Tottenham - Chelsea Preview: Spurs target first FA Cup final appearance since 1991 with victory over 2010 winners
Harry Redknapp's team go into this season-defining clash in a patch of sticky form, while Roberto Di Matteo continues to press his claims to be handed theBlues' job full-time
By James McManus
Walker, Gallas, Nelsen, Assou-Ekotto
Lennon, Modric, Parker, Bale
Van der Vaart, Adebayor
Bosingwa, Terry, Cahill, Cole
Ramires, Mikel, Lampard, Mata
Both Tottenham's and Chelsea’s selection headaches prior to this crucial fixture will be dominated by thoughts about problems at the back.
For Harry Redknapp’s side, Younes Kaboul has been ruled out after hobbling off during the defeat against Norwich at home with a knee injury. Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Gomes are all long-term absentees too.
William Gallas has been declared fit, though doubts remain over whether Ledley King (knee) and Scott Parker (hamstring) will be passed fit in time, with King the most likely of the two to miss out.
For Roberto Di Matteo, John Terry (ribs) and Ashley Cole (ankle) remain concerns, but both are likely to start given the paucity of alternative options available. Branislav Ivanovic misses the game altogether through suspension, after picking up a three-match ban for striking Wigan’s Shaun Maloney, after his appeal was turned down by the FA.
Elsewhere, Oriol Romeu is still laid low through illness and Ryan Bertrand has been ruled out with a calf complaint.
With one eye on the club’s Champions League game against Barcelona, the interim boss may spring a few surprise last-minute changes to his line-up, and expect to see only one of either Fernando Torres or Didier Drogba start the match.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Tottenham haven't won the FA Cup in 21 years since beating Nottingham Forrest 2-1 in 1991.
- While it may not be considered a drought by some of the club's long-suffering supporters, Tottenham are also without a trophy in four years since winning the 2008 League Cup against their opponents on Sunday, Chelsea.
- There has been nothing to choose between the two teams so far this season, as they drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane and 0-0 in the reverse fixture.
- Tottenham are in a poor recent run of form and have picked up just one league win in eight.
- The two clubs have faced eachother eight times before in FA Cup history, with both teams winning four times apiece.
- Chelsea have won the competition three times in the last six years.
- Chelsea have conceded 20 goals in the last 15 minutes of league and FA Cup matches this season.
- Juan Mata (pictured right with Fernando Torres) is Chelsea's top scorer in the competition this season with three goals. Jermain Defoe is Tottenham's with three to his name also.
- Chelsea have lost only two of their last 32 FA Cup matches, and one of those defeats was on penalties.
- Roberto Di Matteo's record as interim boss so far reads won eight, drawn two, lost one across all competitions.
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Top 3 Predictions
Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea Fc
- 25.76 %
Tottenham 0-2 Chelsea Fc
- 14.94 %
Tottenham 1-3 Chelsea Fc
- 14.04 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Sep 28, 2013||Tottenham 1 - Chelsea Fc 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||May 8, 2013||Chelsea Fc 2 - Tottenham 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Oct 20, 2012||Tottenham 2 - Chelsea Fc 4|
|England - FA Cup (FA)||Apr 15, 2012||Tottenham 1 - Chelsea Fc 5|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Mar 24, 2012||Chelsea Fc 0 - Tottenham 0|
|Dec 18, 2013||Tottenham 1 - West Ham United 2||CCUP|
|Dec 15, 2013||Tottenham 0 - Liverpool 5||EPL|
|Dec 12, 2013||Tottenham 4 - Anzhi Makhachkala 1||EL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Sunderland 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Fulham 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|23||Rafael van der Vaart||Midfielder|
|17||Giovani dos Santos||Striker|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|