MF’s Preview: Spurs vs Bolton (FA Cup Replay)

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This Wednesday evening Spurs take on Bolton in a cup fifth round replay. Cup fever hasn’t totally gripped White Hart Lane. The prospect of reduced prices and the rumour that the newly reborn Roman Pavlyuchenko is set to start only his third game of the season should take the crowd above thirty thousand but the ‘tickets still available’ notices on the official website suggest there will be plenty of empty blue seats dotted around.

Since the first game at the Reebok Bolton have played twice, sharing a goalless draw with Wigan and losing 3-0 to Blackburn.  Like us they’ve been playing most midweeks lately and have an extensive injury list to show for it with McCann, Cahill, Steinsson, Davies (Mark not Kevin unfortunately) and Basham all out or dodgy.  Owen Coyle has stated that this match is “a chance for a few of the players who haven’t had much game-time to come in and show what they can do” so by the sounds of if we can expect a bit of puppyish enthusiasm in the Terriers’ line up.

Knowing this, Harry might be tempted to put out an experimental formation himself but if he does, he should be wary, as that’s a plan that has rarely borne fruit when put into action so far this season. The Everton game on Sunday will be at the back of his mind when he picks his eleven, but the shackling of Kevin Davies should be at the centre of his thinking. Davies is Bolton’s main threat whoever they play against but he always has something extra for us it seems. We were strongly linked with him many years ago when he began his career as a winger at Chesterfield, so maybe he’s still paying us back for not giving him a chance early on.

Bassong will presumably be back to partner Dawson and he’ll have his work cut out as he tends to struggle against people who knock him about, which both of Davies and Elmander will do. There is still no Lennon so Bentley will continue on the right but who gets to play out of big Tom, Jenas, Modric, Kranjcar and Palacios will depend on fitness and Harry’s whim. Gudjohnsen may get an outing at some stage but Kaboul and Walker are cup-tied.

Peter Walton is down to referee. He had the pleasure of a close-up view of our 9-1 thrashing of Wigan in November, I bet he still wakes up at night wondering how he missed Scharner’s handball for the ‘1’ though.

So we’re facing a half strength Bolton team at home who are currently struggling to get out of the bottom three, haven’t scored for two and a half games and will be finding it hard to shake off the feeling that they’ve already wasted their best chance of winning. A tough but winnable game in the quarter finals awaits the victor. We’ll be hot favourites, we just need to show that that status is justified and then it’s all down the Cottage on Saturday week.

By MF

WHO SHOULD START IN ATTACK FOR SPURS?  WHATEVER YOUR VIEW ON THE GAME – SHARE IT BELOW

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1 COMMENT

  1. Not realy sure if Pav is ready to start. I fear for him. If he does start and doesn’t do well, i don’t think Harry will ever start him again or even use him as a sub. I think its best to bring him on in the last 30 -35 mins, regardless if we are winning or losing. If he performs well again, then maybe he can start against everton.

  2. Agree SpursM,but I would bring him on a bit earlier,say early 2nd half.Hope the players won’t get distracted with the Everton game,a real tough one.

  3. I dont think any word-class player would prefer to come on as sub to starting a game against Bolton. I have confidence that Pav is good enough to maintain a level of good performances, even if he doesnt score he is a classy player and this will be proven

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