After the midweek demolition of West Bromwich Albion, we commence our 2011 FA Cup campaign with a 3rd round fixture against League One side, Peterborough United.
The FA Cup has always held a special place in the heart of Mark Hughes, as a player he lifted the famous trophy with both Manchester United and Chelsea and, as you might suspect, is looking forward to his first FA Cup test in charge of Fulham with the boss remarking to the official site,
“It`s a competition that I have a great deal of affection for.”
“It`s been a big part of my career. A lot of the success I had as a player came in the FA Cup and, for me, it`s the best club cup competition in the world.”
“This will be my first involvement in it with Fulham and I`m very much looking forward to it. Of course, the Premier League is huge and it is extremely important, but I just think the FA Cup is a special competition – it`s unique.”
“It`s one that I take very seriously and that will be very much the case here. It`s a great chance for teams to do well and have a bit of success, so why not have a go and see how far you can get?”
Now they`re just the words we were hoping to hear!
Fulham Team News:
Mark Hughes will be hoping that Moussa Dembele finally returns from injury. But still out injured will be Philippe Senderos and Bobby Zamora. Andrew Johnson will also not participate after suffering a slight hamstring tear.
Sparky may also decide to play some of his fringe players in this tie to give his regulars a rest, as to predicting a starting eleven, I`ll leave that to you!
Player to watch: David Stockdale
Another chance for the youngster to shine with Mark Schwarzer away on international duty in the Asian Cup.
Peterborough Team News:
Posh, relegated form the Championship last season, have a squad that does have some decent players in it.
Joe Lewis, in goal, has attracted interest from clubs in the top two divisions whilst George Boyd has been tipped to go onto great things.
In previous seasons the strike pairing of Mackail-Smith and McLean have scored prolifically, unfortunately he latter moved on to Hull recently.
Posh will be hoping that George Boyd passes a fitness test and that Kieran Agard and Adam Clayton will be allowed to play by their parent clubs.
Player to watch: Craig Mackail-Smith
Has been with Peterborough since being signed from non-league football and has proven himself to be a prolific goal scorer.
Match Facts & Stats
The record books show that Posh have the advantage over us in recent years.
The Cambridgeshire club have won 7 of the last 12 meetings, the most recent of these being in 1991/1992 when we were both in the old 3rd Division and Posh won both games.
In fact things are so bad that Posh are looking for a fifth consecutive win over us with Fulham having not beaten our guests since a League Cup tie in 1976!
The men in charge are:-
Referee – Lee Mason
Assistants – Ceri Richards and David Plowright
Fourth Official – David Phillips
This fixture has all the possibilities of being a high-scoring game. Peterborough are, probably, better going forward than defending and will not be afraid to venture forward. But, even if Mark Hughes does field a side that contains some fringe players, you`d expect Fulham to be just too strong; therefore we`re going for a 3-0 win to Fulham!
Our next fixture will see us travel to the DW Stadium to take on Wigan Athletic.