We face West Brom in our first home Premier League match under Andre Villas-Boas and the manager’s starting Spurs line-up remains unclear. What we do know is that the Baggies will provide a stern test for AVB and the boys after beating Liverpool last week.
Following a good performance against Newcastle, the new boss has been pleased with the lads’ reaction in training.
“It’s been a good response this week, obviously we’re all disappointed with the result, but we all discussed afterwards how we didn’t see Brad make a save in the game, so that explains it all,”
He does however go in to the match without Younes Kaboul, with the defender’s knee flaring up after the Newcastle game.
“Unfortunately, Younes had some discomfort in his patella tendon, so he went to see a specialist to analyse his knee. We’re not looking at anything serious.”
That should see Jan Vertonghen make his debut in defence alongside William Gallas.
Giovani Dos Santos is also out after pulling up in his first training session following the Olympics. Other than that, Spurs have no new injury worries and AVB is looking for a measured approach.
“We have to be sensible because they had an extremely good result against Liverpool, they are a team that is deadly on the counter-attack. So we have to take that into account with how we attack and when we attack.”
That will probably see him keep faith in Sandro and Jake Livermore as the base of his double pivot in midfield, despite them failing to get forward last week. Both Livermore and Sandro sat quite deep, failing to link with the advanced three of Lennon, Sigurdsson and Bale, leaving Villas-Boas with something to ponder.
He should stay with Sigurdsson, Lennon and Bale across the advanced midfield positions, which will again mean no place for Rafael van der Vaart in the starting Spurs line-up. A good move given his creative passing which we missed before his introduction at Newcastle?
He will also have to choose between Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor to be starting in the Spurs line-up upfront. The Togolese man should get the nod in the future, but may not be ready to start just yet with his lack of match fitness. Therefore, I’m opting for Jermain Defoe and Ade to appear around the hour mark.