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Shakhtar v Tottenham preview

19 February 2009 10:00
Tottenham Hotspur embark on the first of six games in 17 days when they tackle Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 32 of the Uefa Cup.

A hectic fixture schedule awaits Spurs, with manager Harry Redknapp describing the pile-up as "crazy".

Redknapp has also bemoaned the state of the playing surface in Ukraine, dubbing the pitch at RSK Olimpiyskyi unfit for non-league football.

Furthermore, Spurs will have to make do without a number of key players, as Redknapp looks ahead to a number of vital outings, including the Carling Cup final on 1st March.

Jonathan Woodgate, Luka Modric, Carlo Cudicini, Wilson Palacios and Aaron Lennon have all been rested for the clash.

Eight youngsters have travelled to Donetsk and 17-year-old Dean Parrett could start against the Ukrainian champions.

Team newsPascal Chimbonda is in the frame to make his first start since rejoining Spurs from Sunderland in the January transfer window.

Robbie Keane, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Vedran Corluka are cup-tied, as is injured striker Jermain Defoe.

Ledley King (hamstring) and Jamie O'Hara (hip) are out and Alan Hutton (foot) is out long-term so boss Redknapp has turned to his youngsters.

Mircea Lucescu's Shakhtar have been on their winter break and have not played since their 3-2 victory at Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League on 9th December.

Shakhtar have since lost striker Brandao to Marseille and defender Tomas Hubschman will be absent against Spurs through suspension.

Source: SKY_Sports