Premier League preview - Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City
13:42 09 April 2012
Team news, the player to watch, battle of the day, league form, referee and betting for the Premier League clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City at 3pm.
• Norwich City team news:
Paul Lambert confirmed after Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Everton central defender Zak Whitbread had been omitted with a calf problem.
Lambert will assess both Whitbread and midfielder Anthony Pilkington’s fitness before making a final decision on his starting line-up at White Hart Lane. Pilkington has not featured snce suffering a hamstring injury in the closing stages of the recent 1-0 Premier League defeat at Newcastle.
Lambert admits two games in the space of three days will test his squad to the full at this stage of the season.
“We decided to leave Zak out because he had a calf problem. We’ll just wait and see about Monday,” said Lambert after the Toffees’ weekend draw. “Pilks has trained the last couple of days so he will come into my thinking because he hasn’t been involved since Newcastle. You can only afford to look towards the next game when it comes to picking a side, which was Everton. You can’t look too far ahead. Now Everton is out of the way we look at Tottenham. I think this is the first time since probably last season when we played Derby and Ipswich that we have had to go again so quickly. It is tough, really tough.”
On-loan Tottenham defender Kyle Naughton is ineligible to face his parent club.
Substitutes (from): Jed Steer, Simon Lappin, Andrew Crofts, Andrew Surman, Wes Hoolahan, Steve Morison, Simeon Jackson, Aaron Wilbraham
• Tottenham Hotspur team news:
Gareth Bale suffered an ankle injury in the goalless draw against Sunderland which makes him a doubt for today’s match. Bale completed the 90 minutes in the north-east but will be assessed by Tottenham’s medical staff today.
Bale caused all the damage in December’s 2-0 win at Carrow Road with a brace operating in a more central role as part of a three-man midfield alongside Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart.
Harry Redknapp hinted he could make changes for Norwich’s visit with Aaron Lennon poised to get a run out after van der Vaart was deployed on the right of midfield against the Wearsiders.
Captain Ledley King is available for selection after recovering from a knee injury. William Gallas and Younes Kaboul have deputised in King’s absence, whilst recent signing from Blackburn Ryan Nelsen was on the bench at the weekend.
Redknapp may sacrifice one of his holding midfielders to pair the likes of either Jermain Defoe or Louis Saha with Emmanuel Adebayor.
Tottenham know nothing less than victory is required over the Canaries to maintain their bid for a top three place in the Premier League ahead of bitter rivals Arsenal and with it automatic qualification for the Champions League next season.
Substitutes (from): Carlo Cudicini, Ledley King, Rafael van der Vaart, Jake Livermore, Nico Kranjcar, Louis Saha, Jermain Defoe.
Heavily-touted as the next permanent England manager. Redknapp has embellished his managerial reputation in recent seasons after winning the FA Cup at Portsmouth and guiding Spurs to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
• One to watch:
The Welshman underlined his precocious talent with a brace in December’s corresponding 2-0 win at Carrow Road. The reigning PFA player-of-the-year now has 14 goals for the season. Wand of a left foot, dangerous both out wide and when he cuts in off the left flank.
• Battle of the day:
Jonny Howson v Scott Parker
City’s recent January signing from Leeds will relish a duel in close proximity to the recent England captain. Howson has already underlined his own box-to-box qualities. Parker has built a career as the best in the country right now at protecting a back four.
• League form:
Tottenham: D-W-D-D-L (6 points from 15)
Norwich: D-L-W-L-D (5 points from 15)
(Last five Premier League games)
Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Refereed the corresponding fixture in December. Most recent City appointment led to a controversial winner for Stoke when he was incorrectly over ruled by his assistant for the award of a throw-in during the build up to Matthew Etherington’s late strike.
Tottenham: 1/3, Norwich: 11/2, draw: 18/5
Tottenham: Adebayor 10/3, Saha, Defoe 7/2, Bale 9/2.
Norwich: Holt 9/1, Morison, Jackson, Wilbraham 12/1.