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Spurs super six could return for Wembley semi-final

PUBLISHED: 14:11 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 07 September 2010

RARELY has an FA Cup semi-final seemed such a foregone conclusion, and the Spurs fans walking up Wembley Way on Sunday will fully expect to be back again in five weeks time. Few teams are fortunate enough to draw the Premier League s bottom side in the F

RARELY has an FA Cup semi-final seemed such a foregone conclusion, and the Spurs fans walking up Wembley Way on Sunday will fully expect to be back again in five weeks' time.

Few teams are fortunate enough to draw the Premier League's bottom side in the FA Cup semi-final, and Tottenham passed a much harder test when they overcame Fulham over two legs in the quarter-final.

In fact, if Spurs triumph on Sunday, they will reach the cup final without facing any of the top 11 teams in the Premier League. The Lilywhites can have few excuses this weekend, and they should not need any.

The media continue to highlight Pompey's brave, battling performances and commendable character, but Avram Grant's side have still lost four of their last six games, including a 4-1 defeat against Liverpool and a 5-0 thrashing by Chelsea.

More relevant is Spurs' routine 2-0 win just two weeks ago in the dress rehearsal at the Lane, and Redknapp described the second half as a 'practice match'.

Pompey have also been decimated by injuries, and 10 players were side-lined for the goalless draw with Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, forcing midfielder Aaron Mokoena to play in central defence alongside ex-Spurs man Ricardo Rocha, ahead of back-up keeper Jamie Ashdown.

As many as SIX players could return for the semi-final - David James, Marc Wilson, Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda, Papa Bouba Diop and former Tottenham midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng to give their side a fighting chance.

However, Pompey will still be without Danny Webber, Tal Ben Haim and, worst of all, influential centre-back and skipper Herman Hreidarsson.

Meanwhile, Anthony Vanden Borre will be suspended, and loanee Aruna Dindane has been too expensive for selection since March 15 - Pompey must pay Lens £4million if he plays another game.

Portsmouth are still trying to arrange a new deal to get the Ivory Coast international onto the pitch but star man Jamie O'Hara, who is on loan from Spurs but is eligible to play if all parties agree, has been denied his chance.

"He couldn't play against us in the cup, it's not possible," said Redknapp. "He's a Tottenham player, he comes back here next year. It wouldn't do him any good at all.


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