Tottenham are set to hand a debut to William Gallas far faster than they expected as they are short of defensive options for their trip to West Brom.
Gallas was recently signed on a one-year deal by Harry Redknapp, but his maiden appearance in the first-team was expected to be delayed as he sharpened his match fitness.
However, with Michael Dawson injured on England duty and Ledley King regularly hampered by knee troubles, Younes Kaboul and Sebastien Bassong are the only recognised options, aside from Gallas, open to Redknapp.
Therefore, the 33-year-old was rushed into playing 70 minutes in a quickly-arranged reserve game against QPR and is now set to feature against West Brom, where Tottenham are 10/11 to leave with the three points.
Redknapp said after Dawson picked up his injury: “Thank God I went out and got William Gallas on a free transfer.
“That is looking an even better bit of business under the circumstances.”
Better news for Redknapp is that Peter Crouch is winning his race to be fit for the trip to the Hawthornes after withdrawing from the England squad to face Bulgaria and Switzerland with a back injury.
Tottenham have not been in action since they suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat at home to Wigan, which could hinder their chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League for the second season in succession.
They are 7/2 to secure Champions League football again next season and a defeat against West Brom will leave them with an even bigger mountain to climb.
The hosts are 3/1 to beat Spurs and are 14/1 to repeat the 2-0 victory they claimed on the last Premier League meeting between the two at the Hawthornes in 2008.
A draw between West Brom and Tottenham is 12/5, see the whole match betting market.