Leeds vs. Tottenham Hotspur preview: A six-match road to glory, part two

Clive Rose

It only takes six matches to win the FA Cup. Spurs embark on match number two Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur are just five matches away from a trophy. And therein lies the beauty of the FA Cup.

If Spurs want to win a trophy, they can do it in six matches (one of which they have already won) instead of the 38-match grind that is the Premier League. Forget the mystique or history of the FA Cup. The ease with which a team can win a trophy is what makes it worthwhile.

And you can bet that Spurs want a trophy. It has been five years since the club added to their trophy case and it has been 22 years since they won the FA Cup. Tottenham need some silverware, and the FA Cup would do just fine.

Next up on Tottenham's six-match march to glory is Leeds, who present a tricky test at Elland Road. They may be a Championship team, but the Whites beat Everton and Southampton in the League Cup so they are no slouch. They can beat Premier League teams and should make things difficult on Spurs. A dreaded replay might even be in the offing.

Luckily, Spurs will not have to deal with loanee Ross Barkley, who Everton will not let play in the FA Cup so that's one bullet down for Leeds. The dangerous Luciano Becchio will play, though, even after handing in a transfer request. Neil Warnock has waved off Becchio's desire to go elsewhere and will use the striker against Spurs.

While Leeds are without Barkley, Spurs should be full-strength, or as near it as can be. Younes Kaboul remains out and Sandro will obviously miss the match, while Emmanuel Adebayor is still playing for Togo (and scoring), but of the players who can reasonable be expected to play, all of them will. William Gallas is back from his injury, Jan Vertonghen is healthy again and Benoit Assou-Ekotto should be 90 minutes fit now, giving Andre Villas-Boas his full compliment of defenders.

It's six matches to a trophy. One of them is down and a second could be out of the way by Sunday evening. A four-match sprint to glory sounds mighty tasty.

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