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Tottenham v Lyon

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Bale: Too hot to stop?

Bale: Too hot to stop?

Tottenham welcome Lyon to White Hart Lane on Thursday night for the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 encounter.

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Spurs booked their spot in the knockout stages having finished second in Group J behind Lazio, while the undefeated Les Gones topped Group I.

Inspired by the irrepressible form of Wales star Gareth Bale, Andre Villas-Boas' men have carved out a formidable run in the Premier League of late to secure fourth spot in the standings.

Bale has scored five goals in four matches for both club and country, his brace in Saturday's 2-1 win over Newcastle taking his tally for the season to 18 from all appearances.

The midweek clash will also reunite Hugo Lloris with his former club, the France goalkeeper having played for Lyon between 2008 and 2012, winning the French Cup in the process.

Villas-Boas is poised to make some changes from the side that beat the Magpies at the weekend, with Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Jan Vertonghen set to return to the starting XI in defence.

Emmanuel Adebayor could also make his comeback since returning to north London from Africa Cup of Nations duty with Togo.

However, Younes Kaboul (knee) and Jermain Defoe (ankle) remain sidelined, along with long-term absentee Sandro (knee).

For Lyon, coach Remi Garde could also switch things up with Bafetimbi Gomis expected to slot in up front alongside Lisandro Lopez to give the Ligue 1 outfit more options in the final third.

Posted: 13/02/13 13:57

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