COMMENTARY | Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas is getting a healthy squad at the most vital time of the season.
Three days after their season-saving rally versus Manchester City, sources are reporting that Tottenham are about to receive a major boost. Aaron Lennon, who picked up a knee injury during the club's Europa League showdown versus Basel back on April 4, looks set to return to action this coming weekend when Spurs will be away to Wigan. Lennon was originally hoped to be available for the home game against City, but he failed a midweek fitness test and was thus kept out of action by Villas-Boas.
The performances of Player of the Year nominee Gareth Bale has caused some to label this year's Tottenham side as a "one-man team." Defender Jan Vertonghen, who signed for Spurs last summer, has also excelled, and he was named Player of the Month for March. All the while, Lennon has enjoyed the best season of his professional career under Villas-Boas, developing into one of the more underrated two-way players in the league.
Lennon's absence was especially noticeable in the first hour of Tottenham's most recent game against City. Spurs had zero depth without Lennon on the pitch, and nobody tracked back with any regularity as Lennon routinely has in matches throughout the current season. It was only after AVB made three key substitutions in the span of 11 minutes that Spurs began playing like a team capable of completing a comeback; which they did in stunning fashion.
Lennon is not the only Tottenham player recovering from injury. Gareth Bale, who hurt his ankle during the previously mentioned Basel contest, recently admitted that he is playing through the pain. Jermain Defoe, dealing with a pelvic issue, may also not be 100 percent come this weekend. Both lineup mainstays are, however, expected to be available for Villas-Boas, and both could potentially start.
Spurs, currently fifth in the table, trail rivals Arsenal by two points and Chelsea by just one. Chelsea and Tottenham both have a game in hand over the Gunners, and Spurs will be away to Chelsea for a pivotal league match in May. Tottenham have somewhat of an advantage over their foes who are also attempting to earn Champions League football in that they play a day before Arsenal and Chelsea will be in action this weekend. Sunday's fixtures include Chelsea vs. Swansea City, and Arsenal vs. Manchester United.
In a perfect world for Spurs, a victory over Wigan would put some additional pressure onto Chelsea and Arsenal to match Tottenham win-for-win. As goalkeeper Hugo Lloris recently stated, every game for Spurs up through May is a Final. It doesn't matter if the opponent is Wigan or Manchester City.
Tottenham have to win them all.
Zac has been covering Tottenham Hotspur, Major League Soccer, RBNY, the USMNT and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
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