Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

If They Expose City's Soft Underbelly, Spurs Can Go on to Claim Fourth Spot

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

If They Expose City's Soft Underbelly, Spurs Can Go on to Claim Fourth Spot

Article excerpt

Byline: Glenn Hoddle Ex-Spurs and England star EXCLUSIVE

TACTICALLY Harry Redknapp has an intriguing choice to make tonight for the clash at Eastlands. He could go for it by taking Manchester City on at their own attacking game in their own backyard or he may try a cuter move.

That would involve playing Eidur Gudjohnsen behind the front striker, catching City by surprise.

I expect, though, that the Tottenham manager will play two up front in Jermain Defoe and Roman Pavlyuchenko, with Peter Crouch and Gudjohnsen on the substitutes' bench.

Harry will want to start with Defoe regardless of the formation he chooses because, if he is on fire, he is one of the best finishers in the Premier League.

I don't think Harry has any fears of going to Eastlands. When he went to Old Trafford, his team took on Manchester United and even though they lost his attitude is always to go for the win rather than defend, defend, defend, and hope to secure a point.

City have shown they are vulnerable at the back and that, if they go a goal down, they sometimes appear to be fragile. That's what happened against Aston Villa last weekend. Not only did they concede the opening goal, they could have let a few more in but all credit to the way City hit back.

Spurs know, however, that if they can get an early goal they will put City under enormous pressure.

Both teams have problems with their goalkeepers. Even if Heurelho Gomes plays for Spurs at Eastlands tonight, he will be carrying his groin injury, as he was limping on Saturday and is a risk, while City will miss Shay Given.

If Gomes does not make it, then Ledley King will have a huge role to play. If he is alongside Michael Dawson, then Spurs have the better defence.

King (right) will give Spurs a massive boost and I expect him to play as I am sure that Harry may think he can cope against Burnley in the last match of the season without him. He will want him out there against City.

Dawson should be in the England team with King and I am sure Fabio Capello will be at Eastlands watching him closely. But with Rio Ferdinand still not fully fit, Dawson must be an option for England. …

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