Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Tuesday December 18 2007
City of Manchester Stadium
18th December 2007
City's third quarter final cup clash in as many seasons has twice led to disappointing outcomes. Tonight is perhaps third time lucky when we make the step to the semi finals and ultimately a great final at Wembley.
aving said that, we face a Tottenham side that have found a mini revival thanks to completely inept officiating at White Hart Lane ten days ago where allowing Chimbonda's goal changed the the whole complex of the game.
Sven says: 'I think it's a dream for every player, coach, and manager to be at Wembley for a game and of course it's my dream as well to sit on the bench at Wembley.
'The last qualification game England played before I took up the job was at Wembley and the first after I left was Wembley.
'I had hoped to sit on the bench there because it was planned the last game before the World Cup should be played at the new stadium. But it was delayed almost a year. So it was destiny.'
He then talks about the game ten days ago: 'I don't think that will have any bearing on the game, we're playing at home where our record is good. It's a different game, although we played quite well at White Hart Lane.
'If we play as we did in the second half against Bolton we have a good chance of getting to the semi finals. It will be tough of course, Spurs had a great win at the weekend.
'This is a very important game for everyone around Manchester City, to reach the semi final of a big competition would be great for us.'
City thankfully are virtually back to a full squad; all but Stephen Ireland(3 Match Ban) and Valeri Bojinov(long term knee injury).
ood news in that Joe Hart also replaces the most indecisive goalkeeper we have had for years in Andreas Isaksson and does not communicate with the back four.
City's megastar is set to return with his influential footballing brain and magic feet.
Michael Dawson is again out following a migraine that required hospital checks, with midfielder Didier Zokora set to continue in his place at the back.
aptain Robbie Keane serves the last of his 3 match ban this evening and so Paul Robinson has been given the Captain's armband for this fixture. Darren Bent is a doubt through a hip injury so Juande Ramos may start with Berbatov and Defoe up front.
As he showed at White Hart Lane ten days ago he has lots of skill with some great touches, and he also has the ability to deceive referee's on their decision making.
Having Met Tottenham on a regular basis in the FA cup, we have only met them twice in the league cup; both times inside the last 15 years. The first time was October 1992 with a Vinny Samways goal settling a one nil victory in Tottenham's favour at Maine Road and a 3 - 1 away defeat at White Hart Lane just prior to our great 3 - 4 FA cup victory in the 2003/4 season. But one of the worst stats of that away league defeat was that even Helder Postiga scored against us.
Steve Bennett; or Count Dracula as he is affectionately known. This is his second City game this season. His first being the 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough at home. He deservedly booked Richards and Geovanni late on.
A very close fought game, but even though Portsmouth failed to score against them at the weekend, Tottenham's defence is very suspect and I fancy a 2-0 victory to City.
Away to Aston Villa Saturday 22nd December with a 3pm kick off.
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Date:Tuesday December 18 2007
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