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MATCH PREVIEW

January arrivals set for Premier League bows

Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen have travelled with the squad for Tottenham Hotspur’s Monday night encounter with Liverpool.

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Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen have travelled with the squad for Tottenham Hotspur’s Monday night encounter with Liverpool.

The duo arrived either side of the January transfer deadline arriving from Everton and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

Harry Redknapp is also expected to be in the dugout for the game at Anfield, despite his ongoing trial for tax evasion.

However, the Spurs manager may have to make the trip without injured paring Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe.

Both players were suffered hamstring problems during the 1-0 FA Cup win over Watford and were forced to sit out the 3-1 win over Wigan Athletic last week.

Rafael Van der Vaart is set to face a late fitness test to determine after a calf problem he picked up during the first-half of the aforementioned 3-1 win.

Kyle Walker, however, has been given the all-clear to face the Reds after recovering from a slight groin pull during the victory over the Latics.

“Aaron and Jermain are being treated, both are extremely doubtful for Monday but obviously we’ll give them every chance,” said assistant manager Kevin Bond.

“The medical staff are working hard to see if they can get them there.

“Rafa went off with a calf strain and it’s a bit early to say what his prospects are for Monday. Kyle Walker should be fine.”

Tom Huddlestone, who has been missing since August, has started light-training again after recovering from ankle surgery, but the game comes too soon for him to make a return.

Potential starting XI

Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto; Sandro, Parker Van der Vaart, Modric, Bale; Adebayor

Key battles

Younes Kaboul will again need to be at his aerial best when he comes up against Andy Carroll on Monday night. The Frenchman has won the most duels in the air out of any Premier League defender this season, but Carroll on his day can prove a real threat to any defence. Craig Bellamy has been in inspiring form for the Reds of late, but will come up against Kyle Walker who has the pace to out-do the Welshman over a sprinting distance. Furthermore, the midfield pairing of Scott Parker and Sandro will look to get the better of influential captain Steven Gerrard and Charlie Adam, who came close to joining Spurs 12 months ago. 

Ben McAleer

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