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FA Cup Preview: Tottenham Hotspur – Fulham

Kick-Off: Wednesday, 23 March, 19:45 GMT
White Hart Lane, north London

Roy Hodgson’s Fulham travel across London to face Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, with a replay required to separate the sides after the teams played out a goalless draw at Craven Cottage.

The match was the second time this season that the side’s have remained deadlocked for 90 minutes, having drawn their Boxing Day contest, again at Craven Cottage, 0-0.

Spurs, however, did manage to find the net during their league meeting at White Hart Lane, running out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Jermain Defoe and David Bentley.

Fulham, buoyed by their Europa League heroics against Juventus, found themselves somewhat numbed at the weekend, as Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City side made the trip back up north with all three points.

Spurs, meanwhile, recorded an impressive 2-1 victory away to Stoke City, a performance, and result, which shows the increased competitiveness amongst Harry Redknapp’s charges, especially considering Wilson Palacios was rested for the match.

The home side will fancy their chances on Wednesday night and home advantage could prove a key feature, especially at a packed Lane. Spurs will take confidence from the fact that Fulham have failed to score against them in three matches so far this season, but having bagged four goals against Serie A giants Juve, Redknapp’s side will not underestimate the Cottagers.

FORM GUIDE

Tottenham


20 Mar: Stoke City 1-2 Tottenham (Premier League)
13 Mar: Tottenham 3-1 Blackburn Rovers (Premier League)
6 Mar: Fulham 0-0 Tottenham (FA Cup)
28 Feb: Tottenham 2-1 Everton (Premier League)
24 Feb: Tottenham 4-0 Bolton Wanderers (FA Cup)

Fulham

21 Mar: Fulham 1-2 Manchester City (Premier League)
18 Mar: Fulham 4-1 Juventus (Europa League)
14 Mar: Manchester United 3-0 Fulham (Premier League)
11 Mar: Juventus 3-1 Fulham (Europa League)
6 Mar: Fulham 0-0 Tottenham (FA Cup)

TEAM NEWS

Tottenham


Tottenham’s in-form Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko will miss out on Wednesday’s cup match with a hamstring injury, while top goalscorer Jermain Defoe (hamstring) will also be unavailable for Redknapp’s side.

Long-term absentees Ledley King (thigh), Aaron Lennon, Jermaine Jenas and Jonathan Woodgate (all groin) are also still out, although David Bentley could return to the squad.

Younes Kaboul will not feature on Wednesday as he is cup-tied, having already participated in this season’s competition whilst at Portsmouth.

Starting XI from last match (vs Stoke): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto; Kranjcar, Kaboul, Modric, Bale; Pavlyuchenko, Crouch.


Fulham

Roy Hodgson travels across London without three members of his first team squad. Striker Andrew Johnson (knee) and David Elm (virus) will be unavailable for selection, whilst Ghanaian defender John Pantsil has yet to overcome his cruciate ligament tear.

Starting XI from last match (vs Man City): Schwarzer, Konchesky, Baird, Hughes, Smalling, Gera, Murphy, Duff, Etuhu, Davies, Zamora.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tottenham – Eidur Gudjohnsen


A testament to the strength of Tottenham’s squad was the performance of Eidur Gudjohnsen on Saturday. Having lost yet another striker to injury in the first half against Stoke, Redknapp replaced Pavyluchenko with the former Barcelona and Chelsea man.

The Icelandic international opened the scoring immediately after the interval, and played a big part in Kranjcar’s winning goal, showing the kind of composure which fans of the Premier League will remember fondly from his tenure at Stamford Bridge.

A former Chelsea hero playing in a London derby against his old club’s closest rivals makes interesting reading where the FA Cup is concerned, and I expect him to produce another moment of magic on Wednesday.

Fulham – Clint Dempsey

Fulham’s returning USA international didn’t hang about before making an impact on his return to first team duties; coming off the bench to send his fans into raptures with an audacious chip to knock the mighty Juventus out of the Europa League. A memory that will be etched into the minds of Fulham fans forever.

Dempsey is arguably Fulham’s best attacking talent. In a similar mould to Everton’s Tim Cahill, the American has a knack of finding the net at pivotal moments for his club, and Spurs will have to watch him closely.

PREDICTION

Spurs’ victory over Stoke showed enough fight to suggest that they can overcome the obstacle posed by Roy Hodgson’s men for the second time this season.

Fulham, having failed to score in any of the three games against Spurs this season, will look to keep it tight at the Lane, but the home side will have enough to pick them off.

Tottenham 1-0 Fulham

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