Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur v Portsmouth

Wembley Stadium, London (Capacity 90,000)
Sunday 11th April 2010, Kick Off 16:00
FA Cup, Semi-Final

Tottenham Hotspur: 5th in Premier League, 58 points from 96
Portsmouth: 20th in Premier League, 14 points* from 99 (*9 point deduction)

Referee: Alan Wiley
Assistant Referees: Peter Kirkup and David Richardson
Fourth Official: Stuart Attwell
Reserve Assistant Referee: Simon J Long 


Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth meet at Wembley on Sunday 11th April in the second FA Cup Semi Final of season 2009-10 after Aston Villa & Chelsea played at the same venue the previous day. The tie will be settled on the Sunday with 30 minutes extra time and a penalty shoot-out, if needed. Full details & statistics of all this season's FA Cup matches, from the First Qualification Round onwards can be found here.

Spurs reached the Semi-Final after beating Peterborough United 4-0 at home in the Third Round, Leeds United 3-1 at Elland Road after a 2-2 draw at home in the Fourth Round, Bolton Wanderers 4-0 at White Hart Lane after a 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium in the Fifth Round and a 3-1 win over Fulham at home after a 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage.

Portsmouth accounted for Coventry City 2-1 away after a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park in the Third Round, Sunderland 2-1 at home in the Fourth Round, Southampton away 4-1 in the Fifth Round and Birmingham City 2-0 at home in the Sixth Round.

The last Premier League meeting between the two clubs was very recently on 27th March at White Hart Lane with Spurs winning 2-0 through goals from Pompey old boys Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar. 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 nine of the 14 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 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 Jamie O'Hara. Harry Redknapp had two spells as Portsmouth's manager from March 2002 to November 2004 and from December 2005 to October 2008.

Portsmouth have won the FA Cup twice in their history. Their first win came in 1939 when they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 and the second came more recently in 2008 when Harry Redknapp led them to a 1-0 win over Cardiff City. Tottenham Hotspur's eight FA Cup Wins have come against Sheffield United (1901), Wolverhampton Wanderers (1921), Leicester City (1961), Burnley (1962), Chelsea (1967), Manchester City (1981), Queens Park Rangers (1982) and Nottingham Forest (1991).

The last two times Spurs have played Portsmouth in the FA Cup (1967 3-1 home win & 1991 2-1 away win) Tottenham have gone on to win the competition.


Harry Redknapp will make late decisions on the fitness of five players before Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Portsmouth at Wembley. Michael Dawson (Achilles), Tom Huddlestone (ankle), Vedran Corluka (ankle), Ledley King (thigh) and Jermaine Jenas (groin) will be given time to prove their fitness. However, Harry has ruled out any possible return at Wembley for Aaron Lennon (groin) and we go into the tie without cup-tied Kyle Walker and Younes Kaboul.

"It will be a last-minute decision with a few of the lads," said Harry on Friday morning. "They will come out this morning and have a stretch with us but they won't actually train until tomorrow. You never know, they might all be okay or none of them will be okay. It's very much a case of wait and see, it's that tight with them. Michael has been having treatment morning and afternoon and we'll see how he is tomorrow. We won't play him unless he's okay. I really couldn't say at the moment but if anyone can play, he will. He's a fantastic professional and a great character but he has to be right. Hopefully one or two will be okay. Ledley hasn't trained at all but he's going to come out and have a stretch and see how he feels. He's doubtful, but you never know."

As for Aaron, Harry added: "He's not fit to play. We're taking it day by day, seeing how he progesses. Until he's ready we won't push him back in. We'll wait until he's right." Harry also reported that midfielder JJ was scheduled to join the players for a warm-up this morning for the first time since his groin problem.

Portsmouth could welcome back Nadir Belhadj, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Papa Bouba Diop from injury. Keeper David James, who sat out the goalless draw against Blackburn with a calf strain, has returned to training.


The tie in context

• Cash strapped Portsmouth are aiming to win the FA Cup for the second time in three seasons.
• Tottenham is the most successful club still alive in the FA Cup, having won the competition eight times.
• These clubs are clashing in the second semi-final at Wembley, for the right to return on Saturday, 15 May for the end-of-season showpiece.
• The winners of this semi-final will receive £900,000 and the losers £450,000, excluding broadcast fees. The winners of the FA Cup will receive another £1,800,000, and the runners-up £900,000.


• This is the 47th competitive meeting of these clubs; Tottenham have the edge with 19 wins to Portsmouth's 11.
• The Londoners have done the league double over Portsmouth this season.

Portsmouth 1-2 Tottenham (Prem Lge, 17 Oct)
Tottenham 2-0 Portsmouth (Prem Lge, 27 Mar)

• Tottenham are unbeaten in three against Portsmouth (W2, D1), since Pompey's 2-0 home win in the Premier League on 28 September 2008.

FA Cup records and best performances

• Tottenham have a 100% FA Cup record against Portsmouth, having won three of three.
• The most recent of those three victories was in the fifth round at Fratton Park nine years ago.


Current form

• Sunderland ended Tottenham's nine-match undefeated run in league and cup with a 3-1 win at the Stadium of Light last Saturday.

FA Cup form

• This is Tottenham's 18th appearance in the semi-finals, and their first since in nine years.
• The Londoners are aiming to oust a top-flight club for the third round in a row, following Bolton and Fulham.
• Spurs have qualified for the final on nine occasions. They won their most recent in 1991, by beating Nottingham Forest 2-1 after extra time in the Wembley showpiece.
• Their last match on Wembley turf was a goalless draw with Manchester United in last season's Carling Cup final (1 March 2009), which the Red Devils won on penalties.

The Manager

• Harry Redknapp famously led Portsmouth to FA Cup victory in the season before last.
• His only other cup triumph as a manager was with West Ham, when they lifted the Intertoto Cup in 1999.

The Players

• Jeramin Defoe is Tottenham's top scorer in this FA Cup run. His five goals includes a hat-trick against Leeds.
• Defoe, Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar could all play against their former club.
• David Bentley could make his 200th club career start.
• Tom Huddlestone is on the verge of his 150th appearance in Tottenham colours.


Current form

• Won one and lost four of their last six matches.
• Not scored in their last three.

FA Cup form

• The 1939 and 2008 winners are facing fellow league opposition for the second time in this cup run, having dismissed Birmingham in the quarter-finals. They also ousted Sunderland in round four.
• Pompey are appearing in their seventh semi-final, and hoping to qualify for a fifth appearance in the end-of-season showpiece.

The Manager

• Avram Grant won the Israeli domestic cup on several occasions as coach of Hapoel Petah Tikva, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Maccabi Haifa.

The Players

• Portsmouth's 11 goals in this cup run have been shared between eight players, excluding one own goal. Frederic Piquionne and John Utaka are the only players to have scored twice.
• Kevin Boeteng, Michael Brown and Ricardo Rocha are all former Tottenham players.


Tottenham Hotspur (L 1-3 Sunderland A)

Gomes, Kyle Walker, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto (Kranjcar 45), Bentley (Defoe 45), Palacios, Modric, Bale, Gudjohnsen, Pavlyuchenko (Crouch 70)

Substitutes: Alnwick, Dervite, Livermore, Rose

Goal: Crouch 72

Portsmouth (D 0-0 Blackburn Rovers H)

Ashdown, Rocha, Vanden Borre, Mokoena, O'Hara, Mullins, Brown, Utaka (Piquionne 72), Hughes (Sowah 64), Basinas, Kanu

Substitutes: O'Brien, Ward, Ritchie, Nlundulu

Yellow Cards: Vanden Borre, Brown

Red Card: Vanden Borre


Both teams come into this with injury worries - Tottenham defensively, in particular, and Portsmouth, well, everywhere you look in their squad. I know some people will have already written Portsmouth off, but the fact is this is their Cup final for so many reasons; they are relegated all but mathematically, every single one of their players is playing either for a move or for a new contract, and the financial reward for reaching a Cup final would be massive for the club.

Every single person connected with the club has a massive incentive in this match. And if I was [Portsmouth boss] Avram Grant, I'd be urging my players to make it extremely uncomfortable for Spurs. He's not going to turn Portsmouth into an irresistible attacking force overnight so they have to grind the opposition down, flood the midfield and sneak a result. Saying that, I can't really see past Tottenham winning. I definitely see it being tight, possibly going to extra-time, but Spurs will always cause you problems with their attacking players and that might just be enough to see them through this one.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Portsmouth (also Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea)




Wembley Stadium was still under construction when Tottenham Hotspur beat Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1921 FA Cup Final and it took a further 40 years before Spurs made their first appearance at Wembley. Sunday's FA Cup Semi-Final against Portsmouth will be Tottenham's 25th visit to the stadium.


Saturday afternoon's match will be the 107th meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth.

Here are the results of the previous 106 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 1 - 1  Defoe 
17-Oct-09FA Prem20,821A W 2 - 1King, Defoe
27-Mar-10FA Prem35,870HW 2 - 0 Crouch, Kranjcar
11-Apr-10F.A. Cup Semi-FinalWembley


Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Portsmouth

White Hart Lane, Saturday 27th March 2010

Tottenham cruised to victory in their FA Cup semi-final dress rehearsal with Portsmouth to extend their points advantage in the race for fourth spot. Peter Crouch nodded Spurs ahead from Gareth Bale's cross and the striker and Tom Huddlestone then hit the woodwork.
Niko Kranjcar clipped in a second but the hosts barely got out of first gear. The visitors, who can now be relegated next week if results go against them, went close through Anthony Vanden Borre and Michael Brown but were never in it.

It leaves Portsmouth 14 points adrift of safety with a possible 18 left to play for - and their season really is all about that Cup date at Wembley on 11 April. Spurs, on the other hand, are still very much fighting for honours on two fronts, though this tie looked less a battle and more a training-ground exercise against a Pompey side lacking in belief and energy. The Londoners moved five points clear of Manchester City in fifth, though Roberto Mancini's side have a game in hand. This was a match that always looked a home banker, even if Spurs have been guilty of the occasional lapse at White Hart Lane this campaign with defeats by Wolves and Stoke.

It might have been different for Portsmouth, though, had Vanden Borre made the most of the first real chance of the game when he found himself clear in the box only for keeper Heurelho Gomes to save his tame effort. Instead it was something of a procession for Tottenham - even if it took them until the 27th minute to break the deadlock. Bale, who tormented Pompey throughout, ended one of his many marauding runs from left back with a delightful cross that Crouch nodded in from six yards. Michael Dawson headed a David Bentley cross wide soon after, while Spurs hit the woodwork twice in a minute through Huddlestone's crunching long-range effort and Crouch's clever swiped volley.

So it was no surprise when the hosts doubled their lead, debutant Kyle Walker laying the ball back to Luka Modric, the Croatian's shot blocked, and Kranjcar - like Crouch, a former Portsmouth star himself - impudently flicking in the rebound. For Spurs it was almost too easy, although a lapse in concentration at the back afforded Michael Brown a golden chance to reduce arrears, only for the unmarked midfielder to scuff his shot from six yards. It was a rare moment of levity for the travelling fans, though, with their team - undoubtedly missing the ineligible Jamie O'Hara - all too often going through the motions without the necessary application. The visitors' cause was not helped by what looked like a serious ankle injury to Hermann Hreidarsson, though Tottenham's occasional over-elaborate approach ensured the score remained respectable.

Bentley did at least sting James's palms with a long-ranger, while Sebastien Bassong should have done better with an unmarked header from a corner that he directed straight at keeper James and Crouch slid a golden chance wide in stoppage time. Portsmouth, to their credit, created the odd half chance in reply, a Younes Kaboul tackle denying Brown inside the box and Kanu scuffing wide when well placed. But their day - and arguably season - was summed up by the sight of Danny Webber and David James having to go off injured in the closing minutes, leaving Portsmouth to finish the match with 10 men. And so Spurs manager Harry Redknapp's only gripe could be that his side did not go on to win more convincingly.

However, with matches against Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City to come, they have far tougher tasks ahead of them as the season hits the business end.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp:

"It was a difficult game. Coming into the game I had a funny feeling it was going to be a tough one but, once we were 2-0 up, the game fizzled out. It's a vital three points for us - we've got to keep picking up points. We've got a tough run-in against the top three but we can give anyone a game. Gareth Bale is unbelievable. He can run and run and never even looks like getting tired. With his stamina, pace, ability, and that left foot, he's got everything to go on to become one of the best players."

Portsmouth boss Avram Grant:

"At the moment, it looks like we have a problem for the semi-final, because at the moment we only have 10 fit players, but we need to wait and see. We are not going to give up and will continue to keep fighting despite everything. We are trying to be professional and keep the spirit of the game, to play with pride for the supporters. We came here short of players, with guys out of position, and played well. I am very, very proud of the boys."

Tottenham Hotspur

Gomes, Kyle Walker, Bassong, Dawson (Kaboul 62), Bale, Bentley, Huddlestone, Modric, Kranjcar (Assou-Ekotto 66), Crouch, Gudjohnsen (Pavlyuchenko 79)

Substitutes: Alnwick, Palacios, Rose, Livermore

Goals: Crouch 27, Kranjcar 41


James (Ashdown 89), Hreidarsson (Webber 51), Finnan, Vanden Borre, Mokoena, Mullins, Brown, Hughes, Basinas (Owusu-Abeyie 84),
Piquionne, Kanu

Substitutes: Ward, Sowah, Ritchie (only seven substitutes named)

Yellow Card: Hughes

Referee: Kevin Friend, Attendance: 35,870
Tottenham Hotspur Match Preview: Season 2009-10
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