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Spurs sweating on defensive problems ahead of FA Cup semi-final against Portsmouth
Published : 09 Apr 2010 12:09:53
Michael Dawson, the Tottenham Hotspur captain, missed the 3-1 defeat at Sunderland after injuring his calf when his side met Portsmouth in the League a fortnight ago. And Vedran Corluka, who has missed the last two games since injuring his calf in the FA Cup sixth round replay win over Fulham, is also a doubt. Related ArticlesPortsmouth v Tottenham: match previewPortsmouth investor remains under wrapsRicketts fired up by Wembley dreamRedknapp supports Portsmouth'Spurs can finish fourth and win FA Cup'Portsmouth dealt double blowIn addition, Younes Kaboul and Kyle Walker, who would both have had a chance of playing in defence, are cup-tied. But it is the central defensive problem that is so acute, particularly as Jonathan Woodgate is still in Australia recuperating after surgery, while Ledley King, missing for two months, is doubtful but, at a push, could be forced to play. And Tom Huddlestone is also missing. 'We're not sure yet, well look tomorrow, and it will be a last minute job with a couple of the lads,' admitted Redknapp. 'Three or four are struggling a little bit, some maybe okay, none may be okay. 'Dawson got a bit of an Achilles problem, he did it in the Portsmouth game. He's been having treatment morning and afternoon, and so we'll see how he is tomorrow. 'I'm not sure what my options are. Corluka has an ankle problem, so I'm not sure. Walker and Kaboul are cup tied and Huddlestone has an ankle injury.' One option could be to play youngster Jake Livermore, ordinarily a midfielder, at the back and Redknapp said: 'We like Jake, he's a midfielder, but played pre-season in Hong Kong and China when we juggled around and he played at the back. 'I wouldn't play Michael unless he feels OK. I really couldn't say at the moment. If anyone can play it's him, he's a fantastic character and professional.' The right-back position could be awkward and Redknapp said: 'Benoit Assou-Ekotto can play there. It's his wrong side but he played there against Bolton in the Cup and did alright.' And Redknapp hinted at an unexpected call for King when he added: 'Ledley hasn't trained, he's doubtful but you never know with Ledley. He could be OK, he's done it before. 'When he played against Chelsea in the League Cup final last season it was his first game of the season.' Aaron Lennon, though back in training after three months out, will not be fit but could be available when Spurs face Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday. Indeed, after Portsmouth and Arsenal Spurs are home to Chelsea, so those seven days could define their season. 'It's a massive week,' added Redknapp. 'Portsmouth will be a hard game, they'll have four or five who will come back and they'll make a difference. We were lucky to beat them down their and I saw them beat Liverpool at home. They are very dangerous and they have players who can cause you problems. And I have a lot of respect for their manager. 'It's another big week, but its better being stuck at the bottom in a relegation battle. It's a great week to look forward to and it's enjoyable. We've had one defeat in 10 and are certainly playing well, the lads are bright and those who are fit have trained well this week."