Belfast Telegraph

Redknapp hopes Bale and van der Vaart will lead Tottenham blitz on Milan

By John Curtis

Harry Redknapp is hopeful of having Rafael van der Vaart and Gareth Bale available for tomorrow’s Champions League return clash with AC Milan and has pledged to go on the attack.

Redknapp will not try to merely hold onto the 1-0 first leg advantage his side achieved in the San Siro.

The return of 12-goal leading scorer Van der Vaart and Bale, who has been on target 11 times, will only add to his firepower.

Bale actually made his comeback during the final quarter of Sunday's 3-3 draw at Wolves after six weeks on the sidelines with a back injury.

Van der Vaart is making good progress in his recovery from a calf problem.

Redknapp said: “I think we've got enough to hurt Milan at home. We'll be positive.

“We will play an attacking team. We'll play (Aaron) Lennon and probably Gareth Bale and have a go.

“Peter Crouch has had a great European campaign as well. And Van der Vaart has a good chance for Wednesday, I hope he will be fit.”

Redknapp is also hoping Jermain Defoe will now finish the season with a flourish after scoring his first and second Premier League goals of the campaign at Molineux.

The England striker has had a stop-start season through injury but looked sharp and scored two stunning goals.

Redknapp said: “Defoe could now go on a run. You are looking now for Defoe to go on a run and start to score.

“It has been his worst goalscoring season in his whole life.

“Now, if he can go and get 10 goals between now and the end of the season, he could make a massive difference to us. He is capable of doing that.

“He has missed a lot of games through injury this year. It has been a stop-start season for him.”

Bale showed glimpses during his brief run-out at Molineux of the surging runs which have terrorised defences in all competitions this season.

Redknapp said: “When Gareth came on and started to run with the ball, it was exciting. We've missed that for the last five or six weeks.

“He started straight away to run with the ball and, when he does that, he scares people to death. He carries the game at the opposition and that makes a massive difference.”

The only concern for Redknapp is his defence is leaking too many goals as they followed up the 3-1 defeat at Blackpool by letting in three more against Mick McCarthy's side.

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