Tottenham have just under three days to recover from their gruelling 2-2 Europa League draw with Basel on Thursday night as they face up to the prospect of a key clash at home to Everton that could decide the fate of both side’s push for a top four finish.
The Lilywhites have looked in pole position to secure at least fourth place all season long but their manager’s decision to play full-strength teams in both the Premier League and Europa League, as well as the improved form of rivals Arsenal and indeed Everton, have seen Andre Villas-Boas’ men begin to slip up of late.
However, last week’s impressive win away at Swansea just eased the pressure somewhat after consecutive defeats to Liverpool and Fulham and coupled with Chelsea’s poor form away from home, moved the North London club back into third position, four and six points ahead of fifth and sixth-placed Arsenal and Everton respectively albeit having played a game more.
Spurs’ clash with Basel may have cost them the services of key players Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon after both were stretchered off against the Swiss outfit. Top scorer Bale is of greater concern although Villas-Boas is hopeful that the Welshman will only miss two matches. William Gallas is also a doubt after suffering a calf injury while striker Jermain Defoe misses out, leaving Emmanuel Adebayor, scorer of just two league goals this season, to lead the line.
Everton look to have recovered from a mid-winter blip and have taken three consecutive league victories at Goodison Park to move back into contention for a top four place. David Moyes may not have the biggest squad to work with as he prepares for the trip to White Hart Lane, particularly with key duo Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar both missing through suspension, but the Scot can at least call on his side’s good record in North London in recent seasons.
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