VERTONGHEN RULED OUT

Tottenham have been dealt a major blow with the news that key defender Jan Vertonghen will be missing for the next three weeks after suffering an injury in the recent Barclays Asia trophy.

Tottenham were recently knocked out of the competition by Sunderland, but more worryingly, the absence of defender Vertonghen will be a major problem for Villas-Boas. The former Ajax defender arrived at the club only last summer and he has been a major revelation. His versatility means that Villas-Boas used in a number of positions like central defender and left back.

Vertonghen damaged his ankle ligaments in the match against Sunderland, which was played on a very poor pitch during heavy rains. Tottenham will be playing against Premier league newcomers Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season. Even though the fifth place team from last season will be facing a promoted team, Villas-Boas has said that this will be one of the toughest matches for the club. Newly promoted clubs often have a lot of enthusiasm in the first few weeks of the campaign.
Villas-Boas was also understandably displeased with the way officials handled the match. Due to heavy rain, the match kicked off 40 min later than scheduled.

"The conditions are extremely poor but there is nothing we can do about it. We've lost one player through injury - and if I can be sincere I would prefer not to go ahead (with Saturday's game) but that's the reality. It’s our responsibility and if the authorities decide to go ahead, we will play the game," said Villas-Boas, whose Tottenham is one of the several Premier league teams currently in Asia as part of their pre-season tour.

Manchester city went on to win the Barclays Asia trophy with a 1-0 win over Sunderland, while Tottenham faced South China in the other match.