MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Vedran Corluka of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the Pre Season Friendly match between Mk Dons and Tottenham Hotspur at Stadium MK on July 26, 2011 in Milton Keynes, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
A Spurs XI will be taking on Leyton Orient in a friendly match tomorrow evening, while the so-called Tottenham Hotspur first team will be one of the first teams to play in the brand new Falmer Stadium against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday. However, the teams are going to be mixed up, contrary to the "Tottenham Hotspur" and "Spurs XI" names that will be attached to each squad.
When a number of first team players got run-outs in the Spurs XI friendly against MK Dons, we figured that it was because there was no overlap with a first team friendly game. However, it seems like Harry's trying to find every way possible to get his players minutes going into the new season. As a result, he will be splitting up his first team players among the Spurs XI and regular team this weekend, taking strong teams to Brighton and to Orient.
"We're sending a strong squad to Orient with players like Kyle Walker, Alan Hutton, Danny Rose, Wilson Palacios, Steven Pienaar, David Bentley, Robbie Keane, Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar. It's a strong team."
My thoughts after the jump.
I'm very surprised that both Walker and Hutton are going to the Spurs XI friendly against Brighton, especially with Kyle Naughton having been loaned out. This obviously means that Harry Redknapp is intent on getting a full 90 minutes for Vedran Corluka, which is good to see. His other selections imply that the team against Brighton will likely be a 4-4-1-1 setup with Rafael van der Vaart sitting behind either Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe and a midfield of Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Tom Huddlestone, and Aaron Lennon. I think that this is, for the most part, what we want to see.
Harry's finding a way to get starts for at least 19 first team guys this week, and he'll probably give 15-16 of those guys a full 90 minutes as they try to get ready for the new season. It's a good move on his part. Hopefully we'll be able to find some solid commentary on tomorrow's Spurs XI friendly against Orient so we can keep you guys informed on that match.