Spurs to stick to attacking ways

Spurs to stick to attacking ways

Londoners target AC Milan

Spurs fans have enjoyed a Champions League debut season beyond their dreams as they delivered a swashbuckling 18-goal romp through the group stage.

Now, having produced a performance of defensive maturity in the San Siro to match any of the competition's grand names and added the huge bonus of Peter Crouch's superb away goal, the Londoners have become a team others will want to avoid. Redknapp, whose side ripped Inter Milan apart 3-1 in the group stage, said he intended to maintain his attacking approach.

“When you have that advantage in a two-legged game, if you sit back and think you have the lead then you find yourself in trouble,” he said.  “We have to treat it as a one-off and we have to go for it. It's not natural for us to sit on a 1-0 lead for 90 minutes.  We will pick an attacking team and have a go at them; that's how we have got to play.”

Spurs drew 3-3 with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday and though the result was disappointing Redknapp was pleased to see Gareth Bale come through a 20-minute run unscathed and to see Jermain Defoe back among the goals.

Bale, who tormented Inter home and away, missed six weeks with a back problem but should start on Wednesday to add attacking width on the left and compliment the threat of Aaron Lennon on the right.

Rafael van der Vaart, who is behind much of the side's best attacking work, should also be fit after a calf injury.  Defoe scored twice on Sunday, his first league goals for 11 months, and with Roman Pavlyuchenko also on target and Crouch looking the part in Europe, Redknapp has good options.

Serie A leaders Milan have won three straight three games since losing the first leg but they are missing several key players and have a dire record in England. In 14 visits, the seven-times European champions have won once and lost nine times, including last season when they were thrashed 4-0 by Manchester United at the same stage.

Midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng is doubtful to face his former side after hurting his ankle in Saturday's 1-0 win at Juventus.  His absence would be a real blow given that midfielders Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini are injured, Mark van Bommel is ineligible and Gennaro Gattuso is suspended.

Coach Massimiliano Ambrosini may have to employ a makeshift midfield of Clarence Seedorf, Mathieu Flamini and German youngster Alexander Merkel or play left back Marek Jankulovski further forward. The Czech won over doubters at the San Siro who assumed his Milan career was over after being on the fringes for over a year.

Rough ride

Schalke 04 coach Felix Magath has been fighting a running battle with his own fans for months and if his team fails to move past Valencia on Wednesday in the Champions League he can expect an even rougher ride. Schalke fans unfurled a huge banner during their 1-0 defeat to VfB Stuttgart on Saturday reading “Magath out” in the latest twist of their strained relationship and the 57-year-old knows too well the power his fans yield in Gelsenkirchen.

With last season's Bundesliga runners-up languishing in 10th place in the league, the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie after a 1-1 draw in Spain is the perfect opportunity to restore harmony.