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Rupert Wyman 28th Sep 2010 - 14:51

Makeshift defence must earn their Spurs

Tottenham (4/5) make their home debut in the Champions' League group stages on Wednesday night in the middle of a defensive crisis. They face Dutch champions FC Twente but are without Michael Dawson, Younes Kaboul, Ledley King, William Gallas and Jonathan Woodgate.

That leaves them with just Sebastian Bassong as the only fit centre-back for one of the biggest games in the clubs history.  Right back Vedran Corluka was called in as emergency cover in the middle against West Ham on Saturday but struggled as Spurs lost 1-0. Tom Huddlestone could be pressed into action as an emergency defender on Wednesday.

There are limited options for Redknapp and he has already stated in the press that he will employ an attacking formation hoping that they can outscore their opponents even if their makeshift defence ships a goal or two.

That could be good news for fans of high scoring games and over 3.5 goals at 21/10 could be a tempting proposition. Spurs have already played out a 2-2 draw in game week one, losing a two goal lead against Werder Bremen.

Twente also drew their opening Champions League game 2-2 when they hosted Inter Milan and it was the same score on Saturday when they played Ajax. If you fancy the that scoreline in this one then you can get 14/1. If you want a bigger price 3-3 could be worth a pound or two at 66/1.

If you think the injury problems will be too much for the home side you can back FC Twente at 19/5 to win the match, the draw is priced at 13/5.

The Dutch champions have had a decent start under new boss Michel Preud'homme. He took over from Steve McLaren in the summer and it took a little while for the side to get going but they have started to hit their straps and are now within four points of league leaders Ajax.

Midfielder Theo Janssen got both Twente's goals on Saturday and the new look Spurs defence will need to be wary of his goal threat, he is a massive 16/1 to score first.

Playing along Janssen will be ex-Wigan Athletic star Denny Landzaat. Spurs fans may remember him fondly for a goal he scored for the Latics from thirty yards against their rivals Arsenal at the Emirates. He is 25/1 to opening the scoring here.

That was probably one of the only times Landzaat shined in the Premier League though and he shouldn't cause too much problems for a Spurs midfield containing class acts such as fellow Dutchman Rafael Van der Vaart (6/1 to score first).

Gareth Bale, recently linked with Real Madrid, will be a key man in both defence and attack if Spurs are to get the points. The Welshmen is fulfilling his great potential and is 7/2 to score at any time.

Peter Crouch has scored nine goals in his last eleven Champions League starts. He caused all sorts of problems for the Bremen defence in the first group game and the 11/2 for him to score first looks a bet too tempting to refuse.

The main selection for me is to back goals, so over 3.5 at 21/10 and over 4.5 at 5/1 are the bets.  I think Spurs will win so an outside bet could be worthwhile 4-2 at a whopping 50/1. With problems at the back Twente could well get the opening goal forcing Spurs to attack so Spurs to come from behind and win at 7/1 and Twente to be winning at half time but Spurs to go on and win at 25/1 could be good interest bets.


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