Itâ€™s back to the competition where points mean prizes as the Cottagers come calling at WHL on Tuesday night. Since we drew at Fulham on Boxing Day our 2-0 win over West Ham is the only league win notched by either side. Roy Hodgson was having to listen to publicity touting him as â€˜Englandâ€™s next managerâ€™ as his side got turned over by Chelsea, Stoke and Blackburn. During the same period weâ€™ve struggled against the heavily packed defences of Hull City and Liverpool.
As well as displaying disappointing form, both sides have seen their injury lists grow. Whilst Lennon, Huddlestone, Assou-Ekotto are out for us, Fulham have had problems with Zamora, Dempsey, Konchesky, Johnson and Pantsil. Zamora might make his return in this game and may be joined by Diomansy Kamara and ex-Spur Simon Davies.
You can picture Harry with a blank team sheet at Spurs Lodge. He immediately pencils in firmly the names of Gomes, Bale, Defoe and Palacios but the other seven starting places will all probably give him cause to ponder. Pavlyuchenkoâ€™s goal at the weekend might have given him the motivation to change things up front but Super Pavâ€™s comeback appears to have been strangled at birth as heâ€™s already cried off with a groin strain. Weâ€™ve spent a lot of the last two home games missing out the midfield and hoofing it up to Crouch. Itâ€™s not the big ladâ€™s fault but Harry may think that starting with Keane and removing temptation is the best way change things. The thought of giving Oâ€™Hara an outing instead of one of Modric or Kranjcar must also have occurred to him, or even Jenas given his display against Leeds.
Given the absence of Lennon I imagine Redknapp would love to be able to throw in the pace of Naughton at right back but he clearly doesnâ€™t think heâ€™s ready yet and the peripheral performance of Rose on Saturday wonâ€™t have encouraged him to rush to give any more youngsters a chance. So, assuming heâ€™s fit, Corluka will return in place of Hutton. Bassong and Dawson should play if for no other reason than theyâ€™re the only centre backs weâ€™ve got who can make it through ninety minutes.
Mike Dean is the ref. He was in charge when we beat Burnley 5-0 in September. What we wouldnâ€™t give for a similar result, that would certainly do a lot to lift the slight cloud of depression that has recently settled over White Hart Lane.
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