AVB expects tough Palace test
Andre Villas-Boas expects his Tottenham team to walk in to a cauldron of hostile noise on Sunday when they take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
After a summer spent batting away questions about Gareth Bale's future, Villas-Boas is looking forward to returning to the dugout as Spurs look to start the season with a win.
Although Villas-Boas will be without Bale, who has a foot injury, for Sunday's game, the Spurs boss has the luxury of having four new signings available for the game in south-east London.
After a summer of frustration in the transfer market, Ian Holloway's team are favourites for the drop, but Villas-Boas is wary of under-estimating the newly-promoted side on Sunday.
Given that the fixture will be Palace's first in the top-flight in eight years, Villas-Boas expects a raucous atmosphere at Selhurst Park.
"It will be a difficult game because of Selhurst Park," Villas-Boas told Spurs TV Online. "As a stadium, it's very hard to play in, there will be lots of emotion and intensity, and it's always difficult to play against a team that has just come up."
While Spurs have spent almost Â£60million on new signings, Palace have struggled to add any experienced players to their squad.
To make matters worse, two of the club's key players from last year, Glenn Murray and Yannick Bolasie, are injured, as is new signing Jerome Thomas.
Villas-Boas still expects a competitive game from Holloway's side, though, partly because he has not been able to draw on the experience of playing Palace last year in his usually thorough preparation for the match.
"Obviously Palace have a couple of problems - they are trying to put their team together, but we don't know them as well as other teams, and that is always a factor," the 35-year-old said.
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