Football: Spurs seek Romanian duties

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(First Edition)

TOTTENHAM will be without Ilie Dumitrescu and Gheorghe Popescu, who have joined the Romania squad for the European Championship game against France on Saturday, for tonight's Coca-Cola Cup, second leg against Watford. That could mean a recall for Nick Barmby in place of Dumitrescu and a choice between Danny Hill and David Howells for Popescu's midfield spot.

With Sol Campbell returning after a one-match ban to challenge Gary Mabbutt and Kevin Scott, Ossie Ardiles will not name his line-up until just before the kick-off. Spurs won 6-3 at Vicarage Road.

Crystal Palace must overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit at home to Lincoln. 'We have one of the best away records in the Premier League,' Alan Smith, the Palace manager said, 'but it is about time we started doing it at home and I'm just hoping we've gained a lot of confidence from our win at Arsenal on Saturday.'

Lennie Lawrence, the Bradford City manager, has to rely on his youngsters for the game against Sheffield Wednesday, who lack their Romanian, Dan Petrescu. Trailing 2-1 and having lost three games in succession Lawrence is left ruing injuries to three defenders. 'I always seem to get a crop of them in the same area of the team and we don't need these problems against a team like Wednesday.

'But if I've got to throw the youngsters in it gives them a great opportunity to prove themselves. It's up to them to grab it.'

Birmingham will be seeking to complete a miserable week for Blackburn by overturning a two-goal deficit at St Andrews. Barry Fry, the Birmingham manager, is looking to his Portuguese winger Jose Domingues to turn the tie. 'Jose can be devastating on his day,' Fry said. 'He is the sort of player who can lift the crowd and the team.'

Nottingham Forest, second in the Premiership, take a 2-1 lead to Hereford and for the Forest manager it brings back unwelcome memories - Newcastle's FA Cup defeat in 1972. 'I wish everybody would do me a favour and shut up about that,' Clark said. 'Whenever the FA Cup comes around television always shows those fantastic Hereford goals by Ronnie Radford and Ricky George which knocked out Newcastle, but personally I don't want to be reminded of them.

'It is a long time ago and people seem to overlook the fact that since then I've been back to Hereford many times as Leyton manager and got results there.'

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