From the San Siro to the Sea Side. Spurs follow the trouncing of Gattuso, Robinho, Pato et al (and yes, I know itâ€™s only half time) with a trip to Bloomfield Road on Tuesday evening for the Premier League fixture postponed from before Christmas.
Weâ€™re at about the three quarters completed mark in our season long injury crisis. Another trio have gone down since the first whistle against Milan with Van der Vaart being the latest to cry off wounded. Corluka has a pretty good excuse for handing in a sick note but Woodgate? Please. Hutton or Gallas will come in for Charlie with Bassong potentially filling in in the centre. In midfield we should welcome Modric back, presumably alongside Palacios with Lennon on the right and Pienaar or Kranjcar on the left. Two up front I guess if VdVâ€™s out, so perm any pair from Crouch, Pav and Defoe. Redknapp must be desperate for one of them to put a goalscoring run together in the league. Pav seems mostly likely (given the opportunities already given to the other two) but is probably the one furthest down the pecking order.
Itâ€™s very appropriate that Blackpoolâ€™s season appears to be turning into a bit of a rollercoaster. Some superb results, especially away from home, in the first half of the season have been followed by a long-term dip in form that has seen them slip to the edge of the relegation zone. Their draw at home to Villa two Saturdays ago gave them their first point in six games. In that run West Brom and West Ham have both notched three against them and powder puff Everton got five so that gives an idea where their problems lie. Adam, Vaughan, Varney, Campbell & Taylor-Fletcher have become household names (sort of) but few of their defenders have hit the headlines.
Weâ€™ve only met Blackpool twice in the last twenty years but both games have a footnote in our history. In 1991 a Paul Stewart goal in a howling gale at Bloomfield Rd set us off on our ultimately successful cup run. In 2007 the Carling Cup tie against Blackpool was the first of Juande Ramosâ€™s reign. Again we beat them and went on to win the trophy. So there you go. Whenever we beat Blackpool we go on to win the competition.
Should we inflict Blackpoolâ€™s seventh home defeat of the season on them weâ€™ll go third on merit (i.e., no games in hand type caveats) and will put real pressure on Man City and Chelsea particularly. Blackpool will come at us, they know no other way. Confidence and momentum are on our side however and by the time ref Chris Foy blows for time, we should be through the 50-point barrier. COYS.
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