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Friday, October 22, 2010
New blow as Osman ruled out for six weeks

ESPNsoccernet staff

Everton have suffered another injury blow with the news that Leon Osman will be out for six weeks with an ankle injury.

Osman picked up the knock in the 2-0 Merseyside derby win at home to Liverpool and was replaced by Diniyar Bilyaletdinov at the break.

The midfielder will join Jack Rodwell, Steven Pienaar, Louis Saha and Marouane Fellaini on the injury list. Mikel Arteta is doubtful for Saturday's lunchtime trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

Manager David Moyes told the club's official website: "There is no getting away from it we have another bad set of injuries like we had last year. Hopefully they will not be as bad as that in terms of the length of time the players will be missing for.

"Leon Osman has a bad ankle injury which will keep him out for four to six weeks which is a real blow. We'll also have to have a close look at Arteta's fitness as well.

"There are others we will have to assess today, we are getting some players back but maybe some not quick enough."

Moyes is hoping his side have finally put behind them their poor start to the Premier League season and can continue their winning run against Tottenham.

Moyes said: "We think we're a side who are good enough to be at the top end of the league. We didn't show that in the opening games of the season. We were all a bit surprised by it after the way we'd finished the season before.

"You need to get on runs in this league. We probably played better in other games than we did against Liverpool last week and didn't win. Let's just hope we're on that run that wins us games now.''

Everton will have their work cut out to make it three wins in a row tomorrow, though, with Tottenham again keeping pace with the biggest names in the league.

Moyes is a big fan of the squad Harry Redknapp has assembled at White Hart Lane and he would not be surprised to see Spurs in the top four for a second consecutive season.

"I hear him (Redknapp) saying about how he thinks he's only one or two players away from being right at the top end, and I agree with him,'' said Moyes. "Tottenham have got some really good players, a good squad, a well-balanced squad, and I think they'll be right there throughout the season.''

The danger for Spurs is that they become victims of their own success, with the strain of the Champions League taking its toll on their league campaign.

The hosts will take to the field tomorrow less than 72 hours after their dramatic 4-3 defeat by Inter Milan in the San Siro on Wednesday.

Moyes continued: "The difficulties for Tottenham will be for Harry to think about but the travelling and playing three games in a week can take its toll on your squad.

"When you're pretty new to it, you're not quite sure what you're going to get. Clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea have got used to it and know how to handle it.''

The undoubted star for Tottenham in Milan was Gareth Bale, who has developed into one of the most exciting players in the Premier League.

With new midfielder Rafael van der Vaart already looking like the buy of the summer, and fresh for tomorrow after sitting out the European clash through suspension, Moyes knows he has plenty to worry about.

He said: "Van der Vaart's been a really good signing. I think he's a player that a lot of people knew about but never thought he would be available.

"But Tottenham are in a situation where they've got a bit of money behind them that they're able to spend and they've been able to bring him to Tottenham.

"Bale's an outstanding player, an outstanding talent. He looks as if he carries himself well professionally, which is always good to see. Let's just hope he's not fit for tomorrow.''

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