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Wednesday 21 December 2011

Bale injury doubt for Chelsea encounter

Spurs winger rated "very doubtful" for London derby at White Hart Lane

Ramires, who has been a regular for Chelsea in midfield, has been passed fit to play

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says winger Gareth Bale is "very doubtful" for the London derby against Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League on Thursday.

The Wales international has an ankle sprain which kept him out of Spurs' 1-0 win over Sunderland on Sunday.

His absence would mean the hosts, currently in third place in the Barclays Premier League with 34 points, would be without their first-choice wingers as Aaron Lennon is also missing after sustaining a hamstring injury.

Redknapp has further fitness doubts about strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe as well as defender Ledley King.

"It normally takes six or seven days for Ledley's knee to go down, so we'll have to wait and see how it is today and tomorrow"
- Harry Redknapp

However, centre-back Younes Kaboul is available again after serving a one-match suspension.

"Gareth's struggling at the moment," Redknapp told on Wednesday. "He hasn't been able to train. He's very doubtful.

"It normally takes six or seven days for Ledley's knee to go down, so we'll have to wait and see how it is today and tomorrow. He'll be 50-50 at best I would imagine.

"Jermain, again, has a bit of a hamstring. He thinks he's got a chance, but the physio isn't keen on him taking a chance.

"Ade's got a foot problem, we'll see how he is. He can't train today, but we're hopeful. He doesn't miss too many games.

“Azza's (Lennon) got a hamstring injury, but he shouldn't be too long. It's only a minor tear. He could be fit in a couple of weeks."

Tottenham have a two-point lead in the Barclays Premier League table over their west London rivals, who have not won at White Hart Lane in their previous five visits.

"They are quick, explosive players that can create you problems on the flanks"
- Andre Villas-Boas

But despite the potential absence of Bale and Lennon, Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Redknapp still has plenty of attacking threat at his disposal.

"Those are two key players for Tottenham as you can see from the amount of times they are used," said the Portuguese coach.

"They are quick, explosive players that can create you problems on the flanks and there is no manager who is happy when he loses key players, but I am sure that Harry has enough solutions.

"We saw that when [Roman] Pavlyuchenko came on the other day against Sunderland and [Luka] Modric played on the left side with quite the same effect, so solutions will not be a problem for Harry."

Villas-Boas has been boosted with the news that John Terry and Ramires have been passed fit to play.

Chelsea skipper Terry had to be helped off the training pitch after sustaining an Achillies problem on Monday, but the Blues medical staff have given the defender the green light to play.

Midfielder Ramires has recovered from a bruised leg sustained in the 1-1 draw with Wigan on Saturday, but Brazilian compatriot David Luiz is unavailable because of a knee injury.

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Key Points

  • Spurs' Gareth Bale injury doubt for Chelsea match
  • Injury concerns over Adebayor, Defoe and King
  • Terry and Ramires passed fit to play for Blues