikel, Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Torres.
Scott Parker could be sidelined until Christmas with his achilles injury. Villas-Boas has said he hopes it will be less time, but that the England midfielder still feels pain so could be out until the festive season.
As AVB gets set to face his former number two, his current assistant, Steffen Freund, has spoken of how it is a dream for him to return to Spurs as a coach. He has compared the current squad favourably to what Spurs had when he was at the club as a player saying:
"Individually, we were well stocked with players, but now it’s an established top-six team, and that makes me happy.”
Finally, youth player Jack Munns has gone to Aldershot on loan. The attacking midfielder has played in three of Spurs’ U21 games this season.
image: © p_a_h