Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur v Portsmouth
White Hart Lane, London N17 - The World Famous Home of the Spurs
Saturday 27th March 2010, Kick Off 15:00
Premier League, Match 31 (32 for Portsmouth)
Tottenham Hotspur: 4th in Premier League, 55 points from 90
Portsmouth: 20th in Premier League, 13 points (9 points deducted) from 93
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistant referees: Nigel Bannister & Rob Lewis
Fourth official: Kevin Wright
Tottenham Hotspur host Portsmouth at White Hart Lane on Saturday 27th March in a Premier League match which can be considered a dress rehearsal for the club's Wembley FA Cup Semi-Final date on 11th April. The fortunes of the two clubs in the League are poles apart - Spurs are on a fantastic run of four consecutive wins and sitting very nicely in fourth place with the promise of Champions League football next season tantilisingly close while Pompey have suffered the body blow of a nine point deduction for going into administration and come into Saturday's match fresh from a 5-0 mauling at home to Chelsea which all but guarantees Championship football for them in 2010-11.
Spurs last outing was a fantastic 3-1 FA Cup Quarter Final win at White Hart Lane over a Fulham side who had recently beaten Juventus in the Europa League. Tottenham fell behind to old boy Bobby Zamora's goal in the first half, but a reshuffle by Harry Redknapp at halftime saw David Bentley get the equaliser from a free kick on the left followed by an amazing strike by Roman Pavlyuchenko - his ninth goal in eight matches - after Bentley provided the cross. The match was secured by Eidur Gudjohnsen, playing in a central midfield role, who netted Tottenham's third after a through ball from Luka Modric. The icing on the cake that night were the home points dropped by our rivals for fourth place with Aston Villa drawing with Sunderland and Manchester City losing their first game of the season at home to Everton.
The reverse fixture at Portsmouth earlier this season saw Spurs win 2-1, thanks to goals from Ledley King and Jermain Defoe with former Spurs midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng pulling one back for Pompey. Spurs have won eight of the 13 Premier League matches played between the two clubs with Portsmouth winning three times and two drawn matches.
Jamie O'Hara, who has been one of Portsmouth's outstanding players this season, is ineligible to play both on Saturday and in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley as he is on loan from Tottenham. The current Spurs team includes former Pompey players Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Niko Kranjcar and Younes Kaboul while Portsmouth's squad features former Spurs players Michael Brown, Ricardo Rocha, Kevin-Prince Boateng and O'Hara. Harry Redknapp had two spells as Portsmouth's manager from March 2002 to November 2004 and from December 2005 to October 2008.
Younes Kaboul and Kyle Walker return to contention for Spurs after being cup-tied for the Fulham match. Harry Redknapp will wait on the fitness of four players going into Saturday's Premier League match against Portsmouth at the Lane. The manager says he remains hopeful on Sebastien Bassong (ankle), Wilson Palacios (adductor), Roman Pavlyuchenko (hamstring) and Kyle Walker (ankle). Sebastien turned his ankle over in the final minutes of Wednesday's FA Cup win against Fulham. Wilson played in that match despite his injury and Roman came on for the final half-hour having departed early from Saturday's win at Stoke with a hamstring problem.
"We'll give Sebastien until tomorrow," reported Harry on Friday. "Pav's hamstring is still tight and he probably doesn't feel that he's ready to start a game. "Wilson's adductor is still tender, he played against Fulham and I'm not quite sure how he managed to get through it, but he did. We'll wait for tomorrow with him as well."
Harry said he will definitely be without Vedran ‘Charlie' Corluka after the defender hobbled out of the action 10 minutes into the second half against Fulham with an ankle injury. "Charlie's struggling, he won't be available and young Kyle Walker, who would have come in, picked up an ankle injury yesterday but he's hoping he'll be okay," added Harry. Aaron Lennon (groin), Ledley King (thigh), Jermain Defoe (hamstring) and Jermain Jenas (groin) also remain out.
Harry gave this update: "Aaron's building up slowly, he's getting out there, running, doing some strengthening work and hopefully he's on his way back. Ledley is still coming along slowly, hopefully it will be a week or two. JJ has had a bit of a setback, he's still in a bit of pain and Jermain is not too far away, he's progressing well."
Hassan Yebda, John Utaka, Anthony Vanden Borre, Ricardo Rocha, Tommy Smith and Kevin-Prince Boateng are all injured for Portsmouth.
• Tottenham have former Portsmouth players Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Younes Kaboul and Niko Kranjcar in their ranks, while Portsmouth have ex-Spurs players Michael Brown, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Ricardo Rocha in their squad.
• Portsmouth have beaten Spurs just once in their last 10 encounters.
• Jermain Defoe has scored in each of the last three matches between Tottenham and Portsmouth, once for Pompey and twice for Spurs.
• Tottenham are chasing a fifth-successive league win.
• Striker Roman Pavlyuchenko has scored nine goals in his last eight appearances for Tottenham in all competitions.
• Manchester United are the only side to have scored more than once against Spurs in their last 32 league matches at White Hart Lane.
• Rock-bottom Portsmouth are 14 points from Premier League safety, with 21 points available. Losing to Spurs could see them relegated next weekend if results go against them.
• Portsmouth have not kept a clean sheet in any of their 13 league matches since the 2-0 home win against Liverpool on 19 December.
• They have lost six of the seven games that on-loan midfielder Jamie O'Hara has missed this season, drawing the other.
PETER CROUCH ON PORTSMOUTH
Peter Crouch insists results going our way in the Premier League this week will mean nothing unless we go out and beat Portsmouth at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Wednesday was the perfect night at the Lane as we booked a place at Wembley in the semi-finals of the FA Cup by beating Fulham 3-1 in a quarter-final replay while at the same time, Manchester City and Aston Villa dropped points in the Premier League. City's game in hand on us ended in a 2-0 defeat at home to Everton while Villa were held 1-1 at home by Sunderland.
Those results meant we held on to our fourth place in the table with City two points adrift and both Liverpool and Villa four points behind, Liverpool having played a game more. The excitement of the fans was tangible as the results were flashed across the Jumbotron screens at the Lane and 'Crouchy' said the players were fully aware of what was going on elsewhere.
"We knew straight away, as soon as we got in the changing room. You couldn't fail to hear the cheers around the ground when the goals were going in and after the game we heard City had lost and Villa had drawn. It was fantastic for us but we've still got a lot of work to do. We've got to make sure we get the points on the board, otherwise those results mean nothing. It's still down to us and that starts with Portsmouth on Saturday. We've got to pick up points and, certainly, with game at home against the team that is bottom of the table, we need to make sure we do a job and get a result. We've got some difficult games to play and I still think it will go right down to the wire."
Crouchy was delighted with the win against Fulham to book another match against Pompey, this time in the semi-final at Wembley on Sunday, April 11.
"It's a fantastic feeling to be going to Wembley and with a real chance of getting to the final, I said at the start of the season I wanted to join a club that was going places. I really believed that would happen at Tottenham Hotspur and I think I've been proved right so far."
LAST MATCH LINE-UPS:
Tottenham Hotspur (W 3-1 Fulham, FA Cup 6th Round Replay H)
Gomes, Corluka (Pavlyuchenko 53), Dawson, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto (Huddlestone 45), Modric, Palacios, Kranjcar (Bentley 45), Bale, Gudjohnsen, Crouch
Substitutes: Alnwick, Livermore, Rose, Townsend
Yellow Card: Bassong
Goals: Bentley 47, Pavlyuchenko 60, Gudjohnsen 66
Portsmouth (L 0-5 Chelsea H)
James, Rocha (Basinas 45), Hreidarsson, Finnan, Mokoena (Kanu 71), O'Hara, Mullins, Hughes, Wilson, Piquionne, Smith (Owusu-Abeyie 46)
Substitutes: Ashdown, Vanden Borre, Brown, Webber
Yellow Cards: James, O'Hara, Hughes
MARK LAWRENSON'S PREDICTION (BBC):
This is the curtain-raiser for the FA Cup semi-final meeting between the sides. Tottenham are in fourth and have some tough games coming up, so they really need to win this one. Pompey are cruising to the semi-final because with all due respect to them, they're relegated already. Portsmouth might be forgiven if they chose to leave players out between now and their 11 April Wembley appearance because it would be massive for them if they got to an FA Cup final this season - not to mention what a boost it would be for their finances.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Portsmouth
Saturday afternoon's match will be the 106th meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth.
Here are the results of the previous 105 matches with Spurs' score shown first:
18-Sep-1899 S&D Comb Lge 4,000H W 2 - 0 Cameron, Kirwan 25-Dec-1899 Southern Lge 14,000H W 3 - 0 Pratt, Copeland, Kirwan 17-Jan-1900S&D Comb Lge 4,000A D 2 - 2 Smith, Pratt 03-Mar-00Southern Lge 7,000A L 0 - 1 03-Nov-00Friendly - A W 3 - 1 Cameron, Brown, Kirwan 17-Nov-00Western Lge 5,000H W 8 - 1 McNaught (2) Jones AE, Morris, Brown (2), Cameron, Kirwan 25-Dec-00Southern Lge 12,000H W 4 - 1 Smith, Brown, Jones JL, Kirwan 17-Apr-01Western Lge - A L 0 - 1 24-Apr-01Southern Lge 3,000A L 0 - 4 16-Nov-01Western Lge 16,000A L 1 - 3 Brown 25-Dec-01Southern Lge 14,000H L 1 - 2 Cameron 17-Mar-02Western Lge 4,000H D 0 - 0 31-Mar-02Southern Lge 13,400A L 0 - 1 30-Apr-02Friendly - A W 2 - 0 Barlow, Copeland 08-Nov-02Western Lge 11,000H D 0 - 0 29-Nov-02Western Lge 9,000A D 2 - 2 Barlow (2) 25-Dec-02Southern Lge 23,000H D 2 - 2 Dryburgh,Warner 13-Apr-03Southern Lge 12,000A L 0 - 2 31-Oct-03Western Lge - A W 3 - 0 Woodward (2), Copeland 25-Dec-03Southern Lge 20,000H D 1 - 1 Jones J. (pen) 27-Feb-04Western Lge 12,000H D 1 - 1 Walton 04-Apr-04Southern Lge 11,000A L 0 - 1 22-Oct-04Western Lge 15,000A L 0 - 1 27-Dec-04Southern Lge 28,000H D 1 - 1 Woodward 17-Apr-05Western Lge - H L 0 - 1 24-Apr-05Southern Lge 10,000N L 2 - 3 Bull, Chapman 28-Oct-05Western Lge - A D 0 - 0 25-Dec-05Southern Lge 33,000H W 3 - 1 Chapman, Kyle, Carrick 03-Mar-06Western Lge 6,000H D 1 - 1 Kyle 16-Apr-06Southern Lge 12,000A L 0 - 1 03-Nov-06Southern Lge 20,000H D 1 - 1 Reid 07-Nov-06Western Lge 4,000A L 0 - 1 26-Nov-06Western Lge 8,000H W 4 - 2 Brearley, Hewitt (pen), Walton (2) 09-Mar-07Southern Lge 12,000A L 1 - 3 Woodward 26-Oct-07Southern Lge 10,000A W 2 - 1 Seeburg (2) 06-Apr-08Southern Lge 6,000H L 2 - 3 Middlemiss, Phillips og 16-Dec-16London Comb 2,000Hi X 1 - 0 Abandoned (Scorer: Banks) 17-Feb-17London Comb 5,000A W 4 - 2 Bliss (4) 31-Mar-17London Comb 2,000Hi W 10 - 0 Elliott, Bassett, Banks (5), Thwaites (2), Hulme og 10-Apr-17London Comb 2,000Hi W 2 - 1 Walden, Middlemiss 17-Sep-27Division 1 26,115A L 0 - 3 19-Mar-28Division 1 12,829H L 0 - 3 14-Oct-33Division 1 25,679A W 1 - 0 O'Callaghan 24-Feb-34Division 1 26,921H D 0 - 0 27-Oct-34Division 1 33,461H W 4 - 1 Bolan, Howe, Hunt GS (2) 09-Mar-35Division 1 11,687A D 1 - 1 Evans W (pen) 16-Jan-37F.A. Cup 3 32,665A W 5 - 0 Morrison (3), Duncan, Miller 16-Mar-40FL South C 7,000A W 2 - 1 Duncan, Dix 11-May-40FL South C 5,301H W 4 - 1 Morrison (3), Medley 26-Oct-40Reg Lge Sth 1,351H L 1 - 2 Howe 15-Nov-41London WarLge 6,095A W 2 - 1 Ludford, Broadis 21-Feb-42London WarLge 4,813H D 1 - 1 Gibbons 24-Oct-42Football Lge Sth 8,500A L 0 - 1 30-Jan-43Football Lge Sth 7,146H W 5 - 2 Beasley, Gibbons, Ludford (3) 26-Feb-44LgeSth Cup S2 15,224H W 1 - 0 Rowley 18-Mar-44LgeSth Cup S2 15,000A W 2 - 1 Rowley (2) 16-Sep-44Football Lge Sth 14,167H D 1 - 1 Walters 30-Dec-44Football Lge Sth 15,000A D 0 - 0 06-Apr-46Football Lge Sth 22,000A W 1 - 0 Medley 13-Apr-46Football Lge Sth 23,000H W 2 - 0 Foreman (2) 04-Nov-50Division 1 66,402H W 5 - 1 Walters, Duquemin, Baily (3) 24-Mar-51Division 1 49,716A D 1 - 1 Uphill 24-Nov-51Division 1 46,815A L 0 - 2 12-Apr-52Division 1 66,988H W 3 - 1 Duquemin, Baily (2) 08-Nov-52Division 1 40,462A L 1 - 2 Uphill 28-Mar-53Division 1 38,636H D 3 - 3 Duquemin (2), Harmer 25-Dec-53Division 1 36,502H D 1 - 1 Brooks 26-Dec-53Division 1 36,677A D 1 - 1 Walters 18-Sep-54Division 1 37,404H D 1 - 1 McClellan 05-Feb-55Division 1 27,539A W 3 - 0 Gavin (2), Duquemin 29-Oct-55Division 1 26,018A L 1 - 4 Robb 10-Mar-56Division 1 44,314H D 1 - 1 Smith R 03-Nov-56Division 1 31,903A W 3 - 2 Smith R, Brooks, Wilson og 16-Mar-57Division 1 36,110H W 2 - 0 Smith R, Mansell og 28-Aug-57Division 1 33,479A L 1 - 5 Smith R 04-Sep-57Division 1 35,813H L 3 - 5 Harmer (pen), Brooks, Dulin 04-Oct-58Division 1 26,402A D 1 - 1 Stokes 21-Feb-59Division 1 27,237H D 4 - 4 Smith R (2), Clayton, Jones (pen) 02-Feb-63Friendly - A W 3 - 2 Mackay, Medwin, Greaves 18-Feb-67F.A. Cup 4 57,910H W 3 - 1 Greaves, Gilzean (2) 07-Aug-74Friendly - A W 2 - 0 Jones, Neighbour 30-Jul-80Friendly - A W 2 - 1 Hughton, Falco 09-Aug-83Friendly - A W 3 - 1 Roberts, Galvin, Mabbutt 20-Nov-85League Cup 4 28,619H D 0 - 0 27-Nov-85League Cup 4 Replay 28,100A D 0 - 0 10-Dec-85League Cup 4 2nd Replay26,306A L 0 - 1 04-Nov-87Division 1 15,302A D 0 - 0 02-Apr-88Division 1 18,616H L 0 - 1 16-Feb-91F.A. Cup 5 26,049A W 2 - 1 Gascoigne (2) 10-Aug-92Friendly 10,929A L 2 - 4 Samways (2) 09-May-99Friendly/Test 6,775A L 2 - 4 Iversen, Anderton 25-Jly-2001Friendly 15,144A W 5 - 2 Sheringham, Iversen, Clemence, Rebrov (2) 26-Dec-03FA Prem 20,078A L 0 - 2 07-Feb-04FA Prem 36,107H W 4 - 3 Defoe, Keane (2), Poyet 18-Oct-04FA Prem 20,121A L 0 - 1 05-Feb-05FA Prem 36,105H W 3 - 1 Mido (2), Keane 13-Aug-05FA Prem 20,215A W 2 - 0 Griffin og, Defoe 10-Dec-05FA Prem 36,141H W 3 - 1 King, Mido (pen), Defoe 01-Oct-06FA Prem 36,063H W 2 - 1 Murphy, Defoe (pen) 01-Jan-07FA Prem 20,194A D 1 - 1 Malbranque 15-Dec-07FA Prem 20,520A W 1 - 0 Berbatov 22-Mar-08FA Prem 35,998H W 2 - 0 Bent, O'Hara 28-Sep-08FA Prem 20,352A L 0 - 2 18-Jan-09FA Prem 36,011 H D 1 - 1 Defoe 17-Oct-09FA Prem20,821A W 2 - 1King, Defoe
LAST TIME WE MET...
PORTSMOUTH 1-2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
Fratton Park, Premier League, Saturday 17th October 2009
Harry Redknapp celebrated his return to Fratton Park with a win that kept old club Portsmouth bottom of the table. The home fans' reception for Redknapp was in reality mild, but the opening exchanges were highly charged. Ledley King headed Spurs ahead from a Niko Kranjcar corner before Jermain Defoe volleyed in their second. Kevin-Prince Boateng pulled one back moments before Defoe saw red for stamping, but Spurs held on and Pompey had Michael Brown sent off at the end.
Aruna Dindane had a golden first-half opportunity to put Pompey ahead but ballooned over an open goal inside the six-yard box. Both match-day squads featured three players who had played for the opposition in recent times, Defoe, Kranjcar and substitute Peter Crouch for Spurs, and Brown, Boateng and Younes Kaboul for Portsmouth. Striker Defoe, fit after missing England's final World Cup qualifiers, was in the thick of the action from the outset. He was spoken to by referee Phil Dowd in the first few seconds after a heated exchange of views with former Spurs player Brown.
The lively Defoe then burst through but England keeper David James saved his low shot comfortably. He was in on goal again after a neat through ball from Tom Huddlestone, but the fierce low drive came back off the post with James beaten. Portsmouth, with only one league win so far and unsettled by recent changes of ownership, showed plenty of endeavour, with the spirited Boateng at the heart of most of their attacks. Dindane is likely to see his glaring miss repeated several times on calamity-based football compilations, while Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes, who has endured some calamities of his own, produced some magical saves, most notably an acrobatic one-handed tip over while diving in the opposite direction after Boateng's free-kick was sharply deflected.
But Spurs, always with extra quality in key areas, went ahead midway through the first-half courtesy of the influential King, returning to the side for the first time since 20 September following hamstring trouble. The visitors forced several right-wing corners, and King rose to meet Kranjcar's cross with James in no-man's land. Then on the stroke of half-time Jermaine Jenas exchanged neat passes with Huddlestone and sent over an inviting cross for Defoe to slide in his sixth league goal of the season. But that comfortable cushion soon began to deflate as Boateng was rewarded for his perseverance with a superb first-time shot from the left-hand edge of the area that beat Gomes and whistled into the corner of the net.
And Spurs were reduced to 10 men on the hour when the petulant side of Defoe returned and he was given a straight red card for a petty stamp on Aaron Mokoena. Wilson Palacios, who only arrived at the ground 15 minutes before the teams had to be announced, having had extended international duty to celebrate Honduras reaching the World Cup finals, was brought on in an attempt to shore things up.
But again it was Gomes who saved Spurs, springing to his right to keep out Hassan Yebda's powerful volley. Still the chances came for Portsmouth, Fredric Piquionne unchallenged as he headed agonisingly close across the face of goal, Gomes tipping away Tommy Smith's lob and the hapless Dindane side-footing wide from six
However, Aaron Lennon could have scored a third for Spurs when he burst through in typically rapid fashion only for his shot to be smothered. In the final moments, Brown was sent off for a second yellow card as Portsmouth were left to reflect on a fifth home defeat.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp:
"It all went well, we got the result and it was a good day. The crowd were fantastic, they are good people. The press over-hyped it but the crowd couldn't have been better. Portsmouth played well and we were hanging on at the end, it was backs to the wall stuff. When Defoe scored it looked like game over but it was a tough second half. I'm very disappointed in Defoe's reaction. I said to him at half-time: 'don't retaliate if you get fouled.' We'll be there or thereabouts but I think Portsmouth will stay up, there's enough spirit and they'll turn the corner."
Portsmouth boss Paul Hart:
"You can imagine the disappointment, we had enough chances to win three games. The spirit still remains, the performance was excellent, apart from 15 minutes or so in the first half that's when they hurt us. With performances like we're putting in at the moment, these things have got to turn. If we keep that spirit we've got a great chance."
James, Kaboul, Finnan (Utaka 90), Ben-Haim, Mokoena (Belhadj 78), Brown, Boateng, Yebda, Wilson, Smith (Piquionne 63), Dindane
Substitutes: Ashdown, Williamson, Mullins, Webber
Yellow Cards: Mokoena, Brown (2), Yebda
Red Card: Brown
Goal: Boateng 59
Gomes, Corluka, Bassong, King, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Huddlestone (Dawson 87), Jenas, Kranjcar (Palacios 66), Keane (Crouch 56),
Substitutes: Cudicini, Hutton, Bentley, Pavlyuchenko
Yellow Cards: Assou-Ekotto, Jenas, Palacios
Red Card: Defoe
Goals: King 29, Defoe 45
Referee: Phil Dowd, Attendance: 20,821