Redknapp to make late decison on Gareth Bale

Redknapp to make late decison on Gareth Bale

Harry Redknapp will wait until shortly before kick off before deciding if Gareth Bale will start against AC Milan in the Champions League clash at White Hart Lane on Wednesday after the player finished Tuesday’s training session with stiff legs.

Bale has been missing with a back problem since 22 January and returned to action on Sunday when coming on as a substitute in the 3-3 draw at Wolves on Sunday and Redknapp was hoping to start the flying winger for the second leg tie with Milan.

"When Gareth came on and started to run with the ball, it was exciting," said Redknapp. "We've missed that for the last five or six weeks.”

Redknapp has been patient in his handling of the young Welshman who has been given plenty of time to rest his back problem and he will not risk Bale unless he is 100% fit. Bale trained on Tuesday morning and while he appears to have fully recovered from the back injury, he may still be lacking in fitness following his six week lay off.

"His back's fine but he was stiff in the legs," stated Redknapp. "It's touch and go. We'd love to start with him but if he's not quite right I wouldn't want to take a chance."

Redknapp was more hopeful for the return of Rafael van der Vaart who limped out of the first leg with a calf injury, the Dutch playmaker has made a good recovery and looks likely to start.

Tottenham are unbeaten in four Champions League games at White Hart Lane having scored 14 goals and conceded just two and after their famous 1-0 win in the first-leg confidence of progressing to the quarter-finals was high in North London. But since then, Tottenham have picked up one point in two Premier League games, conceding six goals against Blackpool and Wolves who are struggling at the wrong end of the table. Milan have won all three games since the home defeat to push further clear at the top of Serie A, including a 1-0 away win against Juventus on Saturday.

Tottenham’s defensive problems are well documented with a long list of casualties cluttering the treatment room and Redknapp will rely on an attacking philosophy to outscore his opponents. Milan coach Massimo Ambrosini is unable to bring a full strength squad and he is without three key players; Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini are injured, while Gennaro Gattuso will miss the game through suspension.

Possible starting line ups:
TOTTENHAM: Gomes; Hutton, Dawson, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Palacios, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart; Crouch.
AC MILAN: Abbiati; Abata, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski; Merkel, Flamini, Seedorf; Pato, Robinho; Ibrahimovic

 

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