EPL: Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton Preview

Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton
English Premier League
White Hart Lane, North London
Saturday, 23 October 2010
11:45 GMT 

After 35 minutes of Wednesday's Champions League visit to face Inter Milan, Harry Redknapp must have wondered how he could possibly lift his Tottenham side for a testing with David Moyes' resurgent team. Already four down, reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Heurelho Gomes, and facing humiliation, the challenge of juggling domestic and European campaigns suddenly looked very daunting but Gareth Bale's hat-trick capped a stirring comeback that fell agonisingly short of producing an equaliser.

That at least meant Spurs returned with their heads held high and bolstered by the knowledge they had run the European champions close, although the effects of chasing a game for 82 minutes with only nine outfield players could weigh heavily on their efforts against Everton. Sitting fifth, Redknapp's side have made a good start in their efforts to match last season's top four finish, but Everton's recent revival means this game pitches them against one of the teams most capable of upsetting the leading group.

Everton manager David Moyes questioned his own methods during a difficult start to the campaign but the exuberant victory over Liverpool in the Merseyside derby last weekend has renewed optimism at Goodison Park. Back to back victories over Birmingham and Liverpool have lifted Everton out of the relegation zone and up to mid-table. Prior to that, Moyes' side claimed a creditable point at Fulham and a fourth unbeaten game will offer further evidence that the difficult start to the season is now behind them.

Spurs manager Redknapp believes Bale still has energy left in the tank despite his efforts at the San Siro and a gruelling domestic and international schedule. Redknapp said, "The kid is tired after two tough games with Wales. We'll see how he is, he's running nearly on empty but there's still a bit of petrol in there. He doesn't get carried away. He'll look back on it and think what an achievement and what a great hat-trick." Redknapp reiterated Bale will not be sold, adding, "Gareth is not for sale, he's not got a value. I spoke to the chairman other day. He's here and happy to be here and we want to push on and qualify for the Champions League on a regular basis."

Meanwhile, Moyes admits his Everton side have enjoyed winning the bragging rights on Merseyside, but acknowledges it will count for little if they crash at Tottenham. He said, "We've enjoyed it. We've not had the opportunity to win against them often enough. But on Sunday night it was forgotten about and we we've moved on. We enjoyed it after the game but that's forgotten."We may have turned the corner, but we wanted more points. We still do. It will be tough against a strong Spurs side. They have some very good player with a balanced squad and will be there at the end of the season."

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