FA Cup 2012: Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea Preview

By IndepthAfrica
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Apr 14th, 2012
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Fulham's Clint Dempsey (R) challenges Chelsea's Mikel during their English Premier League soccer match at Craven Cottage in London April 9, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

Read a full match preview of the FA Cup semi-final between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium today Sunday April 15 2012, kick-off 18:00 BST.

Tottenham (Probable, 4-4-1-1): Friedel; Walker, Gallas, Nelsen, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Modric, Parker, Bale; Van Der Vaart; Adebayor.
Out: Bentley, Gomes, Kaboul, Kranjcar (all knee), Dawson, Huddlestone (both ankle), Jenas (Achilles)
Tests: King (knee), Parker (hamstring).

Chelsea (Probable, 4-2-3-1): Cech; Bosingwa, Terry, Cahill, Cole; Mikel, Lampard; Ramires, Mata, Sturridge; Drogba.
Out: Ivanovic (suspended), Romeu (illness), Bertrand (calf).

Referee: Martin Atkinson (Matches 36, R11 Y133).

Team News
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, who has scored four goals in his last seven games, is suspended having had a three-game ban, for an alleged punch on Wigan’s Shaun Maloney, upheld by the Football Association.

It comes at a bad time given that John Terry has been playing through the pain of two cracked ribs.

However, Terry got the all clear to face Tottenham following training on Friday.

Caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo will chose between Jose Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira for the vacancy at right back.

In addition, Ashley Cole has been struggling recently with an ankle problem, though he, like Terry, is fit to face Spurs.

Tottenham, too, go in to Sunday’s semi-final against Chelsea with problems at the back.

Younes Kaboul and Michael Dawson are out while Ledley King is a doubt with his chronic knee problem, leaving Ryan Nelsen and former Chelsea defender William Gallas as the only fit senior centre-halves.

Scott Parker is a doubt with a hamstring injury while long-term absentees Heurelho Gomes and Tom Huddlestone are out.

Match Notes
Two London rivals meet in the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time – though they are no strangers in the competition, having faced each other on eight occasions, with four wins apiece.

In two of the four occasions they have met, Spurs have taken the trophy.

In 1967, the clash was in the final at Wembley and Spurs won 2-1, while in 1982 Spurs won 3-2 at Chelsea in the sixth round before beating QPR in the final.

Chelsea have also beaten Spurs on their way to winning the FA Cup, in 2007.

In another sixth round tie, following a 3-3 draw, Chelsea won 2-1 at White Hart Lane before going on to beat Manchester United in the final.

The teams last met at Wembley in 2008 in the Carling Cup final.

On that occasion, Didier Drogba gave Chelsea the lead but a penalty by Dimitar Berbatov was followed, early in extra time, by a goal from Jonathan Woodgate.

Stat of the game: Three of the last four games between these teams have ended in draws.

Betting: Home 13-8, Away 17-10, Draw 11-5.

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