Both clubs had to make decisions on the right wing. Brian Borrows of Coventry injured his knee against Southampton last week and, as expected, loses. He is currently in the hospital, recovering from an operation. David Phillips returns from midfield to replace; Micky Gynn, usually a submarine, starts at his place. The Spurs go with Chris Hughton; his first choice, Gary Stevens, is adequate enough to enter the reserve bench.
Sky Blues striker Dave Bennett hopes to have a second time in the cup final, having sided with Manchester City's losing side in 1981 against today's opponents. Tottenham resident artist Glenn Hoddle, who has plans to move to the continent, will be desperate to sign with a flourish.
Up front, Clive Allen hopes to increase the unrealistic 48 goals in all competitions this season. He is the likely winner of Tottenham and hopes to be luckier than the QPR player in 1982, when he sprained his ankle too early and missed the second half and repetition.
Coventry will look for his most recognizable name, Cyrille Regis, for heroism. But it should be noted that the much less announced Keith Houchen is the cup player this season, having scored the winner at Manchester United, two in Sheffield on Wednesday and another against Leeds in the semifinal.
Coventry City: Steve Ogrizovic, David Phillips, Brian Kilcline, Trevor Peake, Greg Downs, Micky Gynn, Nick Pickering, Lloyd McGrath, Dave Bennett, Cyrille Regis and Keith Houchen.
Subs: Graham Rodger, Steve Sedgley.
Tottenham Hotspur: Ray Clemence, Chris Hughton, Richard Gough, Gary Mabbutt, Mitchell Thomas, Paul Allen, Steve Hodge, Ossie Ardiles, Chris Waddle, Glenn Hoddle and Clive Allen.
Subs: Nico Claesen, Gary Stevens.
Judge: Neil Midgley (Manchester).
On Tuesday, December 15, 1970, the 12th episode of Monty Python's second series of Flying Circus aired on BBC1 at 10:10 pm. Several sketches destined to become legendary were released that night. Spam, for example, or the one about the Hungarian phrase book that wrongly translates "Can you direct me to the station?" like "Please caress my buttocks". State-of-the-art entertainment that received positive approval for this article:
"Monty Python just keeps getting better!"
"My hovercraft is full of eels."
Also part of this episode: World Forum, with guests Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Che Guevara and Mao Zedong. Apparently, a summit of political heavyweights, it quickly appears that the World Forum is in fact a questionnaire, and most of the questions are about football, completely frustrating communist intellectuals. Quizmaster Eric Idle asks Guevara, "Coventry City won the FA Cup for the last time in what year?" A look of perplexity appears on the face of the revolutionary. "I'm not surprised that you don't understand," Idle smiles meaninglessly. “It was indeed a complicated question, Coventry City never won the FA Cup. ”
Sixteen and a half years later, Coventry finally had a chance to ruin that particular sentence for eternity. They reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their 104-year history. In a way, too, winning at Manchester United and Sheffield on Wednesday, and then facing Billy Bremner's resurgent Leeds United in a five-goal game in Hillsborough. George Curtis and John Sillett's team cheered this year FA Cup from the beginning; only the partial would envy them an inaugural victory today. They go to the final as losers, and how much of the nation will be after them this afternoon.
Remember, many neutrals will be behind Tottenham Hotspur also. David Pleat's team has been the funniest side of the season at some distance, Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle are fascinating, Clive Allen relentless. But that has done them well so far. Everton beat them in the title race, while Arsenal won a Littlewoods Cup semi-final marathon of such rich narrative confusion that someone very smart will surely support a book someday. In a parallel universe, Spurs seek to complete an unprecedented domestic triple; back to the reality of the planet, they are looking for that elusive piece of silver, just a prize to reward their stellar efforts during the season. Most expect them to do the job today, mainly because Tottenham's FA Cup final record is pure perfection: seven out of seven wins.
But this is the FA Cup, and you never know. The start is at 15h. It's on!