Fulham, having despatched Spurs 4-0 in the 4th round, will be looking to progress to the quarter-finals this Sunday. Standing between them are a resilient Bolton side who overcame Wigan, in a replay, on Wednesday night.
Ahead of the clash, a former Trotter, Eidur Gudjohnsen has stepped forward to offer a few thoughts on the famous old trophy, remarking,
“The FA Cup is the only trophy I haven`t won, apart from the World Cup – but I don`t think Iceland will be winning that anytime soon.”
“I lost the 2002 final with Chelsea against Arsenal.”
“I remember the excitement leading up to the final. It is the most special cup competition in the world because of its history.”
It truly is and that`s why we`re so pleased that Mark Hughes treats this famous old competition with the respect it deserves.
Fulham Team News:
Mark Hughes will, once again, be without the services of the injured Bobby Zamora and Philippe Senderos who are both still on the road to recovery after serious injuries. However, he`ll be grateful that both Clint Dempsey and Simon Davies have declared themselves fit after picking up minor knocks in our last fixture against Chelsea.
The fixture could see Eidur Gudjohnsen make an appearance against a side where he fashioned a name for himself, in English football, in his younger days.
Player to watch: Aaron Hughes
An unsung hero alongside Brede Hangeland, will need to be at his best to deal with the threat that Kevin Davies will present.
Bolton Team News:
Owen Coyle brings is Bolton side to Craven Cottage with several players missing on long term injuries. Definitely out are Zat Knight (injured against Everton last weekend), Sam Ricketts (declared to be out for the remainder of the season this week), Gretar Steinsson and J-Lloyd Samuel.
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
A good old-fashioned bustling centre forward who will give Aaron Hughes and Brede Hangeland a hard time.
Match Facts & Stats
According to the record books, these clubs have met 79 times previously. Unfortunately, we should point out that the last two meetings have witnessed something of a goal drought both ending 0-0. Amazingly, both sides have, in the history of our meetings, scored 103 goals against each other. As far as the FA Cup goes, Bolton have the edge having gone through on the two previous occasions we`ve met.
The man in the middle this time out is young Stuart Atwell, of Warwickshire.
To be perfectly honest I`d have preferred to play Wigan in the fifth round, Bolton are a difficult side who have improved dramatically since Owen Coyle took over the managerial role. But, with our home form being good, I`m confident that we will prevail and that we will be making our third successive quarter-final appearance; Fulham to triumph by the odd goal in three. If in the eventuality it ends all square this Sunday, the replay is scheduled for Wednesday 2nd March.
Our next fixture is a difficult away trip to high-flying, big-spending Manchester City.