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Inter Milan vs. Tottenham Hotspur preview: No Bale, no problem

Spurs will be without Gareth Bale. So what?

Paul Gilham

No Gareth Bale, no problem.

Tottenham Hotspur are sure hoping that they are not the one-man team that some have joked they might be because they will be without their Welsh wizard due to suspension for the second leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie. Luckily for them, they head to the San Siro leading Inter Milan 3-0 so even a one-man team playing with 11 boys could probably make it through.

Aside from Bale, Spurs will be at full strength. Andre Villas-Boas has said that he will put out his full squad despite te three-goal edge. Call it wise or not, especially fresh off of a loss to Liverpool that tightens the race for a Champions League place, Spurs are all-in on the Europa League regardless of other circumstances and that means playing a first choice XI for every match.

Villas-Boas' best XI will include Emmanuel Adebayor and Aaron Lennon, both of whom were injured last week and missed the Liverpool clash.

Simply having options is something Inter can only dream of. They're plummeting down the Serie A table and are staring at a Europa League exit too, results representative of a team that is in a bad place right now. Andrea Stramaccioni is benching a new player seemingly every match -- four of them this time: Alvaro Pereira, Dejan Stankovic, Ezequiel Schelotto and Marco Benassi -- and a handful of good players are the club are being wasted.

Spurs saw in the first leg just how much of a mess Inter are. Esteban Cambiasso and Walter Gargano were once brilliant players, but they have been a mess for months and were statues at White Hart Lane. Ricky Alvarez was one of Argentina's brightest young talents, but he's struggled to get into a groove at the San Siro and Fredy Guarin looks nothing like the player who starred for Porto.

Nothing is going right for Inter, which is just fine for Spurs. It makes for a rather simple second leg and passage to the quarterfinals.

No Bale, no problem.