Spurs Vs Wolves: Match Preview 12/12/09

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Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric returns to the squad for the Barclays Premier League clash against Wolves after recovering from a fractured fibula suffered in August.

Ledley King (knee) and Jonathan Woodgate (groin) are ruled out of the match at White Hart Lane, with Carlo Cudicini (wrist and pelvis) also on the sidelines.

Wilson Palacios (ribs) is fit and Giovani dos Santos (ankle) has trained.

Boss Harry Redknapp has ordered his players not to organise a Christmas party - because the time to celebrate will be the end of the season if they stay in the Barclays Premier League top four.

With celebrations during the festive period at the centre of Stoke's dressing-room bust-up last weekend, Redknapp is adamant about his players remaining focused on challenging for a Champions League place.

"Don't have one, that's the only advice I have," Redknapp said. "I don't see the point because they're nothing but aggravation for everybody.

"Everyone's waiting for you to trip up, go out and get drunk or act silly. You don't need that.

"It's a long season and at the end of that, if we are successful and achieve something at Tottenham, they can go and have a party. They can go and enjoy their break in the summer.

"This is a busy period, a working period. Why should we have Christmas parties? Every year there's aggro at every football club that has one."

Robbie Keane has not yet spoken to his manager about organising an evening for the first-team squad at Spurs - and Redknapp does not expect his skipper to be asking for permission.

"I don't think they'd take the liberty to have one without asking first," Redknapp added. "If they tell me they're having a Christmas party I'll tell them they're not having one.

"I want to see them enjoy themselves but not at this time of year. They've got nothing to celebrate.

"They have to maintain their fitness and be prepared for a tough programme coming up - one thing they don't need is to get a load of booze down their neck."


Meanwhile, Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has described losing striker Andy Keogh for three months as "a massive blow".

The Irish forward suffered ankle ligament and tendon damage in training and is now set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

McCarthy said: "That is a massive blow for us and for Andy. It looks like he will be missing for at least 12 weeks.

"He was running through on goal and got clipped as he landed. He scored and jumped over (keeper) Wayne Hennessey and then just rocked his ankle."

McCarthy has warned his players not to let their standards slip when they face Spurs.

With Wolves fighting for Barclays Premier League survival, McCarthy has made it clear that the performance in last weekend's crucial 2-1 win against Bolton has to be the benchmark for the rest of the season.

McCarthy added: "We are going to Tottenham to get something.

"If we play like we did last Saturday then we have a chance. If we play like we did the previous Sunday against Birmingham (a 1-0 defeat) then we might as well not bother.

"I have no idea where that dross came from against Birmingham and we all know what can happen if we are not at it."

Striker Chris Iwelumo returns to the squad after recovering from the foot injury he suffered against Stoke in October, but McCarthy is set to retain the side that started the game against Bolton.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Jonathan Woodgate
Ledley King
Premier League
Luka Modric
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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