Harry Redknapp believes Ledley King holds the key to Tottenham's
chances of retaining the Carling Cup but is agonising over whether to risk him against Manchester United
The 28-year-old defender will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness for the final although Redknapp could rest him anyway with a view to Wednesday's important Premier League game against Middlesbrough.
King struggles to play more than one game per week due to ongoing knee problems that prevent him from training, leaving the Spurs manager with a serious dilemma ahead of his Wembley team selection.
Speaking after the players posed for photograghs at the club's Chigwell training ground today (Friday), Redknapp said: 'I have one or two difficult decisions to make about the team. I didn't sleep too much last night thinking about it.
'If Ledley plays at Wembley, he can't play on Wednesday, so it is a balancing act. We will have to look at Ledley and see how he is but he is a one-off. It is amazing that he cannot train and then comes out and performs.
'Ledley is a fantastic player and a great athlete. He is massively important for us.
'Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Dawson have been fantastic in central defence this season but I picked Ledley at Hull because he is so vital and such a special player.'
Key role: Gibson has played his way into Ferguson's starting XI
Tottenham's hopes of victory have been boosted by Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to play a number of his rookies and reserves in a move reminiscent of Spurs' weakened team choice for Thursday night's draw with Shakhtar Donetsk.
The United manager will gamble on his club's bid for five trophies this season by resting key men ahead of Wednesday's clash at Newcastle.
Danny Welbeck, Jonny Evans and Darron Gibson will all start for United on Sunday with Ferguson admitting that his fringe players - who played in previous rounds - have earned the right to make the Wembley line-up.
Ferguson said: 'I will be playing the younger ones on Sunday, so Gibson and Welbeck will both play because they deserve to do so. '
'Jonny Evans is another one who deserves to be involved. We obviously want to win because the winning mentality in the club is why we have been successful, but we know what our priorities are and that will affect the team that I pick on Sunday.'
Wayne Rooney is likely to start, with Ferguson keen to boost the striker's fitness following a recent hamstring injury lay-off, while Gary Neville is expected to captain the team.
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