MADRID - Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth
Bale has shaken off a hamstring injury and should be fit to
start Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final, first leg at
Real Madrid, manager Harry Redknapp said on Monday.
Central defender William Gallas, who was doubtful with a
knee problem, will train later on Monday and the London club are
hopeful he will also play, Redknapp told a news conference at
Real's Bernabeu stadium.
"Yeah he's fine," he said of Bale, who has been in
blistering form in Europe's elite club competition this season.
"He's going to train tonight and if he has no problems he'll
play," he added. "Gallas will train. We're hoping he'll be fit."
However, midfielder Nico Kranjcar is struggling with a badly
bruised foot sustained in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Wigan Athletic
and Tottenham could be forced to field only six substitutes
instead of the seven allowed by UEFA.
Wales international Bale has attracted the attention of a
number of Europe's top clubs with his swashbuckling form,
including a brilliant hat-trick in a 4-3 loss at holders Inter
Milan in October.
His presence on Tuesday could be crucial for a Tottenham
side making their debut in the Champions League and who have
drawn their last three matches in all competitions 0-0.
"Gareth Bale gives us everything," Redknapp said. "He gives
us goals and he gives us a fantastic pace and the ability to
turn defence into attack very quickly."
Tottenham take on the nine-times winners three days after
Real crashed to a shock home loss to Sporting Gijon in La Liga.
The defeat spoiled their perfect home record in the league of 14
wins from 14 this season and ended coach Jose Mourinho's
incredible nine-year unbeaten run in home league games.
"We often go home on a Saturday after losing at home and he
hasn't done it for nine years," Redknapp said.
"So now he knows how the rest of us feel. Hopefully, it will
be a bad week."
Redknapp said his players would have to be at their best to
have a chance of getting a positive result.
"I don't feel any pressure tomorrow. The only pressure is
that we play well," he said.
"Nobody expected us to be here, let's be honest. We have to
play well tomorrow. We're not just coming here to turn up.
"The dream is still there for us and we want to make that
dream come true and go all the way.
"We feel we can give anyone a game. Maybe Real Madrid are
favourites but we come here very confident and very optimistic
we can do the job."
The winners of the two-legged quarter-final will play 2009
champions Barcelona or Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine in the
Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho will part company at the end of the current season
Manchester City midfielder called up to the England squad for summer friendlies
Spurs miss out on Champions League again despite highest Premier League points tally
Champions closer to matching Real Madrid's La Liga record of 100 points with 2-1 win
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010