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Fulham v Swansea City: Match Preview

last updated Tuesday 24th February 2009, 11:38 AM


Fulham midfielder Simon Davies
Fulham midfielder
Simon Davies
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson will contemplate big changes for Tuesday's FA Cup fifth-round replay against Swansea after just one day between games.

The Cottagers defeated West Brom in the league on Sunday but have been asked to play again just over 48 hours later.

Erik Nevland and the fit again Diomansy Kamara could come into contention up front if Bobby Zamora or Andy Johnson are rested - while the likes of Frederik Stoor, Julian Gray and Olivier Dacourt could also be asked to step into the starting XI.

Simon Davies admits he was made to eat humble pie after last week's FA Cup fifth-round draw with Swansea and is desperate to prove a point when the sides meet again.

Wales international Davies has a number of friends in the Championship side, not to mention others who follow the club, and was happy to play up the Cottagers' chances before the teams drew 1-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

But Swansea enjoyed the better of the play for large periods and were unlucky not to progress.

Now Davies is ready to make good on his earlier promises.

"I lived an hour west of Swansea when I was growing up. It was the closest team to me,'' he said.

"Before the game, I was me texting them saying `we'll be giving you a roasting' - and I got egg on my face on that one.

"I hope there's a few things we can put right.

"I've got a few friends who are (Swansea fans), and a lot of friends went to the game. That's why it was frustrating.''

Fulham have virtually no preparation time for the game, having beaten West Brom 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday. But their domination of that match - they hit the woodwork on four occasions in addition to their goals - could yet stand them in good stead.

Reflecting on their prospects, Davies added: "It's a game I'm really looking forward to.

"If we play like we did on Sunday we're confident we'll get the result.''

Defender Garry Monk has been ruled out for Swansea.

Influential skipper Monk, who also missed the 3-1 Championship win over Doncaster at the weekend, has failed to recover in time from a back problem and will again miss out.

Midfielder Joe Allen is doubtful after he picked up a thigh strain in that game and faces a late fitness test.

However, boss Roberto Martinez has been boosted by midfielder Jordi Gomez and defender Owain Tudur-Jones both coming through the weekend unscathed despite suffering slight knocks, and both should be fit to face to the Cottagers.

Striker Gorka Pintado is still about a fortnight away from a return and will miss the clash due to his hernia problems, while the Swans are also hampered by long-term injuries to Darren Pratley, Ferrie Bodde and Marcos Painter.

Mark Gower is determined to keep Swansea`s dream season going by helping them beat Fulham.

The Welsh side, who dominated for long periods of the game, currently sit ninth in the Coca-Cola Championship and have attracted praise for manager Roberto Martinez`s attractive style of play, with Sir Alex Ferguson one of the most recent admirers.

Ferguson`s Manchester United, await the winners, with Gower keen to use the Scot's encouragement as an incentive.

"We can beat Fulham without a shadow of a doubt - and that's not just us saying that,'' he said. "When you hear someone like Sir Alex Ferguson saying what he did you know you must have a chance.

"Sometimes you question yourself whether you're playing as well as you think, but then you hear what people like Sir Alex say and the TV coverage, and realise we are that good at the moment and we have nothing to fear.''

Another factor spurring Gower on is the memory of the opportunities he spurned in the 1-1 draw last time out.

Gower saw two gilt-edged chances go begging and the 30-year-old admits he is desperate to make amends at Craven Cottage.

"I know I played well and I was pleased with that. But when you miss a chance like I did against Fulham then it's not about you, it's about costing the team - and that sticks in your throat,'' he said.

"To be fair, I think I've been unlucky so far this year but that was my first one I should have put away.

"Then when Manchester United comes out of the hat you can't help thinking that if I had put that in then we would be in the quarter-finals.

"Or even if I'd just had a bit of luck off the post we could be looking forward to one of the biggest games of our careers. And that's what's getting to me.''













































































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