Quick links

Tottenham Hotspur

Aaron Lennon's return set to aid Tottenham's Champions League push

Aaron Lennon is poised to boost Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League push by returning from knee trouble at Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

The England winger suffered the injury in the Europa League quarter-final first leg at home to Basel three weeks ago, although it was overshadowed somewhat when Gareth Bale rolled an ankle and was taken off on a stretcher in the closing moments.

Lennon had limped from the action midway though the first half and it was initially hoped that he could return for last Sunday's home game against Manchester City, together with Bale and the striker Jermain Defoe, who had been out with an abdominal problem. But whereas Bale and Defoe were fit, Lennon was unable to train in the run-up to the match and did not make the squad.

The manager, André Villas-Boas, though, expects to have Lennon available at Wigan, which will be a tonic given the manner in which he brings balance to the team. Tottenham do not have another natural right-winger in the squad.

Villas-Boas gave the players two days off after the dramatic 3-1 win over City, as he is keen not to over-train them at the end of a gruelling season. But they returned on Wednesday and Lennon was able to train with the rest of the squad.

Tottenham appear to have emerged from their injury problems, with only the long-term casualties Younès Kaboul and Sandro unavailable, plus William Gallas, who is struggling with a calf tear and is unlikely to make Wigan. Kaboul hopes to return before the end of the season but Sandro will not play again until the next campaign.

The squad have been pepped by the comeback against City, when they scored three late goals in seven minutes to stay tight to Arsenal in third and Chelsea in fourth. They sit two points behind Arsenal and one off Chelsea in fifth, with Arsenal having played one game more.

Tottenham have been left to contemplate what their players have called "five cup finals" but they also have an eye on the newly crowned champions Manchester United, whose next two games are against Arsenal and Chelsea. Villas-Boas hopes that United's determination to finish with a Premier League record points tally, rather than ease off with the trophy won, will ensure that they can thwart Tottenham's rivals. United will finish with 96 points if they win their remaining four fixtures, one more than Chelsea in 2005.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by David Hytner, for guardian.co.uk on Wednesday 24th April 2013 17.05 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


image: © TottenhamFan

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch