Preview: Doncaster Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Yorkshire
Wednesday 26th August 2009, Kick Off 19:45
Football League (Carling) Cup, Round 2
Doncaster Rovers: 17th Championship, 3 points from 12
Tottenham Hotspur: 1st Premier League, 9 points from 9
Tottenham Hotspur visit Championship side Doncaster Rovers on Wednesday night for the first time since 1956 when the two clubs were drawn together in the FA Cup Fifth Round. The most recent meeting was in 1975 at White Hart Lane in the League Cup when Spurs scored seven goals, including a hat-trick from John Duncan. There were six other League Division Two meetings between the clubs from 1935 to 1948 which resulted in three wins, two draws and one defeat for Spurs.
Last season, Doncaster Rovers finished in 14th place in the Championship while Spurs finished in 8th place in the Premier League. This season, Doncaster are currently in 17th place in the Championship with 3 points (all draws) from a maximum possible 12 while Spurs are the Premier League's current leaders with the maximum possible 9 points. This is the first time that Spurs have won all their three opening matches since the Premier Leage was created in 1992-93, although the club record (and all-time League record) stands at 11 consecutive wins from the start of the season set by Tottenham's "Double Winning" side of 1960-61.
Doncaster Rovers have former Spurs Scottish international goalkeeper Neil Sullivan on their books and he should start the game.
Doncaster Rovers midfielders Brian Stock (ankle) and James Coppinger (knee) are both doubts. But fellow midfielder Martin Woods has been given the green light to return following a calf injury.
Doncaster's League Cup form has been on the decline in recent years. They got to the quarter-finals in 2005/06, the third round in 2006/07, second round in 2007/08 and went out in the first round last season.
Paul Heffernan needs to score to bring his total of club career goals to 100.
Keeper Neil Sullivan is in line for his 550th club start and faces one of his former clubs.
Harry Redknapp is without the services of Heurelho Gomes, Michael Dawson, Jonathan Woodgate and Gareth Bale due to injuries and Jermaine Jenas is still not 100% match-fit. Ledley King will be rested for the Premier League match against Birmingham City.
Many of Spurs squad players who have been unable to start so far in the three Premier League matches will probably be given an opportunity to do so on Wednesday night against Doncaster Rovers., so I'll expect to see a line-up like this:
Cudicini or Button
Hutton - Dervite - Chimbonda - O'Hara
Naughton - Bentley - Boateng - Dos Santos
Crouch - Pavlyuchenko
LEAGUE CUP RECORD:
Doncaster Rovers have never progressed past the Quarter Finals (last 8) of the League Cup. Tottenham have won the competition four times and have been Finalists three times, including last season when the game with Manchester United ended in a 0-0 draw after extra time but Spurs lost on penalties.
Wednesday night's match will be the ninth time Doncaster Rovers and Spurs have met. Here are the results of the previous eight games with Spurs score shown first:
21-Dec-1935Division 2 20,131A L 1 - 2 Morrison 25-Apr-36Division 2 15,093H W 3 - 1 Meek (2), Duncan 12-Dec-36Division 2 16,844H W 2 - 0 McCormick, Hunt GS 17-Apr-37Division 2 3,560A D 1 - 1 Morrison 27-Sep-47Division 2 46,011H W 2 - 0 Jordan (2) 14-Feb-48Division 2 24,033A D 1 - 1 Woodward 18-Feb-56F.A. Cup 5 30,436A W 2 - 0 Brooks, Smith R 03-Dec-75 League Cup 5 25,702 H W 7 - 2 Pratt, Chivers (2), Duncan (3), Chappell (og)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR'S LEAGUE CUP RECORD 1966-2009