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Crouch ready for real test

Posted on 29 July 2010  - 12:00

Peter Crouch sees our trio of friendlies against top European teams as ideal preparation for our assault on the Champions League - kicking-off against Villarreal at White Hart Lane tonight.

Crouch ready for real test

Peter Crouch sees our trio of friendlies against top European teams as ideal preparation for our assault on the Champions League - kicking-off against Villarreal at White Hart Lane tonight.

The Spanish side bring a real European pedigree to N17 as we return to the Lane for the first time since May 1 for an 8pm kick-off.

Champions League semi-finalists in 2005-06 and quarter-finalists in 2008-09, Villarreal finished seventh in La Liga last season but were knocked-out of the Europa League by Wolfsburg at the last 32 stage.

The squad will be led by Marcos Senna, club captain and an outstanding holding midfielder, capped 27 times by Spain and a European Championship winner in 2008.

Another familiar face is Giuseppe Rossi, formerly of Manchester United, who just missed the final cut for Italy's World Cup squad.

"They are a top side, difficult to play against and a couple of their players looked extremely good at the World Cup," said Peter.

"We'll be thrown in at the deep end a bit for our first game (our World Cup players), a lot of the lads have been out to America and had a few games, but this will be our first game, a real test and one we're looking forward to.

"Villarreal have the calibre of players we'll be up against in the Champions League if we get through to the group stages."

Thursday night's match - available on Spurs TV Online - is the first of a friendly triple-header followed by a trip to Portuguese giants Benfica on Tuesday night and then Italian side Fiorentina at the Lane on August 7.

"It's a tough standard of friendly but a real test before the start of the season," said Crouchy. "I'm sure we'll be ready when the real thing starts."

The draw for the Champions League play-off is on August 6 followed by the two-legged encounter with dates scheduled for August 17/18 and 24/25.