Spurs look to finish off Milan

LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur can underline their credentials as viable Champions League contenders on Wednesday by adding the knockout-stage scalp of AC Milan to that of holders Inter who they beat in the group stage.

Spurs fans have enjoyed a Champions League debut season beyond their dreams as they delivered a swashbuckling 18-goal romp through the group stage.

Now, having produced a performance of defensive maturity in the San Siro to match any of the competition's grand names and added the huge bonus of Peter Crouch's superb away goal, the Londoners have become a team others will want to avoid.

Redknapp, whose side ripped Inter Milan apart 3-1 in the group stage, said he intended to maintain his attacking approach.

"When you have that advantage in a two-legged game, if you sit back and think you have the lead then you find yourself in trouble," he said.

"We have to treat it as a one-off and we have to go for it. It's not natural for us to sit on a 1-0 lead for 90 minutes.

"We will pick an attacking team and have a go at them; that's how we have got to play."

Spurs drew 3-3 with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday and though the result was disappointing Redknapp was pleased to see Gareth Bale come through a 20-minute run unscathed and to see Jermain Defoe back among the goals.

Bale, who tormented Inter home and away, missed six weeks with a back problem but should start on Wednesday to add attacking width on the left and compliment the threat of Aaron Lennon on the right.

Rafael van der Vaart, who is behind much of the side's best attacking work, should also be fit after a calf injury.

Defoe scored twice on Sunday, his first league goals for 11 months, and with Roman Pavlyuchenko also on target and Crouch looking the part in Europe, Redknapp has good options.

Serie A leaders Milan have won three straight league games since losing the first leg but they are missing several key players and have a dire record in England.

SAME STAGE

In 14 visits, the seven-times European champions have won once and lost nine times, including last season when they were thrashed 4-0 by Manchester United at the same stage.

Midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng is doubtful to face his former side after hurting his ankle in Saturday's 1-0 win at Juventus.

His absence would be a real blow given that midfielders Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini are injured, Mark van Bommel is ineligible and Gennaro Gattuso is suspended.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri may have to employ a makeshift midfield of Clarence Seedorf, Mathieu Flamini and German youngster Alexander Merkel or play left-back Marek Jankulovski further forward. The Czech won over doubters at the San Siro who assumed his Milan career was over after being on the fringes for over a year.

"A player that I really like at the moment, who is doing really well, is Jankulovski," Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani said.

Striker Alexandre Pato is expected to recover from flu to replace the ineligible Antonio Cassano.


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