Club Focus – Tottenham Hotspur – Blackpool await as Champions League draw beckons

Tottenham Hotspur travel to Blackpool this weekend with the intention to gain another three points, and continue climbing up the Premier League table in their charge on the top four places of the league.

Harry Redknapp will be adamant his side can come away from the North West with all three points after holding champions Chelsea to a draw at White Hart Lane on Sunday, a game for which keeper Heurelho Gomes received mixed reviews. Despite saving Didier Drogba’s late penalty with a stunning stop to his left, the 29-year-old Brazilian was at fault for conceding the penalty after bringing down his countryman Ramires, as well making a horrendous error for Drogba’s equaliser in the second half.

Gomes has received criticism for his performances in the past but he is arguably one of the best reaction goalkeepers in the league and over the last year he has found some relative consistency in his performances, a then-problem position turning into the base of Harry Redknapp’s side. Nevertheless, the manager will move on to this upcoming weekend away at Blackpool and his side’s assault on the top spots of the league. But for most Spurs fans, this weekend will be the least talked about thing on their minds.

Today sees the draw of the knockout stages for the Champions League, and after finishing first in Group A, one point ahead of current champions Inter, Tottenham will be eager to learn their opponents for the next round so Redknapp can begin preparations for his side’s European challenge. Their list of potential opponents is something Redknapp will be fully aware. French duo Lyon and Marseille could be pitted alongside Tottenham when the draw is made as well as dangerous Spanish side Valencia. FC Copenhagen would be a suitable draw for Spurs fans, but they will look to avoid European giants Roma and Milan. Milan started this year’s competition in good fashion, and the impressive form of on-loan Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Brazilian Robinho and centre-back Thiago Silva will be a worry for the London outfit, should they be paired with the Italians today.

Tottenham still have a Premier League game to play on Saturday against a side that have been very much underestimated so far this year. Ian Holloway’s team have pulled out some impressive performances the last few months, including victories against Stoke City, 2005 Champions League winners Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Redknapp has just one fresh injury worry heading into the match. Honduran international Wilson Palacios limped off toward the end of the match against Chelsea and he is doubtful to make the trip to the seaside, so Brazilian youngster Sandro may replace him at the heart of midfield alongside Luka Modric. Rafael van der Vaart remains sidelined as does Ledley King and Tom Huddlestone, so the manager is likely to keep a similar side to the one that battled Chelsea.

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