Spurs sweating over key men

BY foxsports • November 23, 2010

Tottenham's hopes of sealing qualification for the Champions League knockout phase with a game to spare has suffered a blow after it emerged Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale are injury doubts for Wednesday's clash with Werder Bremen.

Van der Vaart, who has become the club's new talisman since his summer move from Real Madrid, failed to train on Tuesday morning and went for a scan on an ankle knock.

Fellow midfielder Bale, whose Champions League exploits this season have made him one of the most talked-about players on the planet, is suffering with a shoulder injury picked up in Saturday's north London derby.

Manager Harry Redknapp appeared more optimistic about the latter's chances of being fit but admitted Van der Vaart was "struggling".

"Obviously, he'd be a big loss to us - he's been in great form," said Redknapp, before pointing out the Holland international's loss would be offset by the recent return of striker Jermain Defoe from injury.

"Jermain Defoe's coming back as well, so that's a big bonus for us.

"Whether I start him or bring him off the bench, he'll play a part in the game for sure."

Van der Vaart and Bale were instrumental in Saturday's amazing comeback at the Emirates Stadium, which saw Spurs end a 17-year wait for victory at the home of their arch-rivals.

And Redknapp is hoping his side carry the euphoria from that victory into Wednesday's match.

"Knowing what it means to everybody associated with this club - the fans, the players, everybody who follows the club - to go to the Emirates and win as we did at the weekend must give us great confidence," he said.

"Hopefully, we can carry that through tomorrow night and really make it a springboard from here to push on for the rest of the season."