Ifill handed chance by Spurs' injury crisis

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The Independent Online

Philip ifill, a 17-year-old scholar, is in line to make his debut against Liverpool at White Hart Lane this afternoon after Tottenham became the latest club to start the season with an injury crisis.

Philip ifill, a 17-year-old scholar, is in line to make his debut against Liverpool at White Hart Lane this afternoon after Tottenham became the latest club to start the season with an injury crisis.

The youngster's promotion follows the transfer of Stephen Carr to Newcastle and injuries to potential replacements Stephen Kelly, Mauricio Taricco and Simon Davies. They are among seven Spurs players out through injury

The Tottenham physio's room is not the only one with a queue at the door. The season has not yet begun but already the list of luminaries on the casualty list is long and illustrious.

Manchester United's problems have received most publicity with Ruud van Nistelrooy, Louis Saha, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Kleberson and Wes Brown all out. Less well-reported has been the crisis at Portsmouth whose thin squad has also suffered five injuries. For once Harry Redknapp really is down to the "bare bones".

At Newcastle there is a twist. As well as having several players doubtful through injury, the club is suffering from a conjunctivitis outbreak which has disrupted training and ruled three players out of today's derby at Middlesbrough. It is no wonder Sven Goran Eriksson yesterday re-iterated his hope that a winter break will be in place for the 2005-06 season ahead of the next World Cup.

Only Charlton Athletic can choose from a full squad today. And there is only 10 months, often playing twice a week, to go.

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