Football

Redknapp vows to pick 'strongest' team

Redknapp vows to pick 'strongest' team
Redknapp vows to pick 'strongest' team.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has half his first team missing through injury but is refusing to follow the example of Stoke or Blackburn by resting all of his players for the FA Cup.

Spurs travel to Old Trafford with 11 players injured or carrying knocks - but despite previously suggesting he would field his 'weakest' team against Manchester United, Redknapp has made it clear he will pick all fit first-team players.

"Blackburn put a complete reserve team out the other week," said Redknapp. "Stoke went out at Hartlepool. I'm going to field the strongest team possible."

Redknapp has masterminded three famous cup victories over United - with Bournemouth, West Ham and last season with Portsmouth on his way to winning the trophy - and another on Saturday will also be considered an upset, because so many players will be untried.

But unlike some Barclays Premier League teams earlier in the competition, Redknapp will not change his entire team.

Jermain Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Didier Zokora, Gareth Bale, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, David Bentley, Luka Modric and possibly Michael Dawson could feature - but the rest of the squad will be reserves and youngsters.

It means Redknapp is running the risk of losing more players to injury before Tuesday's match against Stoke when Spurs look for points to climb out of relegation trouble.

"I am taking an almighty risk, playing the best of the rest - because if they get injuries I am not sure what team I will play against Stoke," the Spurs boss admits.

Giovani dos Santos and Ricardo Rocha will make their first appearances under Redknapp, while 16-year-old Mirko Ranieri will be on the bench after staying behind while the youth team travel to Mexico.

"The goalkeeper is a young kid - and what an experience for him," added Redknapp. "What an experience for me!"

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Portsmouth
Didier Zokora
Roman Pavlyuchenko
Stoke City
Football
Michael Dawson
Blackburn Rovers
Bournemouth
Benoit Assou-Ekotto
Premier League
Manchester United
Jermain Defoe
Ricardo Rocha
Luka Modric
David Bentley
Gareth Bale
FA Cup

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