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By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Andre Villas-Boas says Emmanuel Adebayor should be available to start against Stoke after limping out of Sunday’s clash with Swansea.
Adebayor departed in the 72nd minute of the 1-0 victory over the Swans with an ankle injury, and he has not trained this week – but Villas-Boas hopes the Togo international will be in contention to face the Potters this weekend.
The head coach said: “He hasn’t trained with the team at the moment, hopefully he will train tomorrow. I don’t think he’s at risk of not being involved in the game.
“Muscle-wise he’s fine but he suffered a great knock to his ankle so he’s in a little bit of pain, but we have all the indications that he will train tomorrow and then we will make a decision whether to play him in the game. He should be available.”
Villas-Boas is also waiting to discover whether he will lose Adebayor to the African Nations Cup in January.
The Togo forward is in the midst of a pay dispute with his national FA and, having recently stated that he would not go to the tournament, he has been omitted from the squad for the upcoming friendly with Oman.
Villas-Boas said: “The decision he took was the one that you guys know, which was released in the statement. In the end, if there can be a turn in the situation, I’m not sure.
“At the moment the indication is that he’s not going to be involved [in the Cup of Nations]. We as a club are aware of the situation in between them and if it’s resolved it’s something we have to respect, although understanding that we would miss a vital player.”
Gareth Bale and Michael Dawson are both fit to face Stoke after recovering from hamstring injuries, while Villas-Boas expects to give Scott Parker his first start of the season at some stage during the busy festive period.
“Gareth has made good progress during this week and he will definitely be in contention for the game against Stoke,” said the head coach.
“He’s an important player for us, he can make the difference. You saw what he did against Liverpool, when he was outstanding. Players like him can decide a game for you and for us it is a tremendous boost, no doubt.
“Everyone is making a steady return back. Scotty and Benoit [Assou-Ekotto] are gaining fitness. Scotty has been involved already, and after his Monday fixture with the Under-21 team he is getting better. He is joining the level of form that his partners are at.
“Michael is fit - he is back in contention - and Benoit is making steady progress on his fitness. We have to make a decision tomorrow so there are better signs for us in terms of player availability.
“Could Scott start against Stoke? That’s a decision we have have to make. What I can tell you is that we have have four games in 11 days so inbetween all of them I think we will see Scotty make his return.”
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