Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is counting on Rafael van der Vaart to star at Chelsea on Saturday.
The Netherlands midfielder was a revelation at the start of the season with eight goals before the turn of the year but has had a relatively quiet 2011 so far.
But his double in the 3-3 draw with Arsenal reminded Redknapp of van der Vaart’s abilities.
“Rafael has been in great form. He was outstanding against Arsenal and we are looking for him to show up in the Chelsea game,” he said.
“He is a goalscoring threat and a good footballer so we need him.”
“I would say he is definitely a big-game player and we want a big performance from him to mark that.”
“We need a win against Chelsea really if we can.”
“But the opposition are top drawer but we need to go there and try to pick up three points and hang in that Champions League race.”
Tottenham will be without a couple of key players for the Stamford Bridge showdown.
“We’re not in bad shape but Tom Huddlestone’s ankle injury has flared up again. He’s struggling a bit and he’s quite doubtful,” Redknapp said.
“I would doubt very much if Tom’s going to make it. He saw a specialist on Thursday and he has a bit of bruising and some irritation around the ankle he had an operation. We maybe need to shut him down for a few days.”
“Other than him, Wilson Palacios is on his way back. He will hopefully start training next week but he’s not available this weekend.”
“Most of the others are ok and we’ve got a fit enough squad to go there and make a great game of it.”
Tottenham will definitely be without defenders Jonathan Woodgate (calf), Ledley King (groin), Alan Hutton (knee) and Benoit Assou-Ekotto (hamstring). Midfielders Vedran Corluka (ankle) and Gareth Bale (knee) are also out.
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