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Spurs: AVB Confirms Gareth Bale To Miss Crystal Palace Opener

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Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale is set to miss the Premier League opener against Crystal Palace amid ongoing speculation about his future, according to Sky Sports News.

The 24-year-old has sat out the majority of Spurs’s pre-season campaign with buttock and foot problems and wasn’t involved in the recent games against Brentford and Swindon.

He also sat out Wales’s 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland yesterday.

Bale will remain with his Welsh teammates this week before returning to Tottenham ahead of the Premier League opener against Palace at the weekend, though according to manager Andre Villas-Boas is not expected to take part.

When asked if the midfielder would play a part in the game against Ian Holloway’s side, Villas-Boas replied:

“No, because he has been out injured most of pre-season.”

Rumours over Bale’s future continue to swirl with the Welshman continuing to be linked with a world-record-transfer move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has been making efforts to distance himself from the speculation, saying recently that Bale “is not in his plans”.

But news that Bale could be set for a 100 million move to the Bernabeu continues to intensify and you have to wonder if the double PFA Player of the Year has already played for Tottenham for the final time.

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Fulham vs Spurs – Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups

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Date: Wednesday, December 4th Venue: Craven Cottage Kick-off: 19:45

Match Preview

Martin Jol was deprived the chance to get things back on track for Fulham against his former club this week, and instead the task falls to Rene Meulensteen – that chap who was sat next to Alex Ferguson for past couple of years. The fact Fergie rated him highly enough to make him his first team couch is credit enough for his coaching skills. Whether he can front a Premiere League club will be put to the test as his Fulham enter into the grueling Christmas fixtures. They have won just four of their last 21 watches and collected just four points from their last ten.

AVB and his goal-shy and leaky Spurs side have equally as many questions to answer, and this may or may not prove to be the best match for them to truly show their credentials. While they are just three points outside of the top four, the fact they received such a drubbing from City ten days ago and the form of their neighbors has brought their early season promise into doubt.

Key Stats

Spurns trounced Fulham in the corresponding fixture last season 0-3, but Fulham walked away with the three points when they visited the Lane at the end of last season and snatched a hard fought 0-1.

Both teams go into this with much to prove. For Fulham, they’ve lost their last five successive matches, and are quickly in danger of going into Christmas at the root of the table. Meanwhile, Spurs form is nowhere near what the fans expected it would be after a promising if not awe-inspiring start. Despite the point against United, the drubbing received from the other Manchester outfit will still be on the tip of their tongues.

Team News

Don’t expect wholesale changes from Fulham; Meulensteen has been influencing their play since the start of the campaign. They will still be without other former spurs man Dimitar Berbatov, so Darren Bent is likely to continue his loan spell from Villa as a lone striker for the Cottagers.

The big question surrounding the Spurs’ line up will be whether AVB decides to stand by his goal-shy 26-million pound penalty taker Roberto Soldado or go with Jermaine Defoe who has been prolific in the Uefa Cup. Andros Townsend also looks likely to get a start after missing out on the weekend.

Likely Line-Ups

Fulham: Stekelenburg; Hughes, Senderos, Amorebieta, Richardson; Sidwell, Parker, Kasami; Duff, Bent, Ruiz

Spurs: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Vertonghen; Sandro, Paulinho; Townsend, Sigurdsson, Lennon; Soldado


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Spurs Transfer News: Jermain Defoe Could Join Toronto FC?

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Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has been offered a huge 5 million-a-year offer to move to Canadian club Toronto FC in the New Year, according to the Mirror.

The MLS outfit have put a stunning package – including a 90,000-a-week salary – on the table for the England international in a bid to pry him away from White Hart Lane.

They face competition from Queens Park Rangers, however, whose boss Harry Redknapp wants to be reunited with the 31-year-old following their time together at Spurs and Portsmouth.

Redknapp sees Defoe as the ideal player to spearhead his side’s Championship promotion push back into the Premier League following relegation from the topflight last season.

The forward has scored eight goals from his 13 appearances so far this term but is behind Roberto Soldado in the pecking order.

Defoe is also set to fall out of contention for first team places further still with news that Emmanuel Adebayor is set to be reintegrated into the starting XI.

The reintroduction of the 29-year-old to the first-team set-up is set to further limit Defoe’s opportunities, and he will seriously consider a move away to gain more regular playing time in a World Cup Year.

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Spurs 1-1 Chelsea: 5 Things We Learned


Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea played out an entertaining and feisty affair at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon, as old friends Andre Villas-Boas’ and Jose Mourinho’s sides shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

It was Spurs who took the lead in the 19th minute, when Christian Eriksen broke free and found Roberto Soldado who, in turn, found Gylfi Sigurdsson – the Icelandic midfielder battled his way through to score his third Premier League goal of the season.

Chelsea equalised in the second half when, in the 65th minute, Juan Mata – on as a substitute – curled a free kick in to the box, which John Terry met with a glancing header which left Hugo Lloris standing.

Fernando Torres was sent off in the 81st minute for a second bookable offence, but Chelsea held out for the draw which, in the end, was a fair reflection of the match.

Click “next” below to see five things we learned from Chelsea’s visit to White Hart Lane…

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