Football: Wimbledon look to Cort and Ekoku

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The Independent Online
JOE KINNEAR is facing a few selection problems as his Wimbledon side prepare to face Tottenham in their Worthington Cup semi-final first leg tonight.

John Hartson is ineligible to play, just as he was cup-tied for last Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup draw with Spurs. Jason Euell, the promising England Under-21 striker, who has been given a new six-year contract, is also set to miss out after damaging an ankle late in that game.

However, the strikers Carl Cort, another young player to be given a new long-term deal this week, and Efan Ekoku, back from international duty with Nigeria, are both available to take over along with Marcus Gayle, who is fit again after a hamstring strain.

Kinnear's Tottenham counterpart, George Graham, has an almost full-strength squad to choose from as he welcomes Allan Nielsen and Stephen Clemence back from suspension while Les Ferdinand, a second-half substitute on Saturday after recovering from knee trouble, challenges Chris Armstrong and Steffen Iversen for a place in attack.

In the third meeting in 12 days between the two London clubs, it is unlikely there will be too many clues about which of them will go through to take on either Sunderland or Leicester City in the Wembley final on 21 March.

The odds are that they will go into the second leg at Selhurst next month with Kinnear, a former player at White Hart Lane, still on equal terms with his old club.

Kinnear said: "I don't imagine there's ever going to be more than a goal in it between us, but after beating them once and drawing the other two games we have to fancy ourselves still."

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