OUT of favour striker Emmanuel Adebayor is set to make his first Tottenham appearance of the season tonight against Sheriff Tiraspol, as boss Andre Villas-Boas entrusts the Togo forward with sealing Europa League progress with three matches to spare.
Villas-Boas has left defender Kyle Walker, plus midfielders Paulinho and Andros Townsend in England, while defenders Danny Rose and Younes Kaboul remain sidelined through injury.
But Adebayor, who was made to train with Spurs’s development squad earlier this season and was granted compassionate leave following the death of his brother, is set to play, with Villas-Boas glad to have the luxury of rotation.
“He travelled,” said the manager of Adebayor. “There is a chance he could be involved, but I’m not sure if he’s starting or not.
“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.”
Spurs can qualify for the knockout stages should they win in Transnistria and the other game in Group K between Anzhi Makhachkala and Tromso finishes in a draw.
And with visits from Newcastle, Manchester United and Liverpool to White Hart Lane following the north Londoners’ final group matches, Villas-Boas is keen to get the job done as quickly as possible.
“It is very important for us, particularly bearing in mind the Tromso trip, which is on an interesting type of pitch and extremely difficult weather conditions,” he added.
“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.”