Redknapp eyes third place

Redknapp eyes third place

Harry Redknapp has his eye on third place in the Premier League as he attempts to perform a ‘miracle’ by securing another season in the Champions League for Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs travel to Blackpool on Tuesday evening where three points from the Tangerines will see the North London side leapfrog Manchester City to take third place and carry on the momentum that has grown since Redknapp’s arrival at the club.

Still on a high following the dramatic Champions League win in Milan last week, its back to bread and butter of the league where Spurs will arrive in the north west looking to notch a fifth consecutive win. Tottenham will be playing their fourth away game this month and having won on the three previous away days, to Blackburn, Sunderland and Milan, another victory is very much on the cards.

After an amazing start to the campaign, when Ian Holloway’s men wreaked havoc with a string of upsets thanks to a do-or-die strategy the toll is finally beginning to tell and Blackpool have collected just 4 points from a possible 27 in 2011. Holloway has received endless plaudits for his refreshing approach but he had to admit at Tuesday’s press conference: “At this level physically and mentally it’s very very demanding.” However, his team knows just one way to play and he’s pledged to continue trying to outscore the opposition with an all-out attacking style.

Despite Blackpool’s slide toward the foot of the table where they now hover two points from the relegation zone, Redknapp is full of admiration for his counterpart: “To do as well as he’s done and no disrespect to Blackpool he’s got absolutely maximum out of his players and that’s all you can ever do as a manager…if he keeps them up this year, for me, he should be manager of the year.”

Kind words, but Holloway will get no favours come kick off and Redknapp will field a strong side in an attempt to take three points toward fulfilling his own ambitions.

Blackpool midfielder Elliot Grandin will have a late fitness test on the hamstring which forced his early exit against Aston Villa ten days ago and while Salaheddine Sbai is fit enough to play, Holloway wants to wait until Grandin can help him communicate with his team mates.

Stephen Crainey’s ankle problem will keep him out of contention again while Brett Ormerod and Gary Taylor-Fletcher are also struggling with injury. Holloway has been unable to arrange an emergency loan signing to provide goalkeeping back up, so Chris Kettings could again be back up for Richard Kingston as Matt Gilks continues his recovery.

Blackpool talisman Charlie Adam will want to show Redknapp what he has missed after the deadline day deal to take him to Spurs failed to materialise.

Redknapp is forced into making changes to his lineup with Rafael van der Vaart ruled out with a calf problem, Vedran Corluka is sidelined after Mathieu Flamini’s two-footed tackle in the San Siro left him with a damaged foot and Jonathan Woodgate’s comeback has been curtailed with an abductor injury he suffered when making his first appearance in over a year.

Luka Modric is set to start for the first time since time his appendix operation and Jermain Jenas could return after sitting out the Milan game through suspension. Gareth Bale is not ready to return as he takes his time with a back problem.

POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUPS:
BLACKPOOL: Kingson, Baptiste, Cathcart, Evatt, Carney, Vaughan, Reid, Adam, Varney, Harewood, Campbell.
TOTTENHAM: Gomes, Hutton, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Jenas, Modric, Pienaar, Crouch.
 

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