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Premier League

Scott Parker set for Tottenham return, but unlikely to enjoy crucial role under Andre Villas-Boas

England midfielder set to return against Swansea

Scott Parker is set to return to the Tottenham squad for the first time this season against Swansea but the England midfielder will struggle to nail down a regular spot under Andre Villas-Boas.

Parker played the full 90 minutes for the club’s Under-21 side against Sunderland yesterday and should be cleared for Sunday’s Premier League game at White Hart Lane — the first time he has available for a top-flight match since the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa last May.

Spurs may have missed Parker’s determination and positional sense in certain matches but it is understood the 32-year-old, who is in the second year of a four-year deal, is unlikely to have the status he enjoyed under Harry Redknapp.

The former boss would always include Parker in the starting XI if the player was fit, and continues to monitor the situation as he seeks to strengthen his Queens Park Rangers squad next month.

It is thought Villas-Boas’s first choices in central midfield will remain Sandro and Mousa Dembele whatever system he uses.

The former Chelsea manager is also keen to increase his options in that position during the transfer window although his long-term target, Porto’s Joao Moutinho, is unlikely to move to London.

Villas-Boas’s presence at his old club’s Champions League game at Paris St Germain earlier this month led some to conclude the deal was back on but he only went to the French capital as a guest of Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa.

Porto qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League and it is believed they would consider selling Moutinho only if his  £31.5million release clause were met.