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Injury to key defender could scupper Spurs’ top four hopes

| 08.03.2012

Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-1 victory over Stevenage last night was somewhat marred by a nasty injury to Michael Dawson, which could complicate Spurs’ 1/7 bid to claim a top-four finish.

Dawson was stretchered off the field following an awkward landing after a seventh minute aerial clash, and it was later confirmed that he had sustained ankle ligament damage that is likely to keep him sidelined until the end of the season and beyond.

The 28-year-old was understandably distraught as he left the field, as he now looks extremely doubtful to be fit in time for Euro 2012, where he had a good chance of making the England squad, particularly if his club boss Harry Redknapp takes the job as expected.

Often installed as Tottenham’s captain this season in the absence of Ledley King, Dawson’s leadership will be greatly missed during his lay-off at White Hart Lane, and punters could begin to look with more caution at the 1/7 price attributed to them achieving a top-four finish.

Still well-positioned in third place, Spurs need to arrest a run of patchy form of late in order to re-assert themselves as Champions League certainties.

Injuries to key players such as Dawson will not help, nor will the recurring hamstring troubles of winger Aaron Lennon, who also withdrew in the first half of the Stevenage clash last night.

While Redknapp has a large squad, he is running out of options to rotate it in defensive areas, with William Gallas only just nearing fitness, Ryan Nelsen having played very little football over the past year, and Ledley King’s well-documented knee troubles still an issue.

Sebastian Bassong’s loan deal at Wolves does not expire until the summer, and so Spurs remarkably look thin in the defensive department at the minute, which could lead to a struggle to claim Champions League qualification.

Therefore, this could increase the chances of Arsenal sealing their spot in the top four, which can be backed at 8/15 in the Premier League odds.



John Klee