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Rupert Wyman 27th Feb 2010 - 17:03

Sickening blow for Tottenham

It has been a queasy week for Tottenham, not since the dodgy lasagne, eaten the night before the last game of the 2005-2006 season against West Ham, have Tottenham been hampered by illness. The lasagne cost them a Champions League place and many millions of pounds.

A win away at Wigan last week helped Tottenham back into the mix for a Champions League spot. They are playing well, in midweek they trounced Bolton in an FA Cup replay in an easy 4-0 home victory.

Everton suffered a hammer blow in their quest to win the Europa League midweek, they were deservedly knocked out and thrashed three nil in Portugal by a rampant Sporting Lisbon.

The Toffee's Premier League form of late has been almost sensational.  They beat Chelsea at Goodison Park a few weeks ago and pummelled United 3-1 there last weekend.  The worry for Everton fans is the team played with tired, heavy legs against Sporting. They will need a quick recovery time if they are going to take three points off Tottenham.

Everton had a miserable start to the season but if they can get a victory, they will only sit five points behind Tottenham in the table, with a European spot looking likely.

Both teams have injury worries, Everton are still missing Fellaini and Cahill in midfield.

Spur's first eleven will depend on the health of the players that have been effected by the virus sweeping through the club this week.

The media claim, the worse players effected are Palacious and Corluka.

Defoe is a doubt for the match with a hamstring problem and Crouch took a kick on the ankle midweek.  Lennon and King are out longer than expected for Tottenham and will play no part.

Three players on the periphery of proceedings at Tottenham may all start tomorrow. Bale, Bentley and Pavlyuchenko have all featured at times this season but have not been able to establish a first team position.  Pavlyuchenko is starting to justify his massive transfer fee, with five goals in his last three games.  Bale is in the best form of his brief Tottenham career and is offering Redknapp a selection dilemma, with the reliant Ekotto fit again.

Everton are likely to field a 4-5-1 formation, the midfielders took United apart last week and Moyes will be looking for a similar performance this weekend. He would ideally like to slot Neville back into the midfield but with Everton's defensive worries and Jagielka's lack of match fitness, Neville will play at the back.

I would back the 1-1 draw at 9/1, there is very little difference between the sides and Redknapp has no idea of his starting eleven due to the sickness bug. Both managers would perceive the draw as a good result and the fans would not be too disappointed. It will be a low scoring game, with both teams taking a cautious approach.

Pavlyuchenko at 15/8 to score anytime is a value bet, he will be out to impress Redknapp and keep a place in the starting eleven ahead of Crouch. He is a clinical finisher and is in very good form.

Spurs will want the win, but a point for Spurs would not be the most sickening of results, considering their off-field problem.



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