Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday January 22 2010
After finally knowing who we`ll be facing in round four, the tie is now right upon us!
Fulham take the high road north, to the Crown Ground, to face lower league opposition knowing that anything other than a win will see them ridiculed.
To be perfectly honest, it`s not the sort of tie I`d have chosen especially with the memories of our narrow 1-0 home win over Swindon Town still very fresh.
Also, nagging away in the background, are those thoughts pertaining to our persistently poor, results wise, away form.
Can Accrington Stanley add their name to the growing list of teams that have beaten us on our travels? I sincerely hope not.
Traveling north, it`s almost impossible to pre-empt Roy Hodgson`s starting eleven. Will Roy field his strongest available side, will he mix and match or will it be a scratch eleven he chooses considering that our Premier League campaign appears to be the primary competition this season.
Definitely out are the injured John Pantsil, Diomansy Kamara, Clint Dempsey and Bobby Zamora. Doubts also exist as to whether Brede Hangeland and Paul Konchesky will be risked after both suffered recent injuries whilst we also have to contend with Dickson Etuhu being away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, in Angola. But, on the positive side, Simon Davies is considered fit enough to be included in the squad after his absence.
Purely speculation but the starting eleven could, if we`re very lucky, resemble the following:-
Schwarzer, Kelly, Hughes, Smalling, Baird, Duff, Murphy, Greening, Gera, Johnson, Nevland
As for Accrington Stanley, their boss, John Coleman is able to welcome back Luke Joyce from suspension whilst the lively winger Chris Turner could oust Jimmy Ryan from the starting line up.
The man in the middle will be Stuart Atwell, he of the dodgy goal at Vicarage Road last season, let`s hope he has a quiet and immaculate game.
So what about a result? Will it be the name of Fulham going into the hat for the fifth round draw? Off course it will. Our class will tell and we`ll travel back south having won comfortably; or at least by two goals.
Date:Friday January 22 2010
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