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Tottenham V Liverpool at White Hart Lane : Match Preview

Updated 27 Nov 2012 16:01:13

Tottenham V Liverpool at White Hart Lane : Match Preview

Tottenham V Liverpool - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Fans are entitled to boo - Villas-Boas

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas thinks football fans are well within their rights to criticise their manager after a weekend which saw both Rafael Benitez and Arsene Wenger come under fire.

Chelsea supporters made their dissatisfaction clear over the appointment of Benitez as interim head coach at the weekend when they jeered the Spaniard and chanted the name of the man he replaced, Roberto Di Matteo, before the Blues' 0-0 draw against Manchester City.

Benitez was not the only manager to feel the heat from the terraces as Arsenal boss Wenger was also jeered for his decision to substitute Olivier Giroud for Francis Coquelin during their goalless draw at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Villas-Boas, whose side face Liverpool on Wednesday, has himself has been subjected to boos from some Spurs fans on occasion this season, but he insists supporters should be entitled to air their views if they think something is not right with their club.

Villas-Boas, who was sacked by Chelsea after less than nine months in charge of the club, told a press conference: "The fans have the right to everything in my opinion.

"They are the ones who breathe the biggest passion for the football club, they are the essence and they breathe the values of the football club.

"They are entitled to whatever they want to say or chant; disappointment, belief, encouragement, positiveness.

"It is all down to them, football is about them, it is about their passion.

"They have the right more than anybody to show that. (As a manager) you have to take it. Sometimes we don't like what we hear but that's life."

Midfielder Sandro has been passed fit despite being carried off on a stretcher with a stomach injury against West Ham.

Mousa Dembele may start his first game in over a month after overcoming a hip problem, but Emmanuel Adebayor is suspended.

Scott Parker (Achilles), Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul (both knee) remain sidelined.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits the club will have to at least give an indication they are capable of qualifying for the Champions League if they are to attract top-quality players.

The Reds have failed to finish in the top four in the last three seasons and that has undoubtedly impacted on the signings successive managers have been able to make.

Nine points currently separate them and fourth-placed Chelsea but Liverpool could strike a significant psychological blow if they beat Tottenham, who are only four points better off than them.

Spurs have shown over the last couple of years what effect the lure of Europe's elite club competition - combined with a healthy transfer budget - can have. In the summer they signed two of Liverpool's major targets midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and forward Clint Dempsey from under the nose of Rodgers as a result of better financial backing.

The Reds boss knows he cannot compete with the money counterpart Andre Villas-Boas has at his disposal and accepts rebuilding for a top-four challenge may take a while.

Rodgers said: "Over the course of the summer they invested something in the region of #55million net in terms of everything they were putting into the group.

"But it is not just in the last window, Tottenham have been building the group steadily and have worked their way up the league to become challenges for those Champions League positions.

"We are trying to arrive in that position and we see that what sometimes it takes in order to do that.

"Of course Liverpool want to be in for the top players and top talents and this is a club which will bring those players here.

"But obviously a lot of players want to be in the Champions League so if they want to come in here that is an area we want to get into in the coming years. We know we are not too far away and are very close to be arriving in that zone that we want to be in."


PA

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