It'll be quite the shakeup in Tottenham Hotspur's attacking game on Saturday, as Spurs seek their first victory of the EPL season on the road against Wolverhampton .
The blow comes at a time when Spurs, who have scored just once in 180 minutes of league play, desperately need a reliable goal-scoring presence to build some momentum as they finally face opposition with names that don't start with "Manchester."
Spurs will have to hope that Emmanuel Adebayor can fill the goal-scoring role instead.
Saturday should be our first opportunity to really see how Tottenham's new loan acquisition fits in with the squad, and whether he can represent the quality striker that Spurs have so desperately needed to capitalize on the build-up their quality midfield often creates.
With van der Vaart out for an estimated six weeks, could we finally see the return of a 4-4-2 formation for Spurs against Wolves?
If so, then Adebayor could have some help, with Jermain Defoe or Roman Pavlyuchenko as possibilities to play alongside him, as Harry Redknapp (hopefully) tinkers with a system that is obviously not working.
Pavlyuchenko recorded nine league goals for Spurs in 2010-11, but has yet to make his debut in the new season.
Spurs confirmed on their website this morning that both Adebayor and newly acquired midfielder Scott Parker will make their Tottenham debuts on Saturday. Redknapp said, "Scott is ready to play and Emmanuel is short of games, but he's a naturally fit guy and again, ready to play."
Added Harry: "Ledley [King] has an outside chance of playing at Wolves," which is great news for a side that has struggled defensively in their first two matches.
As for Parker, we'll likely get our first glimpse of the player that Redknapp called "right up there with the best midfielders in the country," stating: "He's a real competitor and an all-round player. For me, he's not just a defensive midfielder, he can do the lot. He can surge forward, make goals, score goals, he's a box-to-box midfielder."
With Wolverhampton, Spurs have the misfortune of once again facing a club in the top quarter of the table. Only this time, it will be a side that nobody realistically expects to stay there.
Still, the last time Tottenham visited Molineux, they failed to secure all three points and instead settled for a draw against the side that is notoriously difficult to face at home.
The next three matches on Spurs' agenda constitute a key point in their season, as it represents their first real test against competition that is closer to the average level that they'll face throughout the coming months. It will be a much more realistic indicator than the matches against the Manchester sides, and Spurs are looking to show they can at least compete well enough against lesser competition to earn a spot near the top of the table.
All in all, Wolves should be beatable for Tottenham on Saturday.
More importantly, expect Spurs to treat this match as a must-win as they hope to finally gain some momentum in the Premier League.
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