Strike from Russian gives Spurs two Champs League away goals against Swiss as Ajax draw.
|Defoe could play against Young Boys despite a ‘worsening’ groin injury [EPA]|
Jermain Defoe could play in Tottenham Hotspur’s European Champions league playoff against Swiss club Young Boys despite being booked in for groin surgery that will rule him out of England’s Euro 2012 qualifiers.
The striker has been troubled with the problem since the World Cup in South Africa and aggravated it during the 3-2 first leg defeat by Young Boys in Switzerland last week.
He could be ruled out for a month.
“It might only be half a game he can last now, but it’s getting less each time – the pain’s getting worse,” Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was quoted as saying by the BBC ahead of Wednesday’s tie.
“He wants to play and train all the time but he’s got to have it done now. He can’t go on like that.
“He’s not trained a lot. When he has trained, he’s been all right, he’s been sticking goals in.
“But then he’s had days off where he couldn’t train and he’s getting worse, he’s getting worse all the time.
“Sixty minutes is about as much as he can last.”
Tottenham will definitely be without Croatia midfielder Luca modric after he also strained his groin against Young Boys – a match played on artifical grass.
The north London club, who like Young Boys are trying to qualify for the Champions League for the first time, hit back from 3-0 down in Berne to give themselves a fighting chance of reaching the lucrative group stage.
Romanian test for City
In the second-tier Europa League, Nigel de Jong has warned Manchester City there should be no dip in performance when FC Timisoara visit Eastlands on Thursday.
Big-spending City showed they have their sights on the English Premier League title after a highly impressive 3-0 victory over Liverpool on Monday.
The Netherlands midfielder wants City to reach those levels against Euro minnows Timisoara, even though manager Roberto Mancini is expected to make several changes.
A 1-0 victory in Romania last week courtesy of Mario Balotelli’s goal on his debut means City are hot favourites to advance into Friday’s draw for the group stages of the Europa League.
“Monday’s performance was one that should set the tone for the season,” said de Jong.
“It is not often that anyone beats Liverpool 3-0. I think you could tell we were all so determined,” said de Jong.
“We want to win this league. That’s the ambition but to do that we have to hit these standards every week.
“There are lots of things to be positive about, but we must not get carried away with one result.”