FA Cup preview

Friday 25 January 2002

Cottagers boss Jean Tigana faces a striker crisis, as Louis Saha (broken nose) and Luis Boa Morte (ankle) both face late fitness tests - while top-scorer Barry Hayles serves a one-match suspension after collecting five yellow cards.

That leaves Steve Marlet as the only fit first-team striker, so Tigana could play forgotten forward Andrejs Stolcers alongside the Frenchman for just his first start of the season.

Midfielder Sean Davis also suffered a broken nose in a reserve match on Wednesday night and will miss the Bootham Crescent clash and possibly the Premiership clashes with Ipswich and Aston Villa. His absence means Zat Knight will continue in the defensive midfield role.

Boss Tigana will keep in mind that he has a Premiership away game at Ipswich on the following Wednesday and three points from that game will take Fulham closer to European football next season. So he will have good reason to rest as many first teamers as possible

Chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has pledged that the Cottagers' share of the gate receipts - around £50,000 - will go to the Supporters' Group trying to buy York.

Collins, Legwinski, Knight, , Ouaddou, Taylor, Marlet, Stolcers, Harley, Betsy, Goldbaek.

Fulham (from): Maik Taylor(G), Edwin van der Sar(G),

Steve Finnan(D), Andy Melville(D), Alain Goma(D), Rufus Brevett(D), Jon Harley(D), Paul Trollope(D),

Zak Knight(M/D), Sylvain Legwinski(M), John Collins(M), Steed Malbranque(M/A), Bjarne Goldbaek(M), Luis Boa Morte(M/A),

Andrejs Stolcers(A), Steve Marlet(A), Kevin Betsy(U), Louis Saha(A).

York manager Terry Dolan could name an unchanged team after their mid-week 0-0 draw with Rochdale when skipper Chris Brass returned to the side.

York, who are 91st in the Football League, have not won in ten league games in the last three months while midfielder Lee Bullock is their only goalscorer in the last five matches.

And Dolan has a dilemma in attack where Peter Duffield returned from a broken leg as a substitute at Rochdale, a game in which former Ipswich and Newcastle forward Alex Mathie also impressed.

They could challenge the regular forward partnership of the eight-goal joint top scorers, on-loan Sunderland forward Michael Proctor and the experienced Lee Nogan.

And Proctor, a transfer target for York's Third Division rivals Darlington, will be able to play as the Black Cats have told the Quakers he is not for sale this season.

York (from): Alan Fettis(G), Russell Howarth(G),

Darren Edmondson(D), Mike Basham(D/C), Matt Hocking(D), Gary Hobson(D/C), Richard Cooper(D), Graham Potter(D), Chris Smith(D/C), Neville Stamp(D),

Chris Brass(M/D), Lee Bullock(M), Nick Richardson(M),

Alex Mathie(A), Lee Nogan(A), Michael Proctor(A), Peter Duffield(A).

MOST SIGNIFICANT STATS

York City are walking football's financial tightrope losing £20,000 a week, and the income from this Fourth Round clash with Premiership Fulham could help to keep the Third Division club afloat.

130 League places separate these clubs. Fulham are ninth in the top flight - York one off the foot of the League. They have never met in the FA Cup.

The round of the last 32 is unfamiliar territory for the Minstermen, who knocked out Division One strugglers Grimsby in the Third Round. A goalless draw at Blundell Park was followed by a 1-0 win at Bootham Crescent when Alan Neilson was adjudged to have put through his own net.

Fulham, runners-up in 1975, will record their 90th win in the FA Cup proper if they knock out York. The Londoners needed a replay to see off last season's Cup giant killers Wycombe in the Third Round. Barry Hayles scored the only goal at Craven Cottage with a skilful effort. Louis Saha suffered a broken nose.

Jean Tigana's side are aiming for a place in the Fifth Round for the third time in four years.
York City's Bootham Crescent was the setting for one of the biggest upsets in F.A. Cup history in 1985 when 10,840 squeezed into the stadium to see Keith Houchen's last minute penalty seal an unlikely fourth round win for the Minstermen. Houchen famously scored with a diving header in Coventry's 1987 3-2 Cup Final win against Spurs.

Since February 2000 York Manager Terry Dolan has signed twenty one players at a combined cost of £51,000 - roughly enough to buy £11,500,000 Fulham man Steve Marlet's right shin.

Fulham defender Jon Harley played in every round of Chelsea's successful 2000 FA Cup winning campaign - except the final. He did not feature as the Blues beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Wembley.

Fulham's best recent effort in this competition came three years ago when - under the guidance of Kevin Keegan - they reached Round five. Current squad members Maik Taylor, Steve Finnan, Rufus Brevett and Barry Hayles all featured as they bowed out in a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford in the last 16.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS: Total 14: York wins 5 Fulham wins 6 Draws 3

YORK CITY

Current League position: 23rd D3

Sequences:

4 UNDEFEATED AT HOME - 3 Prem, 1 FAC [1 win, 3 draws]

NOT SCORED IN LAST 2 [253 mins / 4 hrs 13 mins]

Recent Form:

1 win in last 7 League and Cup games

4 draws in last 6

1 defeat in last 6

2 goalless draws in last 5

Failed to score 3 times in last 5

3 clean sheets in last 5

Best ever Cup run: Semi Final - 30/03/1955 Newcastle Utd 2-0 York City at Sunderland

FULHAM

Current League position: 9th PREM

Sequences:

5 UNDEFEATED - 3 Prem, 2 FAC [3 wins, 2 draws]

DRAWN LAST 2 AWAY - 1 FAC, 1 Prem

3 AWAY WITHOUT DEFEAT - 2 Prem, 1 FAC [1 win, 2 draws]

SCORED IN EACH OF LAST 4

Recent Form:

4 wins in last 10 League and Cup games

5 draws in last 11

1 defeat in last 7

Failed to score in 3 of the last 9 matches

6 clean sheets in last 11

Best ever Cup run: Final - 3rd May 1975 West Ham Utd 2 v 0 Fulham.