Tottenham predicted line-up against Inter Milan: March 14
Tottenham predicted Europa League line-up against Inter Milan: San Siro
Tottenham Hotspur take a commanding lead into their Europa League last-16 second leg clash at the San Siro this evening, following last week's emphatic 3-0 victory against Inter Milan at White Hart Lane.
Andre Villas-Boas will want to ensure that complacency doesn't slip into his side, and plans to name a strong starting line-up for Thursday's trip to Italy. However, the Portuguese tactician won't be able to call upon star man Gareth Bale, who is suspended.
Inter are expected to rest several of their key players, but the Spurs boss has no intention of following suit.
"No chance," was his response, when asked if he was considering fielding a weakened team in yesterday's pre-match press conference. "There is no scoreline that could make us change six or seven players so we will play a strong team to make sure we go through in this competition. We take this game very seriously."
Progression to the quarter-finals at the expense of a club that has won three Champions League trophies and 18 Serie 'A' titles, would reaffirm Tottenham's position as favourites to reach the final and lift this year's Europa League crown in Amsterdam on May 15.
"We had very difficult draws for the last 32 and last 16 in Lyon and Inter Milan. They are two teams used to playing Champions League football and who are full of European experience," Villas-Boas said.
"It's been a brilliant experience so far and it shows the route we've chosen to take, by playing it seriously, has paid off in terms of these fixtures, which has been amazing.
"Hopefully if we can manage to overcome Inter we can put ourselves in a strong position (to win it), although we admit there are still some very strong teams in the mix."
Brad Friedel will continue to deputise for Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal, as Villas-Boas maintains his goalkeeper rotation policy in Europe.
Emmanuel Adebayor (knee) and Aaron Lennon (hamstring) both made the trip to Italy, but both players will face fitness tests before a decision is made on whether they start.
However, Clint Dempsey was left behind in north London despite recovering from recent injury. He continues his rehabilitation at Spurs Lodge ahead of this weekend's Premier League derby date with Fulham on Sunday.
Predicted Tottenham starting XI:
Friedel; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Naughton; Parker, Dembele; Lennon, Sigurdsson, Defoe, Adebayor.