AVB set to hand Sandro start
Spurs boss says pre-season preparations have gone smoothly
Last Updated: August 17, 2012 4:49pm
Andre Villas-Boas: Could hand Brazilian midfielder Sandro a start at Newcastle
Andre Villas-Boas looks set to hand midfielder Sandro a starting berth in Tottenham's opener against Newcastle at St James' Park on Saturday.
Despite having seen the Brazilian in training only once, Villas-Boas has been impressed with what he has seen from the 23-year-old.
Sandro had spent almost the entire summer in a Brazil shirt having turned out five times for his country in the Olympics before flying immediately to Stockholm to play as a substitute for the national team against Sweden this week.
Other than a brief meeting at Brazil's Olympic base in Hertfordshire, the Portuguese boss had not met Sandro until a training session at Spurs Lodge on Thursday.
"Sandro arrived back on Thursday, but he's in contention for Saturday," Villas-Boas said.
"He had a rest when the season was over and he only played two minutes for Brazil so you could say he is fresh.
"He has had the best training possible in terms of playing time so you can say that he is one step ahead in terms of physical preparation."
If he starts, Sandro will link up with either Jermaine Jenas or Jake Livermore just in front of the back four while Tom Huddlestone or Gylfi Sigurdsson could be used further up the field in place of Luka Modric.
Modric, who has four years left of his contract at Spurs, is edging closer to a move to Real Madrid and did not partake in the club's pre-season tour of the United States.
But Villas-Boas insists preparations went smoothly without the playmaker, saying: "We had a good pre-season, the spirit is good and the motivation is high."