Date:Sunday January 8 2006
If you were to select one set of clashes that traditionally rank as the most glamorous of Leicester City's history it would probably be our FA Cup battles with Tottenham Hotspur. There have been nine such encounters watched by an astonishing 420,145 fans. That's an average attendance of 46,862 per game which, considering Filbert Street's fairly modest capacity, certainly stresses the popularity of the contests. And, of course, the entertainment value associated with Spurs. Indeed the record attendance ever recorded at Filbert Street was the 47,298 who watched the City/Spurs tie in 1928 which finished 3-0 to the visitors. The figures got a massive boost with the traditional sell-out 100,000 for the Wembley final of 1961, won 2-0 by the Londoners and then there was a cramped 69,049 at White Hart Lane when Spurs again won, this time 5-2, in 1948. And another bumper turnout was the 56,492 who attended when Spurs won 2-0 in 1957. It has traditionally been a fixture that also guarantees excitement. The nine clashes have produced 33 goals, but, sadly, 25 of them for Tottenham who have won on seven occasions. Leicester have won once and there was one replay. Today, Leicester's most comforting thought when reading the statistics is that Spurs, chasing a Champions League place and currently fourth in the Premiership, do not have the greatest away record under Martin Jol. They have won only four of their 10 travelling fixtures in the Premiership this season (hardly bad by our standards!) and they lost in the Carling Cup to the physically combative Grimsby Town. One good piece of news for City is that potentially brilliant winger Ryan Smith - on loan from Arsenal - has been given permission by his registration holders to play. City might also benefit from the definite absence of Edgar Davids, Andy Reid, and Ledley King from Tottenham's squad plus the probable absence of Lee Young-Pyo. However, with the choice of Grzegorz Raziak, Jermaine Defoe and Robbie Keane up front and the squad to back them up, Leicester will surely need a special performance to survive.
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