Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur v Bolton Wanderers
White Hart Lane, London N17 - The World Famous Home of the Spurs
Saturday 1st May 2010, Kick-Off 15:00
Premier League, Match 36 (37 for Bolton)
Tottenham Hotspur: 4th in Premier League, 64 points from 105
Bolton Wanderers: 14th in Premier League, 36 points from 108
Referee: Chris Foy
Assistant referees: John Flynn & Shaun Procter-Green
Fourth official: Andre Marriner
Tottenham Hotspur host Bolton Wanderers in their last home match at White Hart Lane in season 2009-10 knowing that nothing but the maximum three points will be acceptable as the race to secure fourth place enters the final straight. Spurs lost their last League game to Manchester United 3-1 with Ledley King scoring his 10th Premier League goal in his career from a Gareth Bale corner. United were rightly awarded two penalties, which Ryan Giggs tucked away, and in between Luis Nani scored a fine solo goal. The match marked a welcome return for Aaron Lennon, who played his first game of 2010 for Spurs.
Last time out Bolton, who are still not secure of their Premier League place next season, were 2-0 up at home to relegated Portsmouth through a first half brace from Aruna Dindane but allowed Pompey to level the match 2-2 in the second half. This will be the fourth meeting between the two clubs this season with the reverse fixture at Bolton last October finishing in a 2-2 draw with Croatians Niko Kranjcar and Luka Modric scoring for Spurs. The clubs were drawn together in the fifth round of the FA Cup where Jermain Defoe scored Tottenham's goal in a 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium.
The replay at White Hart Lane was a comfortable win for Spurs with Roman Pavlyuchenko scoring twice and Bolton adding to Tottenham's scoresheet with own goals from goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen after a Wilson Palacios cross and defender Andrew O'Brien who turned a Gareth Bale cross into his own net.
Bolton have the edge in Premier League meetings with eight wins to Spurs' seven, with six games drawn. Tottenham have the better overall record in the 99 matches played so far between the clubs with 43 wins to the Trotter's 36 with 20 games drawn. Spurs on loan attacker Eidur Gudjohnsen started his English career with Bolton Wanderers and Bolton's current squad includes former Tottenham midfielder Sean Davis.
Aaron Lennon has come through a full week of training and is in contention to continue his comeback from a groin injury in Saturday's vital Premier League clash with Bolton at the Lane. The England winger, who was sidelined for nearly four months, made his first appearance since December as a late substitute in last weekend's defeat at Manchester United. And although manager Harry Redknapp insists he will remain cautious over rushing the 22-year-old back into full action too quickly, Aaron has suffered no setbacks so far this week. Ledley King is also set to train on Friday for the first time since Old Trafford, and will be assessed ahead of our encounter with Owen Coyle's men. Should the skipper come through unscathed, it will leave Harry with a strong squad to choose from with only Vedran Corluka (ankle) a definite absentee alongside longer-term injury victims Niko Kranjcar (ankle), Jonathan Woodgate (groin) and Carlo Cudicini (wrist/pelvis).
In Friday's pre-match press conference, Harry said: "Aaron's had a full week of training but we'll have to assess how he is because we don't want to rush him and risk him breaking down again, so we'll see how he feels. But he's come through the training sessions with no problems. "Ledley will come out to train for the first time since last weekend and see how he feels, so we're pretty much at full strength. Corluka's still injured but, other than that, we're not too bad."
Bolton's Stuart Holden could return to action for the first time since he fractured his fibula two months ago. Manager Owen Coyle has injury doubts over Chris Basham, Ricardo Gardner and Andy O'Brien.
• This will be the 98th league meeting between the sides. Tottenham have won 42 of those, Bolton 36 and there have been 19 draws.
• Away victories are rare in this fixture. Bolton have won only twice in 10 league visits to White Hart Lane in the Premier League and Spurs have won just once in 11 trips to the Reebok Stadium.
• Four of the last seven meetings between these sides have ended in a draw, but Tottenham beat Bolton 4-0 in February in an FA Cup fifth-round replay at White Hart Lane.
• They have won seven of their last nine league matches, but have kept only one clean sheet in their last eight league games.
• Spurs have given away nine penalties in the league this season, a joint-high.
• When Harry Redknapp's team have scored two or more goals in their home games this season they have won the match, but when they have scored fewer than two they haven't won.
• If selected, Jermain Defoe will be making his 400th career appearance. His present tally comprises; 105 matches for West Ham, 31 at Bournemouth, 36 for Portsmouth and 227 in two spells at Tottenham, scoring 169 goals in total.
• Bolton have failed to score in seven of their last nine away matches in the league.
• The Trotters won 18 points this season in the 18 games Gary Megson was in charge of and they have 18 points from the 18 matches since Owen Coyle has been at the helm.
• Kevin Davies has scored six league goals against Spurs - a total he has only bettered against Aston Villa and West Ham.
LAST MATCH LINE-UPS:
Tottenham Hotspur (L 1-3 Manchester United A)
Gomes, Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, King, Bale, Bentley (Lennon 66), Huddlestone, Palacios, Modric, Pavlyuchenko (Crouch 75), Defoe (Gudjohnsen 55)
Substitutes: Alnwick, Kaboul, Bassong, Jenas
Goal: King 70
Bolton Wanderers (D 2-2 Portsmouth H)
Jaaskelainen, Robinson, Cahill, Knight, Steinsson, Muamba, Taylor, Wilshere (Davies 81), Weiss (Lee 70), Davies, Klasnic (Elmander 75)
Substitutes: Al Habsi, Samuel, Ricketts, Cohen
Yellow Card: Muamba
Goals: Klasnic 26, Davies 28
MICHAEL DAWSON ON BOLTON WANDERERS
Michael Dawson insists the lads will not look beyond Bolton as they prepare for a season-defining eight days in the Premier League.
The most important week since we fought for fourth place in 2006 kicks-off against the Trotters at the Lane on Saturday. We then travel to Manchester City on Wednesday before the season's finale at Burnley on Sunday week, May 9. We're currently in pole position of the four teams fighting for fourth but there are only two points between us (64) in fourth, Villa (64) in fifth, City (63) sixth and Liverpool (62) in seventh. In another fascinating weekend, City play host to Villa while Liverpool take on title-favourites Chelsea at Anfield.
But the Lane is where it counts. "We know the importance of the games and the reward," said Michael. "We're in the driving seat and it's down to us. We need to focus on Bolton and trying to get those three points on Saturday. That's all that matters. They've got nothing to lose, they can come out and play with no fear. They will relish coming here and playing with that freedom. As a footballer, you want to win every game you go into so it will be tough and we know that. There are four teams fighting for that fourth spot and it's another massive weekend, but we have to concentrate on what we have to do."
MARK LAWRENSON'S PREDICTION (BBC):
Tottenham came unstuck last week at Old Trafford, but they still look very strong, they've got great home form and a real chance of finishing fourth. Bolton will approach things differently now they are safe and maybe field one or two more attacking players, but Spurs will have too much for them.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Bolton Wanderers
Saturday afternoon's match will be the 100th meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers.
Here are the results of the previous 99 matches with Spurs' score shown first:
30-Apr-1898 Friendly - H D 2 - 2 Joyce, Crump 18-Nov-1899 Friendly - H W 4 - 0 Rule, Pratt, Cameron (2) 19-Sep-1908Division 2 25,000H W 2 - 1 Minter, Middlemiss 23-Jan-09Division 2 24,000A W 1 - 0 Steel R 11-Dec-09Division 1 20,000H D 1 - 1 Minter 23-Apr-10Division 1 3,000A W 2 - 0 Humphreys (2) 16-Dec-11Division 1 20,000A L 0 - 1 20-Apr-12Division 1 18,000H W 1 - 0 Minter 09-Nov-12Division 1 23,000H L 0 - 1 15-Mar-13Division 1 25,000A L 0 - 2 01-Jan-14Division 1 30,000A L 0 - 3 10-Apr-14Division 1 39,020H W 3 - 0 Joyce, Cantrell, Bliss 28-Nov-14Division 1 8,000A L 2 - 4 Clay (pen), Cantrell 03-Apr-15Division 1 11,000H W 4 - 2 Cantrell, Bliss (3) 18-Dec-20Division 1 33,000H W 5 - 2 Seed, Cantrell, Bliss (2), Dimmock 01-Jan-21Division 1 45,000A L 0 - 1 29-Aug-21Division 1 31,771H L 1 - 2 Thompson 05-Sep-21Division 1 40,000A L 0 - 1 17-Feb-23Division 1 30,000H L 0 - 1 11-Apr-23Division 1 15,000A W 2 - 0 Cantrell, Dimmock 22-Sep-23Division 1 35,012H D 0 - 0 29-Sep-23Division 1 25,000A L 1 - 3 Lindsay 30-Aug-24Division 1 42,000H W 3 - 0 Clay (pen), Lindsay, Hargreaves 27-Dec-24Division 1 18,000A L 0 - 3 31-Jan-25F.A. Cup 2 52,635H D 1 - 1 Seed 04-Feb-25F.A. Cup 2 Replay 51,774A W 1 - 0 Seed 21-Nov-25Division 1 26,792H L 2 - 3 Osborne, Elkes 03-Apr-26Division 1 31,364A D 1 - 1 Osborne 30-Oct-26Division 1 29,999H W 1 - 0 Handley 19-Mar-27Division 1 17,762A D 2 - 2 Sanders, Dimmock 26-Dec-27Division 1 25,229A L 1 - 4 Elkes 06-Feb-28Division 1 18,183H L 1 - 2 Armstrong 16-Feb-35F.A. Cup 5 70,347H D 1 - 1 Evans W 20-Feb-35F.A. Cup 5 Replay47,453A D 1 - 1 Hunt GS 25-Feb-35F.A. Cup 5 2nd Replay26,692VP L 0 - 2 10-Jan-48F.A. Cup 3 37,075A W 2 - 0 (a.e.t) Duquemin (2) 23-Aug-50Division 1 21,745A W 4 - 1 Walters, Murphy, Duquemin, Medley 28-Aug-50Division 1 44,246H W 4 - 2 og, Duquemin (2), Baily 08-Sep-51Division 1 61,838H W 2 - 1 Bennett, Edwards og 05-Jan-52Division 1 46,354A D 1 - 1 Harmer 15-Nov-52Division 1 31,442H D 1 - 1 Bennett 04-Apr-53Division 1 40,185A W 3 - 2 McClellan, Stokes, Duquemin 03-Oct-53Division 1 39,842A L 0 - 2 03-Mar-54Division 1 16,720H W 3 - 2 Walters, Stokes, Dunmore 25-Dec-54Division 1 25,978A W 2 - 1 Dunmore, Robb 27-Dec-54Division 1 41,063H W 2 - 0 Baily, Brooks 08-Oct-55Division 1 35,237H L 0 - 3 21-Mar-56Division 1 10,942A L 2 - 3 Smith R, Robb 01-Sep-56Division 1 30,889A L 0 - 1 29-Dec-56Division 1 42,030H W 4 - 0 Dyson, Harmer (pen), Smith R, Robb 19-Oct-57Division 1 20,381A L 2 - 3 Smith R, Robb 12-Mar-58Division 1 22,978H W 4 - 1 Brooks, Smith R (3) 08-Nov-58Division 1 39,820H D 1 - 1 Smith R 28-Mar-59Division 1 21,384A L 1 - 4 Clayton 07-Nov-59Division 1 41,909H L 0 - 2 26-Mar-60Division 1 31,106A L 1 - 2 Mackay 07-Sep-60Division 1 41,565A W 2 - 1 White, Allen 14-Sep-60Division 1 43,559H W 3 - 1 Blanchflower (pen), Smith R (2) 09-Oct-61Division 1 24,726A W 2 - 1 Allen, Clayton 24-Feb-62Division 1 36,470H D 2 - 2 Smith R, Greaves 08-Dec-62Division 1 20,737A L 0 - 1 27-Apr-63Division 1 40,965H W 4 - 1 Marchi, Greaves, White, Smith R 07-Dec-63Division 1 18,394A W 3 - 1 Greaves, Dyson, Farrimond og 18-Apr-64Division 1 32,507H W 1 - 0 Greaves 26-Nov-77Division 2 34,260A L 0 - 1 07-Jan-78F.A. Cup 3 43,731H D 2 - 2 Hoddle, Duncan 10-Jan-78F.A. Cup 3 Replay31,314A L 1 - 2 (a.e.t) Taylor (pen) 08-Apr-78Division 2 50,097H W 1 - 0 McAllister 28-Oct-78Division 1 37,337H W 2 - 0 Pratt, Lee 08-May-79Division 1 17,879A W 3 - 1 Holmes, Falco, Villa 10-Nov-79Division 1 33,155H W 2 - 0 Yorath, Hoddle (pen) 22-Mar-80Division 1 14,474A L 1 - 2 Jones 23-Dec-95FA Prem 30,702H D 2 - 2 Sheringham, Armstrong 20-Mar-96FA Prem 17,829A W 3 - 2 Howells, Fox, Armstrong 27-Nov-96League Cup 4 18,621A L 1 - 6 Sheringham 23-Sep-97FA Prem 23,433A D 1 - 1 Armstrong 01-Mar-98FA Prem 29,032H W 1 - 0 Neilsen 03-Dec-2001FA Prem 32,971H W 3 - 2 Poyet, Ferdinand, Sheringham 11-Dec-01League Cup 5 28,340H W 6 - 0 Davies, Ferdinand (3), Barness og, Iversen 05-Feb-02F.A. Cup 4 27,093H W 4 - 0 Anderton (pen), Iversen, Etherington, Barness og 20-Apr-02FA Prem 25,817A D 1 - 1 Iversen 20-Oct-02FA Prem 35,909H W 3 - 1 Keane (2), Davies 24-Mar-03FA Prem 23,084A L 0 - 1 01-Nov-03FA Prem 35,191H L 0 - 1 17-Apr-04FA Prem 26,440A L 0 - 2 23-Oct-04FA Prem 36,025H L 1 - 2 Keane 27-Oct-04League Cup 3 18,037A W 4 - 3 (a.e.t, 2-2) Defoe (2), Bunjevcevic, Brown 01-Feb-05FA Prem 24,780A L 1 - 3 Defoe 05-Nov-05FA Prem 26,634A L 0 - 1 29-Apr-06FA Prem 36,179H W 1 - 0 Lennon 19-Aug-06FA Prem 22,899A L 0 - 2 24-Feb-07FA Prem 35,747H W 4 - 1 Keane (2), Jenas, Lennon 23-Sep-07FA Prem 20,308A D 1 - 1 Keane 26-Apr-08FA Prem 36,176H D 1 - 1 Malbranque 26-Oct-08FA Prem 35,507H W 2 - 0 Pavlyuchenko, Bent (pen) 31-Jan-09FA Prem 21,575 A L 2 - 3 Bent (2) 03-Oct-09FA Prem21,303A D 2 - 2Corluka, Kranjcar 14-Feb-10F.A. Cup 513,596A D 1 - 1 Defoe 24-Feb-10F.A. Cup 5 Replay31,436H W 4 - 0Pavlyuchenko (2), Jaaskelainen og, O'Brien og
LAST TIME WE MET...
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Bolton Wanderers
White Hart Lane, 24th February 2010, FA Cup 5th Round Replay
Roman Pavlyuchenko continued his recent resurgence with two more goals to earn Tottenham an all-London FA Cup quarter-final away to Fulham. Pavlyuchenko tucked in the opener for Spurs from Luka Modric's flicked pass. Jussi Jaaskelainen was at fault for the first of two Bolton own goals, the ball deflecting in off his leg as he failed to deal with a Wilson Palacios centre. Gareth Bale's cross later went in off Andrew O'Brien before Pavlyuchenko drilled in a Danny Rose centre late on.
For the often-overlooked Pavlyuchenko, who made a strong case for his inclusion with two goals at Wigan on Sunday, the evening added further lustre to an impressive record in the domestic cups. Pavlyuchenko has played second fiddle to Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch this season, but on a night when Tottenham were rarely required to be at their flowing best, the Russian's second brace in three days brought his Spurs cup tally to 13 goals in 13 matches. With his side locked in a Premier League relegation battle, there is little that the Bolton manager Owen Coyle would not give for that level of return just now. For all Tottenham's first-half superiority - and this was without doubt a deserved victory for Harry Redknapp's side - Bolton, energised by the second-half arrival of Mustapha Riga, were at times the better side after the break.
But the Trotters could not translate that intermittent superiority into goals, and their lack of a clinical finisher - combined with some abysmal defending - meant they never achieved a foothold in the game. In mitigation, Coyle, mindful of Bolton's parlous Premier League plight - they currently lie 18th, a point adrift of safety - rested five members of the relegation resistance. Coyle had insisted that his side would compete with Tottenham regardless of his selection decisions but, with the notable exception of Riga, Bolton's second string rarely looked capable of causing an upset. Tottenham were frequently lackadaisical when Bolton were in possession, and both Matt Taylor and Ivan Klasnic should have punished early mistakes by Bale, whose impressive work on the overlap was on more than one occasion marred by a lack of defensive focus.
Culpable too was Ricardo Gardner, who should have done better than head tamely behind from Sam Ricketts' precise cross early on.
Coyle cut a distraught figure on the sidelines in the wake of that miss, and when Modric fed Pavlyuchenko on the edge of the area, it became clear why. Skipping over a flimsy challenge from Zat Knight, the Russian calmly balanced himself before tucking a low shot across Jaaskelainen for his third goal in 40 minutes of playing time since his late appearance at Wigan. One became two soon afterwards when Tom Huddlestone fed a corner to Palacios on the right-hand side of the box.
Electing to tackle the Honduran's cross with his legs, the normally reliable Jaaskelainen - who had pulled off a fine save from Defoe only moments earlier and was again under pressure from the England man - failed to make contact and the ball rebounded in off his standing leg. Further Bolton embarrassment followed shortly after the break when Bale capped a surging run down the left with a near-post cross that the stretching O'Brien could only divert into his own net. Coyle responded with a double substitution, introducing Riga alongside fellow striker Johan Elmander. The result was a sudden injection of urgency, with Riga - clearly intent on making the most of a rare chance to impress - offering Heurelho Gomes his first real tests of the night.
The most notable of those chances came when the Ghana-born Dutchman's close-range header produced a fine reflex save from the Tottenham keeper. But there was to be no fairytale turnaround for Bolton, and instead Spurs - who were themselves energised by the half-time introduction of the lively Eidur Gudjohnsen - put the gloss on the win with a late fourth. Danny Rose, on as a 70th minute replacement for David Bentley, broke down the right before finding Pavlyuchenko, who slotted in the fourth from eight yards. It capped a fine night for Spurs, who will travel to Craven Cottage in the last eight with hopes high that Redknapp can mastermind a repeat of his 2008 Cup final win with Portsmouth.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp:
"It's great to see Pavlyuchenko score four goals in two games, he's in great form and let's hope he can keep that up to the end of the season. It's difficult for Bolton, because Owen has obviously got the league on his mind, but things are going well for us. It will be a difficult game at Craven Cottage, but we can only focus on the next game, and that's Everton in the league".
Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle:
"Anyone who thinks that was a four-nil performance was watching a different game from me. We lost the game, but 4-0 isn't a fair reflection. We had chances to score, but we didn't take them. I put out a team to win an FA Cup tie, and they could have done that."
Gomes, Assou-Ekotto, Dawson, Bassong, Bale, Bentley (Rose 70), Huddlestone, Palacios (Kranjcar 60), Modric, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe (Gudjohnsen 46)
Substitutes: Alnwick, Dervite, Kane, M'Poku
Goals: Pavlyuchenko 23, Jaaskelainen (og) 35, O'Brien (og) 47, Pavlyuchenko 87
Jaaskelainen, Samuel, Knight, Ricketts, O'Brien, Muamba, Taylor (Riga 56), Gardner (Lee 79), Cohen, Holden, Klasnic (Elmander 56)
Substitutes: Al Habsi, Robinson, Shittu, Davies
Referee: Walton, Attendance: 31,436