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AVB: Bale can batter Inter

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas thinks Gareth Bale is now an even better player than when he tore Inter Milan apart in 2010.

Last Updated: 07/03/13 at 19:13 Post Comment

Gareth Bale: In fine form ahead of the clash with Inter

Gareth Bale: In fine form ahead of the clash with Inter

The London side will meet the Italian giants in a Europa League last-16 first leg tie at White Hart Lane on Thursday night, and the match-up evokes memories of when the two clubs met in the group stages of the Champions League three years ago.

Bale first stunned the San Siro when he scored a brilliant hat-trick in a 4-3 loss, and then went on to dominate highly-regarded Brazilian right-back Maicon when Spurs won the reverse fixture 3-1.

The Welshman has already scored 20 goals this season for the north London side and Villas-Boas is hopeful his memorable campaign will continue against Inter.

"I think Gareth has evolved as player," said the Spurs boss. "He is even more threatening now.

"I remember seeing the highlights of Inter - Tottenham, and how Tottenham came back into the game late on.

"Maicon was an outstanding right-back, one of the Brazilian right-backs, so to see a young player like Gareth play like he did against him demonstrates his talent.

"Now, two years on, he plays in a different position. He's become a different player, a bigger player, and a more complete player.

"He's the kind of player who can determine the outcome of a game, as we've seen in recent matches."

Villas-Boas spent 18 months at the San Siro himself, operating as Inter's head scout under Jose Mourinho, before he decided to go it alone after being offered the manager's position at Academica de Coimbra.

"It was a difficult moment of my professional life (to leave Inter)," he said. "At that time I was scouting for Jose and I wanted to be a little bit more involved with first-team training.

"Jose had always seen me doing the job I was doing. It was a difficult step to take, but it was probably the right one."

Villas-Boas confirmed that striker Emmanuel Adebayor has only a slim chance of playing against Inter, due to a knee injury he suffered in Sunday's north London derby win.

Villas-Boas is likely rotate his goalkeepers again, with Hugo Lloris making way for Brad Friedel.

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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One Point And One Conclusion For United

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arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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