Tottenham Hotspur meet Fulham tonight in an FA Cup 6th round replay that both managers have earmarked as a must win game. The winner of the tie will face bottom placed Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, and so the route to the final could not have been kinder to Tottenham or Fulham, with Chelsea and Aston Villa set to contest the competitions other semi-final.
Tottenham are on a run of seven games unbeaten in all competitions, their last defeat coming in a 1-0 defeat away at Wolves. Tottenham are undefeated in ten at White Hart Lane, winning their last three in a row.
Fulham have lost three of their last four matches in all competitions. Fulham have not won away from home since beating Accrington Stanley 3-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup on 23 January.
Tottenham defeated Peterborough, Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers on their way to the quarter finals, whilst Fulham dispatched Swindon, Accrington Stanley and Notts County.
Fulham, who have never won the FA Cup, are pursuing a cup double, with the Europa League and FA Cup still very much within their grasp. Hodgson’s decision to haul Bobby Zamora off after 50 minutes in their Premier League clash with Manchester City on Sunday is perhaps evidence enough of Fulham’s determination to reach the semi-final. Likewise, despite chasing a Champions League place, Tottenham rested Wilson Palacios in their Premier League victory over Stoke City on Saturday. The Honduran is one booking away from a two game ban, and Redknapp did not want his combative midfielder to miss the quarter final replay.
Should Fulham win their 50th game of the season tonight, the club could make their first appearance at Wembley since 1975, whilst Tottenham could reach their first FA Cup semi-final since 2001.
Fulham and Spurs have contested four FA Cup ties, with Fulham yet to claim a victory…
06 Feb 1909 R2 Tottenham 1-0 Fulham
07 Jan 1984 R3 Fulham 0-0 Tottenham
11 Jan 1984 R3 R Tottenham 2-0 Fulham
05 Jan 1998 R3 Tottenham 3-1 Fulham
18 Feb 2007 R5 Fulham 0-4 Tottenham
This season, the two sides have met three times, two 0-0 draws at Craven Cottage in the Premier League and FA Cup sandwiching a 2-0 victory for Spurs in the league at White Hart Lane. The last time Fulham won away at Spurs, Barry Hayles (2) and Luis Boa Morte (1) scored in a 3-0 victory on 30 August 2003.
With Brede Hangeland returning for Fulham, and Wilson Palacios ready to resume his position in defensive midfield for Tottenham, expect another cagey, tight affair between the two sides. It might well be penalties that decide the two teams fate this evening…
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