Since speculation emerged over Harry Redknapp’s potential appointment as the next England manager, Tottenham’s season has taken a turn for the worse. After three league defeats in a row, the first time in Redknapp’s reign, Bolton are the visitors to White Hart Lane looking to inflict more pain upon the Spurs squad.
Tottenham were taken to a replay by League One side Stevenage in the last round, but overcame their problems to take a place in the quarter-finals. Spurs had been flying high and challenging for the title, but defeats to Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton in quick succession have derailed their ambitions. The FA Cup presents a real opportunity for Redknapp to win a trophy this season and possibly sign off from Spurs on a high.
Emmanuel Adebayor is a doubt for the Bolton fixture with a hamstring strain, so Louis Saha could be brought back into the starting line-up after he was on the bench against former club Everton. Aaron Lennon is still sidelined with a hamstring problem and Ledley King will have a fitness test over a knee worry. William Gallas could be in line for his first appearance since January after recovering from a calf problem. Spurs have won seven out of their last eight FA Cup ties at home, scoring 27 goals in the process.
Bolton progressed into the quarter-finals with a 2-0 away win at Championship side Millwall, which relieved some pressure on under-fire boss Owen Coyle. A 2-1 league win over QPR at the weekend lifted the Wanderers out of the bottom three and gives them great confidence of getting back to a Wembley semi-final for the second season running. Bolton were beaten 5-0 by Stoke City in the semi-final last year and will be looking to redeem themselves for the supporters who made the journey.
Owen Coyle may be without Chris Eagles, who suffered a hamstring injury against QPR, but could recall Marcos Alonso for his first game in three months. Marvin Sordell is cup-tied following his FA Cup fixture with Watford this season, so Coyle is expected to go with either David N’Gog or Ivan Klasnic, who scored Bolton’s winner against the R’s.
Wanderers are in a relegation scrap which resumes away at Aston Villa on Tuesday, but the FA Cup will provide a positive distraction from the realistic prospect of dropping down to the Championship. Tottenham will also be keen to get away from their poor league form and pick up a home victory, which Redknapp wants in the same vein as this season’s home win in the league over the Trotters. Spurs may be in bad form, but they have enough quality to make it back to the new Wembley for the first time in the FA Cup.
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