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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
Oct 23, 2013

Emmanuel Adebayor set to return

Emmanuel Adebayor could be in line to make his first appearance of the season for Tottenham in their Europa League game against Sheriff Tiraspol.

Emmanuel Adebayor did little to inspire confidence in his abilities last season
Emmanuel Adebayor has fallen down the pecking order at Tottenham.

• Crace: Passing grade

After failing to offload the 29-year-old striker during the summer, manager Andre Villas-Boas ordered him to train with the club’s development squad but after returning to fitness Adebayor could be offered playing time as Spurs look to continue their winning run in Europe.

However, the inclusion of Roberto Soldado and Jermain Defoe in the squad leaves doubts over how big a part Adebayor will be given to play.

 “He travelled,” Villas-Boas said. “There is a chance he could be involved, but I'm not sure if he's starting or not.

“They don't need opportunities or chances. They're valued and they're great quality players. The difference from last year, I think, is the competition is higher.

“Last season we wouldn't rotate as much for this competition as we have so far. This is done because of the immense talent we have at our disposal.

“We can make six or seven changes now, which keeps the players fresh and motivated.

“There is always that chance they can break into the team, although both are established players and have been successful in the past.”

Etienne Capoue, Danny Rose and Younes Kaboul have not travelled as they continue to recover from injury while Kyle Walker, Andros Townsend and Paulinho are rested.

“It was just an opportunity to recover a little bit, and the squad is big enough,” Villas-Boas said.

“We all recognise Andros is in an exceptional moment. The different thing we have this season from before is we have quality throughout, which allows us to do these things.

“Last season that wasn't the case. We had much less rotation and a small squad and, to some extent, we ended up paying the price when we had injuries to major players. That's the first difference.

“Then you judge the travelling and the amount of games and training sessions. These are all things we measure up, but the most important thing is we have the quality within our squad.”

Tottenham could seal their progress to the Europa League knockout stages with three games to spare if they win and Anzhi draw against Tromso.

“It is very important for us [to get it wrapped up], particularly bearing in mind the Tromso trip, which is on an interesting type of pitch and extremely difficult weather conditions,” Villas-Boas said.

“The idea will be, hopefully, to finish the qualification in these two games.

“We've had all these big trips but the motivation has been high. But the opponent is always difficult, and Sheriff have quality and experience, and we will have to fight against those qualities.”

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