Tottenham V Coventry at White Hart Lane : Match Preview
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Spurs ready for Coventry test - Freund
Tottenham face npower League One side Coventry on Saturday as they look to reach their first final since they lifted their eighth cup in 1991.
The Londoners came close to reaching the final last season, but they were undone by a 5-1 semi-final thrashing by Chelsea.
With Spurs having climbed to third in the Barclays Premier League after finding their feet under Andre Villas-Boas, assistant boss Steffen Freund hopes the squad can transfer their form to the cup.
"We are strong enough now as a club to say maybe it's time to win the FA Cup again," Freund said.
"We have a fantastic history in the competition."
Villas-Boas is expected to hand long-term injury absentees Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Scott Parker starts tomorrow and a number of squad players will also be given a chance.
Their opponents beat Spurs in the 1987 final, but have fallen from grace since.
Coventry now sit 11th in League One, 52 places below Spurs in the league ladder, but Freund insists they will not take the opposition lightly.
He said: "I know they lost their last game (against Shrewsbury) but before that they were 10 unbeaten and that is why it will be a really hard game.
"They will come to the Lane with nothing to lose."
Left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto has overcome his knee injury and looks set to make his first Tottenham appearance in four months.
Midfielder Scott Parker is likely to make his first start of the season and goalkeeper Brad Friedel could play as Villas-Boas looks to rotate his squad following a tiring festive period.
Winger Gareth Bale is available following his one-match suspension but defender William Gallas (calf) is unlikely to feature and Younes Kaboul is out until mid-to-late February with his knee problem.
Manager Mark Robins hopes Coventry will revive the spirit of 1987 by wearing replica shirts of their proudest day.
The Sky Blues upset fancied Spurs 3-2 at Wembley in what was the club's first and still is their only domestic cup final, clinching the finest moment in their history.
A Tottenham side boasting the likes of Ossie Ardiles, Glenn Hoddle, Clive Allen, Chris Waddle, Richard Gough and Ray Clemence, among others, were undone by Gary Mabbutt's injury-time own goal.
And the romance of the FA Cup has not been lost 26 years on after the two sides were again paired together for a third-round tie at White Hart Lane.
Robins has himself pushed the idea of donning the club's famous Sky Blue and white stripes from that day, and they will do so in front of around 5,000 travelling City supporters.
"The thinking behind it is that it evokes the memories and it's special for the supporters," said Robins, who will be assisted in the City dugout by goalkeeping coach Steve Ogrizovic, an integral member of the club's FA Cup success.
"It's not every day you play against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, it's a great fixture for everybody involved at the club.
"It's a big game, the FA Cup is always a big deal, we want to try and remain in all the competitions for as long as possible. We're realistic as well, we know we're going into the game as massive underdogs and if we can get something then fantastic."
Coventry captain Carl Baker, 30, does not even remember City's skipper from 1987, Brian Kilcline, and admits to never having watched the final, although that may possibly change on the team coach travelling down to London.
Talking about the change of strip, Baker added: "It's a nice little touch from the club, obviously it's a nice feeling for us to play in that kit and it brings the history back. I'm sure the fans will like to see that."
Coventry will be without leading scorer David McGoldrick.
The striker, who has bagged 17 goals in 25 appearances, returned to parent club Nottingham Forest before joining Ipswich.
Loanees James Bailey and Blair Adams have both been cleared to play, with the latter due to make the final appearance of his stay although Coventry are keen to strike a new deal.
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