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Spurs v Tranmere - OPTA Preview

Posted on 15 February 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

One of English football's traditional cup specialists face a side who have developed a giantkilling habit in recent seasons as Tottenham play host to Tranmere Rovers.

Few teams can match Tottenham's pedigree in the FA Cup. The eight-times champions last lifted the trophy back in 1991 when they beat Nottingham Forest - a match infamous for Paul Gascoigne's ill-fated challenge on Gary Charles that nearly wrecked the England midfielder's career.

Glenn Hoddle is a name synonymous with the oldest knockout competition in the world. A winner twice with Spurs as a player, Hoddle also played on the losing side in a final with Tottenham in 1987 and Chelsea in 1994 as player-manager. He led the Blues to the semi-final in 1996 only to see their conquerors in 1994, Manchester United, knock them out of the competition and then experienced more semi-final heartache last year against Arsenal, in his first match as Spurs boss.

So, with a place at the Millennium Stadium already secured in the League Cup, Hoddle will be keen to make it a double appearance for Spurs in the Welsh capital this season.

But Tranmere Rovers are no pushovers and they have upset many higher-ranked teams in cup competition in the last few years, having qualified for the 2000 League Cup final under John Aldridge. New manager Dave Watson, meanwhile, has also enjoyed success in the FA Cup. The Tranmere boss lifted the trophy in 1995 after leading Everton to a 1-0 win over United so he knows what it takes to win this competition.

His opposite number Hoddle will know not to underestimate Rovers, even though his Spurs side are currently well-placed in the Premiership and come into this match on the back of a thoroughly convincing 4-0 thrashing of Bolton in the last round.

Tranmere have avoided any big clubs in the cup this year but in the two seasons previous they have disposed of no fewer than seven Premiership sides in domestic cup competition - Everton, Southampton, Leeds, West Ham, Sunderland, Coventry and Middlesbrough all coming off a shock second to Rovers.

Much like Hoddle's Tottenham outfit, Watson's squad is a balance of youth and experience. Paul Rideout, the man whose goal won the FA Cup for Everton in 1995, scored in the last round as Tranmere beat Cardiff 3-1, but he has missed recent matches after having stitches in a head wound. Alongside 37-year-old Rideout, Rovers have veteran forwards Stuart Barlow and Wayne Allison in their side. Allison scored in Tuesday night's 2-0 win for Rovers over Northampton while Barlow was replaced by the highly-rated Welshman Jason Price earlier in the match, the 24-year-old opening the scoring just minutes after coming on pitch.

Price's compatriot Jason Koumas, meanwhile, should be involved in a fascinating tussle dwn the flanks with fellow Welshman Simon Davies. Fresh from appearing against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium in the week, Spurs winger Davies will be keen to book yet another visit to Cardiff in May.

Aside from Davies, experienced stopper John Achteberg will need to be at the peak of his game to cope with the threat of 30-somethings Teddy Sheringham and Les Ferdinand. Sheringham has tasted victory in the FA Cup but Ferdinand, a losing semi-finalist in 1999 with Newcastle and last year with Spurs, is looking for his first ever FA Cup final appearance. He could be the man to get the ball rolling with the game's opening goal at 10/3 with Surrey Sports.

Tim Wheal

TEAM NEWS

Ledley King is suffering from tonsillitis and is a doubt for Sunday's FA Cup tie. There was better news on Darren Anderton though. The midfielder also withdrew from the England squad on Monday after a slight hamstring problem flared up over the weekend but will be fit. Christian Ziege may also come into the frame after joining up with Germany this week.

MATCH BETTING
click on links below to place a wager + more markets

Match Result
1/5 Spurs
4/1 Draw
11/1 Tranmere

Correct Score
Tottenham 1-0 9/1
Tottenham 2-0 15/2
Tottenham 2-1 12/1
Tottenham 3-0 7/1
Tottenham 3-1 9/1
Tottenham 3-2 50/1
Tottenham 4-0 17/2
Tottenham 4-1 10/1
Tottenham 4-2 50/1
Tottenham 5-0 12/1
Tottenham 5-1 18/1
Tottenham 6-0 22/1
Tottenham 6-1 28/1
Tottenham 7-0 33/1
Tottenham 7-1 66/1
Tottenham 8-0 80/1
Tottenham 8-1 100/1
Draw 0-0 14/1
Draw 1-1 10/1
Draw 2-2 25/1
Draw 3-3 66/1
Tranmere 1-0 16/1
Tranmere 2-0 50/1
Tranmere 2-1 40/1
Tranmere 3-0 100/1
Tranmere 3-1 100/1
Tranmere 3-2 100/1

Double Result
Tottenham/Tottenham 4/9
Tottenham/Draw 20/1
Tottenham/Tranmere 66/1
Draw/Tottenham 4/1
Draw/Draw 7/1
Draw/Tranmere 25/1
Tranmere/Tottenham 33/1
Tranmere/Draw 20/1
Tranmere/Tranmere 25/1

First Goalscorer
L Ferdinand 10/3
T Sherringham 7/2
S Iversen 4/1
S Rebrov 5/1
G Poyet 6/1
D Anderton 9/1
T Sherwood 10/1
O Leonhardsen 12/1
M Etherington 12/1
S Davies 14/1
D Richards 16/1
L King 20/1
B Thatcher 33/1
M Taricco 33/1
C Perry 33/1
A Thelwell 40/1
No Goalscorer 14/1
S Barlow 10/1
P Rideout 14/1
J Price 14/1
W Allison 14/1
J Koumas 16/1
A Navarro 25/1
A Parkinson 25/1
M Mellon 33/1
S Yates 40/1
S Flynn 40/1
N Henry 40/1
G Allen 50/1
C Hill 50/1
R Hinds 66/1
G Roberts 66/1
I Sharps 80/1

For all these bets + much more go now to surreySPORTS.co.uk
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