Tottenham Hotspur predicted line-up against Chelsea

Tottenham Huddle

Tottenham Hotspur are likely to be without the key figures of Mousa Dembele and Aaron Lennon, and Villas-Boas will also have to decide what formation to use at Chelsea.

Predicted team (4-3-3): Hugo Lloris - Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker - Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Lewis Holtby - Clint Dempsey, Gareth Bale, Emmanuel Adebayor

Andre Villas-Boas faces difficult decision in many positions around his Spurs team, but between the sticks there is one man well established as first choice at White Hart Lane, with Hugo Lloris' fine performance against Southampton at the weekend emphasising his quality.

Whilst Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson all more or less pick themselves as well, the left back position has had a variety of incumbents this year, and there is a chance that Kyle Naughton could end up coming in for Benoit Assou-Ekotto on Wednesday. However this wold be unexpected, with Assou-Ekotto's greater experience, and indeed his natural left foot, making him the best pick for the Portuguese manager.

Mousa Dembele missed the return fixture at White Hart Lane, and it looks likely Spurs will be without the talismanic Belgian again on Wednesday. Villas-Boas risked Dembele against Southampton, and had to replace him in the first half. With such a big game in the offing he will be tempted to risk Dembele again, but it is unlikely the Belgian will be fit to start.

Scott Parker will probably return after missing the Southampton match with a slight knock, and could make up part of a three man midfield with Tom Huddlestone and Lewis Holtby. Huddlestone has been excellent in his last four appearances, and will sit with Parker to try and deal with Chelsea's attacking midfield, whilst Holtby will have more freedom to press Chelsea's own holding midfielders.

It is a toss-up between Clint Dempsey and Gylfi Sigurdsson for the third spot in Spurs' attack, with Aaron Lennon coming off injured against Southampton and unlikely to start at Stamford Bridge. The Icelandic player gives more to the team as a whole, but Dempsey's eye for goal makes him a likely starter. Gareth Bale will of course start, leaving Villas-Boas to pick between Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor to lead the line.

Defoe contributed next to nothing against Wigan and Southampton and for all his faults, Emmanuel Adebayor is likely to get the nod against Chelsea. His hold up play helps bring the likes of Bale and Dempsey into the game, and will be needed to ensure Spurs keep the ball in Chelsea's half.

image: © wonker

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