Inter - Tottenham Preview: Rafael van der Vaart suspended as Ledley King, Diego Milito and Esteban Cambiasso miss Group A's biggest clash
By Alex Young
Diego Milito, Esteban Cambiasso, Mancini and McDonald Mariga are all definitely ruled out of Wednesday’s game.
Thiago Motta and Jonathan Biabiany are also doubts after suffering knocks against Calgari at the weekend.
Possible starting XI: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu; Zanetti, Sneijder, Stankovic; Chukwuma, Eto'o, Coutinho.
Along with the suspended Rafael van der Vaart, Spurs will also be without captain Ledley King, who came off in the first half against Fulham on Saturday with a groin strain, and long-term absentees Jermain Defoe and Michael Dawson.
Younes Kaboul could return from a knock to fight for a place in central defence with Sebastien Bassong and William Gallas.
Redknapp will no doubt opt for a 4-5-1 formation as his team lines up away from home, and Crouch will be hoping for a starting berth to ruin his former manager Rafa Benitez’s night.
Possible starting XI: Gomes; Hutton, Gallas, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Huddlestone, Palacios, Bale; Modric; Crouch.
Benitez living with Mourinho hangover
Rafael Benitez is enjoying a fairly successful start to life with his new side with Inter lying in third place after seven games.
However, reports suggest that a number of the squad are unhappy with the Spaniard’s methods, but Benitez no doubt has the edge against Redknapp in Champions League experience and that, along with the home advantage, could well be the difference between the sides.
Samuel Eto’o is in sparkling form, topping the Serie A and Champions League top goal scorer charts but after receiving racial abuse at the weekend to the extent that the league match against Calgari had to be stopped for three minutes, his mental state could be under question.
Even so, the Cameroonian’s predatory instinct will be relied upon more than ever as Inter suffer from a long injury list.
Spurs get fighting spirit back
The game all Tottenham fans were looking forward to when this season’s Champions League draw was made was the trip to the San Siro to face holders Inter.
It is by far Spurs’ toughest test in the group stage and Harry Redknapp will be relishing the challenge that awaits his players after two impressive performances so far in the competition.
The north London side have enjoyed an air of consistency to their Premier League form in recent weeks after the disappointment of losses to West Ham United and Wigan Athletic, and will be proud of coming from behind to win against Aston Villa and Fulham, and the previous experience of Rafa Benitez's tactical nous will also come in handy.
Unfortunately Redknapp will be without the vastly influential Rafael van der Vaart who misses the game through suspension after receiving a red card against FC Twente last time out.
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Top 3 Predictions
Inter 2-0 Tottenham
- 21.53 %
Inter 0-0 Tottenham
- 11.81 %
Inter 2-1 Tottenham
- 11.4 %
|Europa League (EL)||14 Mar 2013||Inter 4 - Tottenham 1|
|Europa League (EL)||7 Mar 2013||Tottenham 3 - Inter 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||2 Nov 2010||Tottenham 3 - Inter 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||20 Oct 2010||Inter 4 - Tottenham 3|
|19 May 2013||Inter 2 - Udinese 5||ITA1|
|12 May 2013||Genoa 0 - Inter 0||ITA1|
|8 May 2013||Inter 1 - Lazio 3||ITA1|
|5 May 2013||Napoli 3 - Inter 1||ITA1|
|28 Apr 2013||Palermo 1 - Inter 0||ITA1|
|Returns:||Inter £16.70||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Draw £2310.00||Sign up today with Coral and get a £50 FREE bet - no strings attached!|
|Returns:||Tottenham £2310.00||Sign up today with Coral and get a £50 FREE bet - no strings attached!|
|25||Walter Adrian Samuel||Defender|
|4||Javier Adelmar Zanetti||Defender|
|19||Esteban Matias Cambiasso||Midfielder|
|4||Sulley Ali Muntari||Midfielder|
|-||Iván Ramiro Córdoba||Defender|