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Tottenham v Shakhtar preview

26 February 2009 10:21
Tottenham must overcome a 2-0 deficit at home to Shakhtar Donetsk if they are to progress to the last 16 of the Uefa Cup but Harry Redknapp will field an under-strength side.

Spurs battled hard in the first leg in Ukraine a week ago but fell behind after a Heurelho Gomes mistake in the 79th minute and Jadson then added a second late on.

Redknapp has made Premier League survival his top priority but he is also looking ahead to Sunday's Carling Cup final against Manchester United.

The last thing Redknapp wants is for any of his key men to pick up an injury so he is expected to select an inexperienced team.

The likes of Dean Parrett, John Bostock and Giovani Dos Santos are set to feature once again, while Gomes will line up in goal in the absence of Carlo Cudicini, who has a knee injury.

Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate and Luka Modric are among those who will not be risked, although Jamie O'Hara may play after recovering from a hip complaint.

Robbie Keane, Vedran Corluka and Roman Pavlyuchenko are all cup-tied, while Alan Hutton and Jermain Defoe are long-term absentees.

Shakhtar newsShakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu is expecting a difficult test despite Redknapp's selection concerns.

"I still think the Tottenham team will be strong and we will be strong as well," said the Romanian. "There are no weak players in their squad.

"This is one of the high-level opponents we will be playing, like our matches against Barcelona, Valencia or Celtic - they are that kind of team."

Shakhtar's preparations have been disrupted by snow in Ukraine and last week's match was the club's first since early December.

Lucescu will welcome Tomas Hubschman back from suspension, while Brazilian playmaker Jadson is likely to provide the main threat again.

Source: SKY_Sports