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Big Brad Friedel should be back in Spurs lineup tonight

Mar 7, 2013, 10:46 AM EDT

Friedel

American goalkeeper Brad Friedel may not be the first choice at White Hart Lane for EPL matches, but manager Andre Villas-Boas has leaned on his trusty veteran in Europa League.

So Friedel is expected to be in goal tonight in North London as Spurs meet reeling Inter Milan in the first of a two-legged Round-of-16 series in the continent’s second-tier club tournament.

Tottenham is certainly rolling, with the fabulously in-form Gareth Bale providing a mighty push as Villas-Boas’ men are sitting third in the Premiership table.

Injuries and infighting have reduced the Italian club, where manager Andrea Stramaccioni sounds a bit glum over it all: “Although we’ll give 100 percent and honor the competition, our main objective is to finish third in Serie A.”

Presumably, they’ll go ahead and field 11 men.

The Italians will not, at least, need to deal with U.S. international Clint Dempsey, whose lingering calf injury must be increasingly worrisome to national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann. They have a pretty big game coming up, you know.