LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur can underline
their credentials as viable Champions League contenders on
Wednesday by adding the knockout-stage scalp of AC Milan to that
of holders Inter who they beat in the group stage.
Spurs fans have enjoyed a Champions League debut season
beyond their dreams as they delivered a swashbuckling 18-goal
romp through the group stage.
Now, having produced a performance of defensive maturity in
the San Siro to match any of the competition's grand names and
added the huge bonus of Peter Crouch's superb away goal, the
Londoners have become a team others will want to avoid.
Redknapp, whose side ripped Inter Milan apart 3-1 in the
group stage, said he intended to maintain his attacking
"When you have that advantage in a two-legged game, if you
sit back and think you have the lead then you find yourself in
trouble," he said.
"We have to treat it as a one-off and we have to go for it.
It's not natural for us to sit on a 1-0 lead for 90 minutes.
"We will pick an attacking team and have a go at them; that's
how we have got to play."
Spurs drew 3-3 with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday and
though the result was disappointing Redknapp was pleased to see
Gareth Bale come through a 20-minute run unscathed and to see
Jermain Defoe back among the goals.
Bale, who tormented Inter home and away, missed six weeks
with a back problem but should start on Wednesday to add
attacking width on the left and compliment the threat of Aaron
Lennon on the right.
Rafael van der Vaart, who is behind much of the side's best
attacking work, should also be fit after a calf injury.
Defoe scored twice on Sunday, his first league goals for 11
months, and with Roman Pavlyuchenko also on target and Crouch
looking the part in Europe, Redknapp has good options.
Serie A leaders Milan have won three straight league games
since losing the first leg but they are missing several key
players and have a dire record in England.
In 14 visits, the seven-times European champions have won
once and lost nine times, including last season when they were
thrashed 4-0 by Manchester United at the same stage.
Midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng is doubtful to face his
former side after hurting his ankle in Saturday's 1-0 win at
His absence would be a real blow given that midfielders
Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini are injured, Mark van Bommel
is ineligible and Gennaro Gattuso is suspended.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri may have to employ a makeshift
midfield of Clarence Seedorf, Mathieu Flamini and German
youngster Alexander Merkel or play left-back Marek Jankulovski
further forward. The Czech won over doubters at the San Siro who
assumed his Milan career was over after being on the fringes for
over a year.
"A player that I really like at the moment, who is doing
really well, is Jankulovski," Milan chief executive Adriano
Striker Alexandre Pato is expected to recover from flu to
replace the ineligible Antonio Cassano.
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