Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Preview

17 September 2010 03:17
Rafael van der Vaart is doubtful for Tottenham's Barclays Premier League game against Wolves. The Dutch interbnational continues to struggle with the sore calf picked up during Tuesday night's 2-2 Champions League draw at Werder Bremen.

Manager Harry Redknapp has "seven or eight" players carrying knocks and is set to rotate his squad, but Luka Modric (leg) is not expected to be risked, Ledley King may be rested after playing in midweek and Heurelho Gomes (groin) is still out.

Jermain Defoe, Michael Dawson (both ligament damage), Jamie O'Hara (back) and Jonathan Woodgate (groin) are long-term absentees.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy is willing to face a barrage of abuse as his side set out to restore their battered reputation. McCarthy has this week been forced to defend his players following accusations they are an overly aggressive side after collecting seven bookings in each of their last two games, incurring a £75,000 fine from the Football Association.

In last Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Fulham, during which Bobby Zamora sustained a broken right leg after a fair tackle from Karl Henry, the angry Cottagers fans turned on McCarthy and his players.

As referee Phil Dowd dished out the bookings, including two and a red for Christophe Berra, chants of "you're a disgrace to the Premiership" echoed around Craven Cottage. McCarthy was also personally singled out for derision, not that the robust Yorkshireman was concerned at the time, nor will he be at White Hart Lane should the Spurs fans do their worst.

"Fans calling me names doesn't bother me one iota," said McCarthy.

"Isn't it a strange phenomenon, though, I've never been called anything or abused by the opposition fans when we've been 3-0 down. At Fulham, wasn't it something to do with them trying to intimidate us and put us off?

"And they were only singing it because of what had been written and said in the media. I hope Tottenham (fans) are calling me all sorts tomorrow because it means we're playing well. But it's all water off a duck's back. Whether you like it or not is another matter to whether it affects you, and it doesn't affect me."

Berra is likely to be replaced by Richard Stearman in defence. Steven Mouyokolo came through a reserve outing earlier in the week and is added to the squad, whilst Ronald Zubar is expected to be fit after missing the game at Craven Cottage with a hamstring problem.

Source: DSG

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 16:17