CONFIRMED: Tottenham line-up vs Crystal Palace this afternoon

How is Andre Villas-Boas setting up his team for the first game of the new season?

Tottenham Hotspur take on newly promoted outfit Crystal Palace today in an opening fixture London derby at Selhurst Park. The early afternoon kick-off is expected to go one way, with Spurs the overwhelming favourites. But let us not forget that the last time Ian Holloway brought a team into the Premier League it was Blackpool, and they opened their campaign by thrashing Wigan Athletic - so he will have his boys fired up for this one.

Nevertheless Spurs will consider themselves the overwhelming favourites to pick up victory in this tie - and there should be a fair old amount of debutants making an appearance for Andre Villas-Boas’ men.

Record signing Roberto Soldado is expected to start, as is fellow new-boy Paulinho - however Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli may have to settle for a place on the bench - but I'll keep you guessing.

But for Spurs, this potential banana-skin has become more treacherous because of those missing.

Emmanuel Adebayor is away on compassionate leave, Lewis Holtby is injured whilst Jan Vertonghen was doubtful, but will play, with the ankle injury he suffered in pre-season - oh, and some guy called Gareth Bale is also unavailable.

But Spurs will be hoping to put all that behind them, and pick up an early win to alleviate the fears over Bale’s ropey looking future at the club.

And here is the team tasked with doing it...

Spurs XI: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Lennon, Dembele, Chadli, Sigurdsson, Paulinho; Soldado.

Subs: Kaboul, Capoue, Townsend, Naughton, Defoe, Friedel, Carroll.

image: © OliverN5

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