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Champions League preview: Tottenham v AC Milan

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is hoping to have Gareth Bale fit for Wednesday’s Champions League match against AC Milan.

Welshman Bale, who can play anywhere along the left flank, missed Tottenham’s 1-0 win in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie at the San Siro with a back problem.

He returned to action during Spurs’ 3-3 draw away to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English Premier League on Sunday.

The 21-year-old came off the bench in the second half at Molineux.

Despite a slight groin niggle, Redknapp is confident Bale will be available for the European match at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

“When Gareth came on and started to run with the ball, it was exciting. We’ve missed that for the last five or six weeks,” Redknapp said.

“Hopefully he’ll be okay for the Milan game and he seems all right after the game. He just felt the pitch was a bit heavy and his groin was a bit tight.”

Creative midfielder Rafael van der Vaart is in doubt with a calf problem, while holding player Tom Huddlestone remains sidelined by a long-term ankle injury.

Spurs also have problems at the back, with full-back Vedran Corluka and centre-backs Younes Kaboul, Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King all expected to miss out.

Milan prepared for the trip to north London with a 1-0 win away over Juventus on Saturday.

They lead Serie A by five points, but will also be forced to contend with a number of key absentees.

Combative midfielder Gennaro Gattuso scored the winner against Juve, but he is suspended for Wednesday’s match after head-butting Spurs assistant Joe Jordan during an ugly confrontation in the first leg.

Gattuso will be joined on the sidelines by first-choice midfielders Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini.

Former Spurs man Kevin Prince-Boateng is the latest midfielder to fall under an injury cloud after he limped off in the Juventus game with an ankle knock.

Striker Alexandre Pato and fullback Massimo Oddo were flu victims at the weekend, while centreback Thiago Silva was fighting a stomach bug.

But the extent of Milan’s injury worries means the trio are likely to be pressed into service on Wednesday.

Article title: Champions League preview: Tottenham v AC Milan

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