x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Premier League: Tottenham's Andre Villas-Boas anticpates intense encounter

The Portuguese's side travel across London to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: (L-R) Tottenham Hotspur Manager Andre Villas-Boas, Crystal Palace Manager Ian Holloway, Manchester United Manager David Moyes and Norwich City Manager Chris Hughton pose during the Official Premier League Season Launch Media Event at Bacon's College on August 15, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** 176542264.jpg
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: (L-R) Tottenham Hotspur Manager Andre Villas-Boas, Crystal Palace Manager Ian Holloway, Manchester United Manager David Moyes and Norwich City Manager Chris Hughton pose during the Official Premier League Season Launch Media Event at Bacon's College on August 15, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** 176542264.jpg

Andre Villas-Boas expects a loud and hostile reception for his Tottenham Hotspur team when they take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

After a summer spent batting away questions about Gareth Bale's future, Villas-Boas is looking forward to returning to the dugout.

Although Villas-Boas today will be without Bale, who has a foot injury, the Spurs manager has the luxury of having four new signings available for the game in south-east London.

Ian Holloway's Palace side, who have been frustrated in the transfer market, are favourites for relegation, but Villas-Boas is wary of the promoted side.

Given the fixture will be Palace's first in the top-flight in eight years, Villas-Boas expects a raucous atmosphere at Selhurst Park.

"It will be a difficult game because of Selhurst Park," Villas-Boas told Spurs TV Online.

"As a stadium, it's very hard to play in, there will be lots of emotion and intensity, and it's always difficult to play against a team that has just come up."

Spurs have spent almost £60 million (Dh344.2m) on new signings, but Palace have struggled to add any experienced players to their squad. To make matters worse, two of the club's key players from last year, Glenn Murray and Yannick Bolasie, are injured, as is the new signing Jerome Thomas.

"Obviously, Palace have a couple of problems - they are trying to put their team together," Villas Boas said. "But we don't know them as well as other teams, and that is always a factor."

Roberto Soldado is expected to line up in attack while Paulinho is likely to start in midfield. The new arrival Etienne Capoue, a France international, could be drafted in at centre-back if Villas-Boas decides Younes Kaboul is not ready to return from injury.

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