Spurs preview

Thursday 29 November 2001

Fulham take on Spurs at the Cottage this evening in what promises to be a real Cup cracker.

Coincidently North met West two years ago in the same round with Spurs entering that match as holders. A gallant Fulham display meant that they surrendered the trophy fairly easily.

Details from that night were as follows:

Fulham (3-5-2) M Taylor; K Symons, A Melville, C Coleman (capt); G Uhlenbeek, S Hayward, L Clark, W Collins (P Trollope 80), R Brevett; B Hayles, G Horsfield. Substitutes not used: M Hahnemann, S Morgan, S Finnan, P Peschisolido. Booked: S Hayward, R Brevett.

Spurs (4-4-2) I Walker; M Taricco, C Perry (R Vega 46), S Campbell (capt), J Edinburgh (L Young, 46); O Leonhardsen, T Sherwood, S Freund, D Ginola; C Armstrong (J Dominguez 66), S Iversen. Substitutes not used: E Baardsen, A Nielsen. Booked: S Freund.

The attendance of 18,134 will surely be beaten this evening...

TEAM NEWS:

Tottenham's Yugoslav centre-back Goran Bunjevcevic is ready to jump back into first-team action after nine weeks on the sidelines.

The 28-year-old fractured his cheekbone playing against Chelsea on 16 September.

Tottenham's £8m signing Dean Richards is cup-tied for the Worthington Cup fourth round tie at Craven Cottage, so Bunjevcevic is set to play alongside Ledley King and Chris Perry in a three-man central defence.

He said: "I've not played for eight or nine weeks and in that time the team has done very well.

"But I came to England to play in the Premiership and big cup-ties and I'll just have to play even better than I did before I was injured.

"I'll be a little nervous because I feel it is such an important game for me.

"It will be like playing in a World Cup final for me. That's how important I believe it is."

Manager Glenn Hoddle will put out all his available stars for the game against Fulham. Resurgent Tottenham have lost only one of their last seven games.

Their current Premiership position just below the top six has encouraged belief that they will not need to win a domestic cup to appear in Europe next season.

But Hoddle insisted: "Cup football has always been a great tradition at this club and we aim to maintain that.

"I can understand some clubs who are in Europe resting players for games like these but we don't have that luxury.

"And the League Cup is a competition which we've won a few times. We would very much like to win it again."

Hoddle will be without inspirational midfielder Gus Poyet, who was knocked out at West Ham last Saturday.

The Uruguayan is sidelined until Monday after spending the night in hospital with concussion after the Upton Park clash.

That means Norwegian Oyvind Leonhardsen should continue for Spurs.

Simon Davies will stay on the right of a five-man midfield if Argentinian Mauricio Taricco is still ruled out with a groin injury.

Fulham beat Spurs 3-1 in the Worthington Cup two years ago. Their captain Andy Melville said things would not be as easy this time round.

"We played really well and were on top of our game," he said.

"We know it's going to be difficult this time because they are on top of their game. Nobody is going in as favourites."

"The fact that we are at home with the fans behind us will help. They have a big role to play themselves."

Manager Jean Tigana is expected to field a full strength side and may well see the Worthington Cup as the best route to Europe this season.

Goalkeeper Maik Taylor will be hoping to keep his Cup place but the form of Dutch International Edwin Van der Sar will prove hard to resist for the Fulham boss.

* No tickets for this match are available on the night. Live match commentary starts on this website at 7.40pm this evening...