Spurs battle history

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The Independent Football

Tottenham must overcome a 12-year jinx if they are to keep alive Glenn Hoddle's hopes of putting them in Europe by winning the Worthignton Cup. Spurs go into tonight's semi-final second leg trailing 2-1 to Chelsea, who they have not beaten since February 1990.

Their manager insisted that the woeful record did not affect his players, although he admitted it had become a problem for the fans. "It has got to the fans more than the players," Hoddle said. "A lot of players here now have not been involved in that run, they have had only a couple of games against Chelsea. But I know what it is like for the fans, because when I was manager of Chelsea, their fans used to say, 'That's six points for us this season from playing Tottenham'. But everything that has happened in the past goes out the window, because the record is going to end some day."

Tottenham's chances of ending the run tonight are reduced by the absence of the cup-tied Dean Richards from their defence, while Chelsea have the former England wing-back Graeme Le Saux back from a bout of flu. Slavisa Jokanovic and Sam dalla Bona both return after one-match bans.

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