AC Milan 0, Spurs 1: Crouch scores winner

Tuesday February 15th, 2011

This is Tottenham's biggest match for almost 50 years: the first leg of a knock-out tie in Europe's biggest cup competition. Gareth Bale definitely won't be playing, Luka Modric is a doubt and Jermaine Jenas is suspended, but Rafael van der Vaart is fit, and Harry Redknapp is sticking steadfastly to the club's principles: "Attacking football is what got us here in the first place," he insists. "We have had a go all through this competition so we will have a right go again at San Siro."

Which promises a lot of fun, and possibly another game of catch-up for Spurs, if they get caught early on as they did last time they played here, against Internazionale. At the weekend, it took AC less than 20 minutes to establish a 2-0 lead over Parma, and Robinho added another couple in the second half. Niko Kranjcar looks set to keep his place, deservedly so, but he doesn't quite have the legs for this kind of thing, does he?

AC Milan has a fairly long list of absentees itself: Antonio Cassano, Mark van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson are ineligible, while Massimo Ambrosini, Gianluca Zambrotta and now Andrea Pirlo are injured. Massimilano Allegri still has a front three of Robinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexandre Pato to field, mind you. Attack may be the best form of defense, but Michael Dawson and William Gallas aren't going to be twiddling their thumbs.

I'm all set for a humdinger of a tie, so join me for live updates and analysis from 2.15 p.m. ET.

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