x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Problems in the middle for Tottenham manager for Europa game

Spurs's plans for the tie - the winners of which will reach the Europa League group stage – have been also disrupted by the Edinburgh Festival.

Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, could be without six midfielders for tonight's Europa League play-off first leg at Hearts.

Sandro, Wilson Palacios (both knee) Steven Pienaar, Luka Modric (both groin) and Jermaine Jenas (Achilles) are all out while Tom Huddlestone is a doubt with an ankle problem, meaning the 21-year-old Jake Livermore is almost certain to start just his second game for Spurs.

Ledley King and Alan Hutton are sidelined with knee injuries and William Gallas is also out with a calf problem.

Tottenham's plans for the tie - the winners of which will reach the Europa League group stage – have been also disrupted by the Edinburgh Festival.

Additional visitors to the Scottish capital, where Hearts play their games, during August meant that Spurs could not be accommodated in a suitable hotel, so they are staying 50 miles further north in St Andrews.

Joe Jordan, the Spurs first-team coach, said in a number of Scottish newspapers: "It's been a problem with our preparation, but we'll get around it.

"We would have liked to have been closer on the day of the game so our journey there would have been a lot shorter."

The fixture will be Tottenham's first competitive match of the season, with their Premier League opener with Manchester United following on Monday.

Three other English clubs are in action tonight. Stoke City, who qualified for Europe as losing FA Cup finalists, visit FC Thun of Switzerland.

Matthew Upson, their free transfer signing from West Ham United, is likely to make his debut at centre-back.

Fulham host Ukraine's Dnipro, who have just signed the Blackburn Rovers forward, Nikola Kalinic, while Birmingham City, the Carling Cup winners who were relegated last season, travel to Portugal's Nacional.

* Agencies

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