Tottenham V Swansea at White Hart Lane : Match Preview
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Spurs pair could face Swansea
Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto have returned to first-team training and could feature in Tottenham's Barclays Premier League game against Swansea.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas said Parker, who has not played this season due to an Achilles injury, and Assou-Ekotto, who has been out for three months with a knee problem, could feature this weekend, but hinted that they are more likely to be on the bench than in the starting XI.
Winger Gareth Bale (hamstring) is set to train but is unlikely to feature and Younes Kaboul (knee) is out, but captain Michael Dawson is likely to play after overcoming his hamstring injury.
Villas-Boas expects the Football Association to appeal against the two-match ban handed to Steven Caulker after revealing the Tottenham defender is "very disappointed" at the sanction imposed by UEFA.
Caulker will miss the England Under-21 team's Euro 2013 games against Italy and Norway after UEFA found him guilty of improper conduct for his actions during a post-match brawl against Serbia in October.
European football's governing body have been criticised for banning Caulker and his team-mate Thomas Ince, and for fining the Serbian FA #65,000 - some #15,000 less than was handed out to Nicklas Bendtner for revealing a sponsor's logo on his underpants during Euro 2012.
The Tottenham manager concedes that his defender is extremely unhappy with UEFA's action against him.
"I spoke to the player and he is obviously very disappointed," Villas-Boas said.
"It is difficult to take after (what) I heard from my players - from Danny [Rose], from Steven, from Adam Smith - from the situation they went through to see that the outcome is this one.
"I imagine the FA will appeal. I think they are entitled to do it. They have shown disappointment with the decision and I think they are going to take it forward in various different ways which I think should include trying to put right what is wrong in Steven's sanction."
Villas-Boas has included Caulker in his squad to face the Swans.
City captain Ashley Williams returns from suspension after missing the 1-0 Capital One Cup quarter-final victory over Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.
Gerhard Tremmel is set to continue in goal with Michel Vorm still sidelined by a groin problem while thigh trouble means Pablo Hernandez remains absent this weekend, although it appears likely that both injured players will be back in
action during Swansea's busy period of Christmas and New Year fixtures.
Swansea will face a side which boss Michael Laudrup believes will challenge strongly for fourth spot.
"At this moment, they are my favourites for the fourth position, which would be the last Champions League spot," Laudrup said.
"They have a very good squad, a really good team.
"I just hope going into the semi-final would compensate for the tiredness from Wednesday, and I hope we overcome that and the players can give another good away performance.
"We will go for it. We have confidence, and that is one of the main things in football.
"We have to be 100% focused the whole time, otherwise we will struggle. The team will be focused, and I am confident we will have another good performance."
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