Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers
White Hart Lane, London N17 - The World Famous Home of the Spurs
Saturday 12th December 2009, Kick Off 15:00
Premier League, Match 16
Tottenham Hotspur: 4th in Premier League, 27 points from 45
Wolverhampton Wanderers: 18th in Premier League, 13 points from 45
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistant referees: Andy Garratt & Martin Yerby
Fourth official: Russell Booth
Tottenham Hotspur host Wolverhampton Wanderers at White Hart Lane for the first meeting between the two clubs in over five years. Wolves play an important part in Spurs' history as they were Tottenham's opponents in two Major Cup Finals (as were Leicester City and Chelsea). The first was in 1921 when Spurs won the FA Cup 1-0 thanks to a Jimmy Dimmock goal. 51 years later, the two teams met in the UEFA Cup Final played over two legs. Spurs won the away tie at Molineux 2-0 with a brace from Martin Chivers while the return leg at White Hart Lane finished in a 1-1 draw with the recalled Alan Mullery scoring for Spurs. Long before the clubs met in that 1921 FA Cup Final, Spurs had adopted Wolves' kit of Old Gold and Chocolate from 1896 to 1898. Tottenham's very first Football League match was against Wolves on 1st September 1908 in the old Second Division at White Hart Lane. The former Southern League club opened their Football League account in the best possible way with a 3-0 win and Spurs went on to win promotion to the First Division. The clubs have met twice previously in the Premier League in 2003-04 and Spurs have a 100% record against Wolves. The home game resulted in a 5-3 win with Robbie Keane scoring a hat-trick and goals from Fredi Kanoute and Stéphane Dalmat, while the away game played on the last day of the season saw Spurs come away with a 2-0 win with goals from Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe. Tottenham's current manager Harry Redknapp's son, Jamie, played in the game for Spurs. That loss ensured Wolves finished bottom of the Premier League that season.Wolves' Jody Craddock is the only surviving member of that team who last faced Spurs, while Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane and Ledley King are all still on Tottenham's books. Spurs will be looking to build on their very good League form going into the Christmas period after their away draw at Everton last time out. Goals from Jermain Defoe and captain Michael Dawson saw Spurs go into a two goal lead in the second half but a spirited fightback by Everton saw the scores level. Defoe then had a penalty saved in the dying moments of the game. Wolves' form this season has been generally poor but the did pick-up three very valuable points last time out at home to Bolton Wanderers with a 2-1 win with goals from Jody Craddock, who has been in very good form recently with four goals in five games and Nenad Milijas. The draw for the third round of the FA Cup saw Spurs first out of the hat and awarded a home tie against Peterborough United while Wolves were drawn away to either Tranmere Rovers or Aldershot Town. Ties to be played on Saturday 2nd or Sunday 3rd January 2010.
Luka Modric and Giovani Dos Santos both played in a Spurs training game against Grays Athletic in Chigwell on Tuesday and look well on the way to full recoveries. The Mexican scored twice, as did Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, with Anton Blackwood also scoring from a penalty.
Luka Modric is back in the squad for the first time since August as we take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Lane in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday. The midfielder has not featured since fracturing his fibula in our early-season victory over Birmingham City but, after coming through 70 minutes of Tuesday's friendly against Grays Athletic, he is back in the fold. And although manager Harry Redknapp admits the Croatian is unlikely to start the clash with Mick McCarthy's men, he expressed his delight at having Luka available again.
In Friday's press conference at Spurs Lodge, Harry said: "Luka came through the reserve game and he was fine, which is good for us.
"It's good to have him back and available again. It's a bit early to start him at the moment but he'll be involved on Saturday. "He's a great player and one you obviously miss. We're lucky Niko [Kranjcar] has come in for us and played so well in that position during his absence and I could see them both playing in the same team at some point. "But we need Luka back because he opens doors, he sees a pass or makes a dribble that causes the opposition problems - he's a super player."
But the news was less positive on Ledley King as he also attempted a comeback from his hamstring problem against Grays. The defender aggravated his troublesome knee in the opening stages of the match and is ruled out for the Wolves game along with fellow defender Jonathan Woodgate, who is still struggling with a groin injury. Harry reported: "Ledley jarred his knee again the other day in the game and it's swollen up quite badly. "It's a shame because he was looking great after working hard with the fitness coaches for the last three weeks. He was just short of a game so we fixed up a friendly for him Luka and Giovani [Dos Santos] also.
"They all played in the game but with Ledley it was just a freak accident. He got hit in the face with the ball, it knocked him off balance as he was jumping and his knee jarred into the turf as he landed. "Hopefully the swelling will settle down in a few days and it won't be too long before he's back playing the way he was last season when he was so good for us. "And hopefully it will be the same with ‘Woody', who's also on the road to recovery." Meanwhile, Wilson Palacios has been training and could be available for selection against the Black Country side having picked up a rib injury late on in last Sunday's draw at Everton.
Wolves have five players on their injury list. Matt Murray's knee injury should keep him out of action until February, Michael Kightly's foot injury should take the same time, Ronald Zubar, Chris Iwelumo and Dave Jones are all recovering from their respective injuries and should be available soon.
HARRY ON WOLVES:
Harry Redknapp has suggested that being clear favourites to win a game is often a dangerous position to be in. We take on struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Lane on Saturday happy in the knowledge that our last home game yielded a 9-1 victory over Wigan Athletic. The visitors, meanwhile, sit three points off the foot of the Barclays Premier League table without a win on the road since August. But Harry threw off suggestions of us being in for a comfortable afternoon against Mick McCarthy's side during his pre-match press conference at Spurs Lodge on Friday.
The manager said: "I always find the games that people expect you to win difficult. I know there are no easy games and Mick's done a great job at Wolves, so they'll be tough to beat, make no mistake. "I've always had games like this no matter where I've been. People look at us beating Wigan 9-1 and expect us to go and beat Wolves comfortably, but it doesn't always work out that way. "They've come up from the Championship and they're a good club. I saw them at Chelsea the other week and they had three or four fantastic chances in the opening stages, but somehow they didn't manage to convert one of them and ended up losing 4-0.
"So ok, Wolves are third from bottom, but survival would mean a successful season for them. It's a long season and there's a long way to go." Although many would see us being on the back of two draws from games which we should have won, Harry is choosing to focus on the positives from our last two league outings. He added: "They were two good away performances. We played ever so well at Villa and had a good opportunity to win away against Everton last weekend. "But we're in good form, that's the most important thing. We're playing well, we've got good players, and we're looking a decent team, so we've got to keep that going."
• Wolves have won only four times in 44 visits to White Hart Lane (38 of them league matches).
• Tottenham have won their last six league matches against Wolves. In fact their only defeat in their last 10 league meetings was 1-0 at Molineux in the old Division One in April 1981.
• Neither club have conceded from an indirect free-kick in the league this season.
• Harry Redknapp's side have won their last three home games in all competitions, scoring 13 in the process.
• Spurs have won 799 all-time top flight matches at home.
• If selected, Robbie Keane will be playing against the side he started his career with. The Irishman scored 24 goals in 74 league games between 1997-99 while at Molineux.
• Keane has since scored four goals in two games for Spurs against Wolves.
• Wolves are looking for successive top flight wins for the first time in 26 years, since December 1983.
• Wolves have secured only 12 points from a possible 78 away from home in their Premier League history, August's 1-0 victory at Wigan being their sole win.
• The Midlands club have not won a top-flight game in the capital since a 3-2 win at Arsenal in September 1979.
• Mick McCarthy's men have kept only one clean sheet so far this season, only Bolton (0) have fewer.
LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS:
Tottenham Hotspur (D 2-2 v Everton, a):
Gomes, Corluka, Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Huddlestone, Palacios (Jenas 66), Kranjcar (Keane 78), Defoe, Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Hutton, Bale, Bentley, Rose.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (W 2-1 v Bolton Wanderers, h):
Hahnemann, Stearman, Craddock, Ward, Berra, Edwards (Mancienne 84), Henry, Jarvis, Milijas, Ebanks-Blake (Maierhofer 80), Doyle
Subs Not Used: Hennessey, Foley, Surman, Castillo, Keogh.
Goals: Craddock (3), Milijas (63)
Yellow Cards: Hahnemann, Stearman.
MARK LAWRENSON'S PREDICTION (BBC):
To follow later.
Saturday's match will be the 92nd meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The clubs have met in two Major Cup Finals, firstly in the 1921 FA Cup Final which Spurs won 1-0 with a goal from Jimmy Dimmock and later in the 1972 UEFA Cup Final with Spurs winning away at Woves 2-1 with two goals by Martin Chivers and then drawing the return home leg 1-1 with an Alan Mullery goal.
Here are the results of the previous 91matches with Spurs' score shown first:
01-Sep-1908Division 2 20,000H W 3 - 0Morris, Woodward (2) 28-Dec-08Division 2 9,000A L 0 - 1 02-Apr-20Division 2 38,000H W 4 - 2Cantrell, Bliss (3) 05-Apr-20Division 2 25,000A W 3 - 1Grimsdell (2), Cantrell 23-Apr-21F.A. Cup Final 72,805F W 1 - 0Dimmock 08-Sep-28Division 2 26,018H W 3 - 2Galloway, Hartley, Scott 19-Jan-29Division 2 11,956A L 2 - 4Osborne, Dimmock 19-Oct-29Division 2 26,591A L 0 - 3 22-Feb-30Division 2 29,341H W 4 - 2Thompson, Rowley (3) 06-Sep-30Division 2 24,990A L 1 - 3Cook 03-Jan-31Division 2 26,221H W 1 - 0Cook 29-Aug-31Division 2 23,267A L 0 - 4 02-Jan-32Division 2 25,122H D 3 - 3Hunt GS (3) 28-Aug-33Division 1 20,953H W 4 - 0O'Callaghan (2), Hunt GS (2) 04-Sep-33Division 1 20,510A L 0 - 1 08-Sep-34Division 1 37,114H W 3 - 1McCormick, Hunt GS, Hall GW 19-Jan-35Division 1 28,209A L 2 - 6McCormick, Evans W 25-Aug-45Football Lge Sth 33,852H L 1 - 4Broadis 01-Sep-45Football Lge Sth 24,889A L 2 - 4Ward (pen), Lyman 16-Sep-50Division 1 55,364A L 1 - 2Chatham og 20-Jan-51Division 1 66,796H W 2 - 1Walters, McClellan 03-Nov-51Division 1 61,626H W 4 - 2Ramsey (pen), Walters, Bennett, Duquemin 22-Mar-52Division 1 45,343A D 1 - 1Baily 06-Dec-52Division 1 37,062A D 0 - 0 25-Apr-53Division 1 48,136H W 3 - 2Ramsey (pen), Bennett (2) 05-Dec-53Division 1 48,164H L 2 - 3Bennett, Duquemin 24-Apr-54Division 1 44,055A L 0 - 2 25-Aug-54Division 1 47,776H W 3 - 2Dunmore (3) 30-Aug-54Division 1 37,384A L 2 - 4Walters, Robb 19-Nov-55Division 1 51,363H W 2 - 1McClellan, Robb 14-Apr-56Division 1 29,890A L 1 - 5Harmer (pen) 08-Sep-56Division 1 62,592H W 4 - 1Smith R (2), Brooks (2) 12-Jan-57Division 1 42,416A L 0 - 3 02-Oct-57Division 1 36,024A L 0 - 4 26-Dec-57Division 1 58,393H W 1 - 0Smith R 27-Sep-58Division 1 48,563H W 2 - 1Smith R, Clayton 02-Mar-59Division 1 30,437A D 1 - 1Harmer 10-Oct-59Division 1 59,344H W 5 - 1Smith R (4), Jones 23-Apr-60Division 1 56,283A W 3 - 1Jones, Smith R, Mackay 01-Oct-60Division 1 52,829A W 4 - 0Blanchflower, Jones, Allen, Dyson 22-Feb-61Division 1 62,261H D 1 - 1Smith R 16-Sep-61Division 1 45,334H W 1 - 0Mackay 03-Feb-62Division 1 45,687A L 1 - 3White 12-Sep-62Division 1 61,412H L 1 - 2White 19-Sep-62Division 1 48,166A D 2 - 2Greaves (2) 28-Aug-63Division 1 41,488A W 4 - 1Smith R (2), Greaves (2, 1pen) 04-Sep-63Division 1 51,851H W 4 - 3Norman, White, Dyson (2) 14-Nov-64Division 1 28,728A L 1 - 3Brown L 27-Mar-65Division 1 28,974H W 7 - 4Clayton, Allen, Gilzean (2), Jones (3) 06-Sep-67Division 1 44,408H W 2 - 1Robertson, Greaves 11-May-68Division 1 40,929A L 1 - 2Greaves 07-Dec-68Division 1 30,846A L 0 - 2 25-Jan-69F.A. Cup 4 48,985H W 2 - 1Johnson, Greaves 22-Feb-69Division 1 35,912H D 1 - 1Morgan 03-Sep-69League Cup 2 34,017A L 0 - 1 11-Oct-69Division 1 36,736H L 0 - 1 07-Feb-70Division 1 27,295A D 2 - 2Chivers (2) 22-Aug-70Division 1 23,896A W 3 - 0Mullery, Chivers, Morgan 19-Dec-70Division 1 30,544H D 0 - 0 14-Aug-71Division 1 30,495A D 2 - 2Chivers, Gilzean 16-Oct-71Division 1 36,582H W 4 - 1Neighbour, Chivers (2), Gilzean 03-May-72UEFA Cup Final (1L) 38,362A W 2 - 1Chivers (2) 17-May-72UEFA Cup Final (2L) 54,303H D 1 - 1Mullery (Spurs won 3-2 on aggregate) 19-Aug-72Division 1 24,237A L 2 - 3Pratt, Peters 20-Dec-72League Cup SF (1L) 29,327A W 2 - 1Pratt, Peters 30-Dec-72League Cup SF (2L) 41,653H D 2 - 2Chivers, Peters (aet) 30-Apr-73Division 1 16,942H D 2 - 2Coates, Collins 24-Nov-73Division 1 22,541H L 1 - 3Chivers (pen) 06-Apr-74Division 1 24,073A D 1 - 1McGrath 21-Sep-74Division 1 20,647A W 3 - 2Chivers (2), Peters 28-Mar-75Division 1 27,238H W 3 - 0Perryman (2), Duncan 01-Nov-75Division 1 26,102H W 2 - 1Young, Neighbour 16-Mar-76Division 1 21,544A W 1 - 0Pratt 16-Oct-78Friendly - A L 1 - 2Jones 25-Nov-78Division 1 35,430H W 1 - 0Taylor 03-Apr-79Division 1 19,819A L 2 - 3Jones (2) 05-Apr-80Division 1 30,713A W 2 - 1Jones, Galvin 23-Apr-80Division 1 19,843H D 2 - 2Armstrong, Galvin 08-Nov-80Division 1 29,244H D 2 - 2Hoddle(pen), Crooks 11-Apr-81F.A. Cup SF 40,174Hl D 2 - 2Archibald, Hoddle (aet) 15-Apr-81F.A. Cup SF Replay52,539Hi W 3 - 0Crooks (2), Villa 30-Apr-81Division 1 18,350A L 0 - 1 12-Sep-81Division 1 18,675A W 1 - 0Galvin 06-Feb-82Division 1 29,960H W 6 - 1Villa (3), Falco, Hoddle (pen), Crooks 15-Oct-83Division 1 12,523A W 3 - 2Archibald (2), Falco 31-Mar-84Division 1 19,296H W 1 - 0Hazard 27-Jan-96F.A. Cup 4 32,812H D 1 - 1Wilson 07-Feb-96F.A. Cup 4 Replay27,846A W 2 - 0Rosenthal, Sheringham 31-Jul-99Friendly 11,418A D 1 - 1Iversen 06-Dec-2003FA Prem 34,825H W 5 - 2Keane (3), Kanoute, Dalmat 15-May-04 FA Prem 29,389 A W 2 - 0Keane, Defoe
LAST TIME WE MET...
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur
15th May 2004, Premier League, Molineux
Tottenham Hotspur ended their poor season in style as their win consigned Wolverhampton Wanderers to last place in the league.
The hosts wasted a plethora of chances, Henri Camara and Carl Cort the most guilty while Denis Irwin hit the post on his last appearance before retiring.
Robbie Keane opened the scoring by converting debutant Mark Yeates' cross and Jermain Defoe coolly made it 2-0 after Carl Cort's woeful backpass.
Paul Ince was sent off for two bookings as Wolves bowed out of the Premiership.
Wolves started like a house on fire, nearly getting their noses in front after just 17 seconds as Ince's drive was tipped over by Kasey Keller.
Moments later Lee Naylor's cross was scuffed at Keller by livewire striker Camara, before Rohan Ricketts responded with a right-foot drive that flew over the Wolves bar.
Cort went close with two headers before Irwin rattled the woodwork, his precise 25-yard free-kick clipping the post via Keller's outstretched right hand.
Having weathered Wolves' early storm Spurs hit back, Ricketts' left-foot volley forcing Paul Jones to palm over before Jones had to be alert to keep out a Defoe drive.
But unlike the visitors, Wolves failed to ride their luck for long. Debutant Yeates crossed for former Molineux favourite Keane to bundle the ball home at the second attempt.
Defoe flashed a shot wide as Spurs sought to double their lead before Wolves briefly threatened as Keller was forced to react to Ince's close-range header.
Wolves started the second half in a similar vein to the first, Cort's header cleared by Christian Ziege and Shaun Newton's volley inadvertently blocked by his own player Paul Butler.
As Newton fired another chance wide you sensed it was not Wolves' day, and Spurs made them pay for the profligacy which has haunted their solitary term in the top-flight.
Cort's loose backpass gave Defoe an inviting opportunity and the former West Ham hitman finished coolly past Jones.
Wolves' hopes of getting back into the contest ended midway through the half as Ince, playing almost certainly his last game for the club, was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Jamie Redknapp.
Ince refused to go quietly, the ex-England skipper having to be led away to the touchline by his team-mates.
Freddie Kanoute went close with two late drives as Spurs underlined their superiority while Vio Ganea launched a 40-yard volley that landed on top of Keller's net.
Camara and Defoe exchanged efforts as the clock ticked down but the final whistle signalled the end of Wolves' brief dalliance with the upper echelons of English football.
Jones, Irwin (Craddock 89), Okoronkwo, Butler, Naylor (Rae 71), Newton (Ganea 60), Cameron, Ince, Kennedy, Camara, Cort.
Subs Not Used: Oakes, Iversen.
Sent Off: Ince (67).
Keller, Kelly, King, Gardner, Ziege, Yeates, Redknapp, Brown, Ricketts (Kanoute 71), Defoe, Keane (Poyet 88).
Subs Not Used: Burch, Doherty, Mabizela.
Goals: Robbie Keane (34) & Jermain Defoe (57)
Referee: S Bennett (Kent).