Club Focus – Tottenham – Bale returns as Spurs prepare for Man Utd

Manager Harry Redknapp has the joy of going into this Sunday’s Premier League clash at White Hart Lane against Manchester United with a strong squad to choose from in the aim to close the gap on the leaders, and gain points on the teams in between them, Manchester City and Arsenal. Spurs will also want a result from this match to stretch away from champions Chelsea who are currently struggling in fifth positions following a run of 2 wins in 11 matches.

One bonus for Harry Redknapp will be the news that Gareth Bale should be fit for Sunday’s clash at the Lane after leaving the field early in their last league match against Everton with a back problem and being left out of the side to face Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup, however Redknapp has claimed that the 21-year-old Welshman was being rested for precautionary reasons.

Redknapp told the Official Tottenham Hotspur FC website, “Gareth has missed a couple of days training but he should be okay. We’re in good shape. We’ve pretty much a full squad.”

The manager will also be pleased with the return of French defender Younes Kaboul to the squad following his suspension after being sent off against Newcastle United over the Christmas period, but long-term absentees Ledley King and midfielder Tom Huddlestone are still missing with groin and ankle problems respectively. However, it is believed that King will not require surgery on the groin injury that has kept him out for almost half the season. King has been plagued with injuries during his career and questions will be raised as to whether the former Tottenham captain should hang up his boots and call time on his career, but King himself, plus many others at Spurs will not want the England international to do that quite so soon.

There will be fierce competition for the right-back slot as well this Sunday with both Alan Hutton and Vedran Corluka vying for a starting berth. Hutton has impressed this season after replacing Corluka early in the season but the Croatian put in a good performance in the FA Cup last weekend so Redknapp will have a decision to make on who should mark United favourite Ryan Giggs, who is expected to start ahead of Park Ji-Sung.

Luka Modric will also be key to Tottenham this Sunday. The creative midfielder has been instrumental for Spurs this season and it seems his good form has been paying off for his team-mates with Jermaine Jenas coming out this week saying, “As a club, we’re certainly enjoying the fruits of his good form.”

Despite the arrival of David Beckham to the training ground this week, Redknapp will want his side to focus again on their league form following the cup match last Sunday. The supporters will be in full voice as always, but the task at hand will be one that will truly test Tottenham’s resolve as one of the top teams in the country.

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