Tottenham v Blackburn preview
Spurs and Rovers target vital wins for very different reasons
By Jonathan Jurejko. Last Updated: 30/04/12 12:53pm
Harry Redknapp: Challenged his Spurs side to win each of their remaining four games
Champions League-chasing Tottenham host second-bottom Blackburn this weekend in a Premier League clash labelled as a "must-win" for both sides.
Form guide: Tottenham: LLDWD Blackburn: WLLLL Injuries: Tottenham: Assou-Ekotto, Kranjcar, Huddlestone, Dawson Blackburn: Hanley Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire) Sky Bet odds: Tottenham 4/11 Draw 4/1 Blackburn 13/2 Bet on Sunday's match
Spurs have dropped out of the top four following a dismal run of just one victory in their last nine matches.
At the other end of the table, Blackburn are deep in the relegation mire with just three games left to save their top-flight status.
Tottenham defender Ryan Nelsen, who left Rovers for White Hart Lane in January, has stressed the importance of the match by admitting both sides need wins for their respective battles.
Harry Redknapp's team occupied third place for the bulk of the campaign but have been overhauled by bitter rivals Arsenal and Newcastle in the race for a place among Europe's elite.
Redknapp has told his players they need to win all four of their remaining matches if they want to climb back into the top four - starting with the visit of Blackburn on Sunday.
Continental action seems a distant memory for Rovers, who are three points away from safety with time running out.
It has been a tempestuous season for the Lancashire club with frustrated fans voicing their anger at owners Venky's and manager Steve Kean throughout.
Kean's men seemed to have turned the corner with two straight wins last month before they plummeted back into the drop zone with a horror run of five defeats.
Victory against Norwich last weekend was a vital lifeline and they could lift themselves out of trouble with only their third away success of the season.
But Spurs, who have lost just three home games this term, know another White Hart Lane triumph may reduce their three-point deficit on Newcastle.
Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor have recovered from their respective knee and hamstring injuries and will be available.
Ledley King is a doubt with his chronic knee injury, but Benoit Assou-Ekotto has been ruled out for the season after dislocating his shoulder against QPR.
Niko Kranjcar (knee), Tom Huddlestone (ankle) and Michael Dawson (ankle) are out.
Blackburn manager Kean has virtually a full squad, with Montenegro midfielder Simon Vukcevic recovering from a virus.
Jason Lowe has shaken off a knee problem so only Grant Hanley, who has an ankle ligament injury, is missing.
Possible starting XIs
Tottenham: Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Rose; Lennon, Parker, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart; Adebayor.
Blackburn: Robinson; Orr, Dann, Givet, Martin Olsson; Lowe, Dunn, Nzonzi, Pedersen; Hoilett, Yakubu.
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||16||28|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||16||17|
|18||Queens Park Rangers||16||14|
Tottenham v Blackburn
Spurs ace Kyle Walker revealed he does not rehearse free-kicks but it 'felt right' after he hit a stunner in the win over Blackburn.
Harry Redknapp has challenged Spurs to win their remaining three games after they beat Blackburn to re-take fourth in the table.
Goals from Rafael van der Vaart and Kyle Walker saw Tottenham beat relegation-threatened Blackburn 2-0 and move back into fourth.