Right. It’s been a while since we’ve had some live action to cheer along, but the FA Cup 5th round is almost upon us. We welcome Spurs to the Cottage and all being equal *should* be well able to beat them. I suspect a draw is the most likely result, but a home win isn’t far behind. We played really well against them earlier this year, only losing our mojo when Helguson was dismissed, and even then Spurs had nothing on us until that late, late equaliser which followed a nothing hand ball, a half-dodgy offside decision and a squirmed shot that Jan Lastuvka was probably replaying in his mind for days after it slipped past him.
And so much for that. It’s a new game and it’s the Cup, surely Spurs will show some spirit on Sunday? So what if they do? They’re a side that’s rapidly becoming less than the sum of its parts, and they’re terrible away from home. We should win. Then all it needs is a home draw in the quarters and we’re into a neutral semi-final, and I’d pick us to do well under those circumstances.
So with one hand seemingly already on the cup, what can stop us? For one thing we’re missing Michael Brown, out through suspension. This will probably see us use a Diop-Smertin partnership for the first time, and who knows how that’ll play out. Otherwise the team’s pretty much at as full a strength as it can be at this point, less Wayne Routledge who, as we cannot forget, is still a Spurs player. Tsk. This means the midfield could get a bit narrow, with Volzy and Davies likely to round things out. There’s not a lot of width there and things could get a bit jumbled. I’d bring Radzinski back in and give long thought to letting Clint Dempsey have a good run. I doubt both will play, but we do need to take the initiative in this game: a scrumble rumble hoof-fest doesn’t really do us any favours if we want to avoid a replay.
Prediction: 2-1 Fulham, with 1-1 and 0-0 also highly probable.