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Tottenham Hotspur: Kranjcar Ruled Out, Assou-Ekotto Doubtful for Wigan Trip

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28:  Niko Kranjcar of Tottenham in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on August 28, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Sean BabcockCorrespondent IISeptember 23, 2011

Tottenham Hotspur head out on the road once again this weekend to face Wigan Athletic on Saturday, adding a few more names to the injury list of their already battered squad.

Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar was a key element in Tottenham's successful home clash against Liverpool last week, skillfully filling Aaron Lennon's role on the right side of the pitch after the Englishman was left off the roster following a groin injury of his own.

Although Lennon is making progress in his recovery, he is still doubtful for the road match in the coming weekend. And now Kranjcar has been ruled out himself thanks to a recent hamstring injury.

Consistently-present left-back, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, is also doubtful for the match, adding more concerns to Tottenham's back line, which is already missing Michael Dawson and William Gallas among others. Assou-Ekotto is fending off an illness acquired over the past week.

Spurs are hoping to carry the momentum of two consecutive victories into the match, and leave the concerns that surrounded them following two brutal early-season defeats to Manchester United and Manchester City long behind them.

Tottenham will also enter the match hoping to improve on last season's record against Wigan Athletic, in which Spurs only earned one point out of a possible six against the lower-table side, contributing greatly to the North London outfit's fall out of the top four.

Harry Redknapp remains optimistic, pointing out on the Tottenham Hotspur official website that "we’ve kept four clean sheets in a row now, which has been good on the back of a couple of heavy defeats."

He added: "Now we are much stronger and in those first 30 minutes against Liverpool we were fantastic. We were much the better team from start to finish."

Spurs expect Rafael van der Vaart to be at full fitness for the weekend fixture, and welcome the return of Brazilian sensation Sandro to the lineup as well.

Also out for Spurs with various injuries: Tom Huddlestone and Danny Rose with ankle injuries, Steven Pienaar with a groin concern, and Roman Pavlyuchenko with an injured hamstring.

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