Friday, 21 November 2008

Spurs v Blackburn Premiership Preview: Modric Out For Tottenham As Rovers Look To End 7-Game Winless Streak

Tottenham Hotspur play, Paul Ince’s Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League at White Hart Lane on Sunday

Spurs will be full of confidence going into this clash with Blackburn, despite losing for the first time in seven games under new boss Harry Redknapp against Fulham at Craven Cottage last weekend. Tottenham are still in the relegation zone, but had won three out of the last four in the Premiership before the defeat to the Cottagers, with wins against Liverpool, Manchester City and Bolton and a draw against North London rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. Redknapp will see this as a must win game against Rovers, who are just a point ahead of Tottenham in the table.

Ince will be hoping his Blackburn side can turn around a slump that has seen them take just 3 points out of a possible 21 in the last seven games, which has seen the North West club slide into the relegation zone. Rovers have not won since September, when they beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St James’ Park. Ince will be boosted by the fact that Blackburn have been better on their travels this season losing only twice compared with four times at Ewood Park, but will be happy to take anything away from White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Redknapp will be without his playmaker Luka Modric, who will be out for up to two weeks with a groin strain picked up against Fulham last weekend.

A statement on the club's official website read: “An MRI scan has revealed that Luka Modric has suffered a partially torn groin muscle. He was forced off with the injury at half-time in Saturday's match with Fulham and is expected to be sidelined for up to two weeks.”

While, Tottenham will also be without Giovanni Dos Santos (ankle) and Brazilian Gilberto (knee) for the visit of Blackburn. One selection dilemma for Redknapp is who to play up front, with Roman Pavlyuchenko, Darren Bent and Fraizer Campell, who was man-of the-match for the England Under-21 side in their win against the Czech Republic on Tuesday all in good goal-scoring form.

Blackburn will be without Brett Emerton (hamstring), Steven Reid (knee), Vince Grella (hamstring) and David Dunn (calf) for the crunch clash at White Hart Lane. Paul Robinson is set to face his former club for the first time since his summer move to Rovers and will want to show Spurs they were wrong to sell him after being shown the door at Tottenham by former manager Juande Ramos.

Tottenham Hotspur: (from) Gomes, Hutton, Bale, Zokora, Bentley, Huddlestone, Lennon, Jenas, Pavlyuchenko, Bent, Stalteri, Ghaly, Gunter, Campbell, Taarabt, Dawson, Cesar, Corluka, Boateng, O’Hara, King, Assou-Ekotto, Rocha, Woodgate, Bostock, Dervite

Blackburn Rovers: (from) Robinson, Oojer, Warnock, Samba, Tugay, Nelsen, Santa Cruz, McCarthy, Pederson, Khizanishvili, Vogel, Mokoena, Andrews, Villanueva, Simpson, Fowler, Treacy, Derbyshire, Olsson, Roberts, Brown, Bunn

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