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Bulgarian superstar, Dimitar Berbatov returns to his old stomping ground this evening as his Fulham team take on former employers, Manchester United in an F.A Cup 4th Round tie that has the makings of a tasty encounter. It’s been 10 whole years since a Junichi Inamoto inspired Cottagers inflicted a painful loss on the Red Army. They wouldn’t mind another victory later this evening.
Fulham boss, Martin Jol holds the unenviable record of NEVER recording a win in all competitions against Sir Alex Ferguson. It hurts the Dutchman when he’s reminded of that by pressmen every time it is Manchester United he next faces. He will go all out tonight in the hope that he snatches his first win over the Red Devils and it will be even more pleasing at the Theatre of Dreams.
The likes of Giorgos Karagounis, John Arne Riise, Bryan Ruiz, Hugo Rodallega, Steve Sidwell, Brade Hangeland, and DIMITAR BERBATOV will be motivated as ever to send Manchester United out of the Cup and qualify for the 5th Round.
Easier said than done as they are aware of how daunting a task it is to beat Manchester United, talk more of doing it on their home turf.
The Red Devils, just back from their 4 day break in Doha-Qatar, are raring to go. Still reeling from the last gasp equaliser they conceded at the Lane six days ago, the team will want to put things right today vs the men from West London.
David De Gea was heavily criticised for being at fault for Clint Dempsey’s goal on Saturday, but will be expected to keep his place this evening except Fergie wants to reshuffle the pack with one eye on Southampton on Wednesday.
Sir Alex was absent from the trip to the far east. He stayed back to attended Celtic Legend, Sean Fallon’s Funeral and tie up the deal to bring Wilfried Zaha to Manchester United; goals he achieved with distinction. The Ivory Coast born attacker is heading to Old Trafford in July after an agreement was reached with present club, Crystal Palace on Friday.
The Red Devils have both form and history on their side as they haven’t lost in two months and sit atop the EPL table with a 5-point cushion over Manchester City. The F.A Cup is a different kettle of fish as it springs surprises season after season.
PROBABLE LINE UPS
SAF will be without Darren Fletcher (out for the season), Jonny Evans (hamstring) and Ashley Young (knee). Asides these, he has a full squad to choose from, but might rest one of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic who have to be used wisely as very important fixtures come along in the next couple of weeks.
Lindegaard/DDG, Rafa/Jones, Vidic, Smalling, Buttner, Carrick, Scholes, Valencia, Nani, Kagawa/Rooney, RVP.
Dutchman, Jol will be without the services of Simon Davies (neck), Kerim Frei (groin) and Mahamadou Diarra who is still recuperating. Others have been passed fit with a clean bill of health.
Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Richardson, Duff, Karagounis, Sidwell, Kacaniklic, Ruiz, BERBATOV.
Written by Ohireime Eboreime
Follow him on Twitter @ohiskaka1990
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