If there is one thing defending UEFA Champions League winners Inter Milan would like to do Tuesday night at White Hart Lane it is to make sure Inter finishes the match like it started it.
After dominating much of the encounter when the two teams met in Milan two weeks ago, the Nerazzurri gave up two late goals at the hands of Tottenham star left midfielder Gareth Bale in a 4-3 win.
Inter will no doubt have a more difficult time on the road as it will be without the services of goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who picked up an injury this weekend as well as midfielder Esteban Cambiasso, one of the world’s top defensive midfielders.
Veteran Luca Castellazzi is expected to start in goal.
With many injuries in the midfield, it appears that Sulley Muntari will get the call for Inter in the middle of the pitch with captain Javier Zanetti as other options, Dejan Stankovic and Thiago Motta, are also out injured.
On the positive side, Inter will welcome back forward Diego Milito, who has missed a few weeks after being injured while on international duty.
Tottenham will also be playing with a second-string keeper as Italian Carlo Cudicini starts in place of Heurelho Gome, who is out due to a red card suspension.
Spurs has been boosted by the news that Rafael Van der Vaart will be available after it was feared he may not be able to make it when he did not finish the weekend match with Manchester United. Tom Huddleston, who has also been banged up, has been cleared to play.
Tottenham will certainly try to stretch Inter with Bale and Aaron Lennon on the wings. But Inter counters with two of the best in the business in Maicon and Christian Chivu.
Inter could face problems in the midfield as Muntari has been far back on the depth chart and will be starting only because of injuries to a number of others.
The play of the goalkeepers could be a key as both are not regulars and could be a little rusty.
Harry Redknapp has many options to choose from. Roman Pavlyuchenko and Peter Crouch have played the most this season and could get the starting spots.