Football / FA Cup: Arsenal and Spurs back at Wembley

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The Independent Online
ARSENAL and Tottenham Hotspur will return to Wembley on 4 April for their second FA Cup semi-final there in three seasons. In 1991 Spurs, lifted to dazzling heights by the performances of Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker, triumphed 3-1 before going on to land the trophy for a record eighth time, writes Trevor Haylett.

Both clubs will share in a possible pounds 1m pay-day from the game which could be the first of three visits Arsenal will make to the stadium this season. Tomorrow they should confirm an appearance in the Coca-Cola Cup final when they take on Crystal Palace at Highbury holding a 3-1 lead from the first leg.

David Bloomfield, the FA spokesman, said: 'We think Wembley should be reserved for the final but crowd safety is paramount. It is the obvious venue.'

The move was welcomed by both clubs. Tottenham's chief executive, Terry Venables, said: 'It worked perfectly well before from a security point of view. The fans love going there and so many will want to see this match that it is the natural place to stage it.'

The tie will be broadcast live with the BBC claiming first choice over BSkyB for that or the other semi-final which will be held the same afternoon at either Old Trafford or, in the case of a Sheffield derby, Elland Road.

Tim Sherwood is free to play in Blackburn's quarter-final replay with Sheffield United after the match at Bramall Lane was brought forward 24 hours to 16 March. The Rovers' midfielder begins a two-match ban the following day.