Moyes: Bale Loss Like Our Own
Boss wary Fellaini and Pienaar will be big misses for the Blues.
David Moyes says losing Gareth Bale will be a massive blow for Tottenham - but no bigger than the absence of Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar.
Bale suffered an ankle injury and was stretchered off towards the end of Spurs' 2-2 Europa League draw with FC Basel on Thursday.
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas expects the knock to keep the Welshman out for at least a fortnight but with key midfielders Fellaini and Pienaar both suspended, Moyes has selection headaches of his own.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the Blues boss said: "If you lose players like Gareth Bale it would be a loss to any team. It’s a loss, just like we haven’t got Marouane Fellaini or Steven Pienaar and I’m sure Tottenham will be pleased about that.
"It's unfortunate because we don't like big players to be out because they're part of the game and part of what makes the Premier League so special.
"But when you're the opposing manager against arguably the best player in the league at this moment in time, it's not a bad thing to have him out.
"Plan B comes into action because a big part of Plan A is Gareth Bale. But I’m sure that everybody who watches Spurs will tell you that it’s not just Gareth Bale – they have got a lot of very good players who are capable of causing problems."
That Bale's injury came in the very competition Everton are striving to reach didn't escape Moyes' attention.
The Blues boss knows juggling domestic football with midweek European action comes with its pitfalls.
Still, the Scot says his envy at some of Tottenham's bigger nights this season has convinced him it's a dilemma worth having.
"You hear me keep talking about how much I want to be back in Europe and undoubtedly if we made Europe, I think it does it take its toll on you in league fixtures unfortunately," he said.
"But you can see what it can do to you - it can galvanise your club. Tottenham Hotspur have had some unbelievable results in Europe this year and some great nights; you think about the games they've had against Inter Milan just recently.
"They've had some great nights to give their supporters and sometimes the down side of that is you have to play Thursday and Sunday and it can take its toll."
That said, Moyes is aware Tottenham's large squad gives counterpart Villas-Boas no shortage of options, meaning - Bale or no Bale - Sunday's opponents will be a real test of their top-five credentials.
"I don’t think [playing Thursday] will effect Spurs too much because they have got plenty of players to choose from. They have got a big, strong squad and have played well all year.
"They have done fantastic with their European commitments and also in the Premier League they've been second, third or fourth all year. We've not quite managed to be in that long enough at different times so we have to try and do that.
"The game will be close, I don't think there's a great deal between the teams and we'll need to try to go there and get a win. That's what our aim is to do."