Saturday, February 19, 2011

FA Cup Fifth Round

Bolton Wanderers are traveling down to London to take on Fulham at Craven Cottage.  And there had better be a winner, because neither of these clubs can afford a replay.

Bolton are quite shorthanded at the back for this one.  It is not just how many you lose that hurts you, but who you lose.  Sam Ricketts is Owen Coyle's most versatile defender, he can play anywhere along the back 4.  So when there have been injuries in defense, Ricketts has often been the man to pick up the slack.  But this time it is Ricketts who is hurt.  And that leaves Bolton without a recognized right back for tomorrow's match.

Things will be fine in the middle, Gary Cahill and David Wheater is a good pairing.  Young Marcos Alonso will probably start at left-back.  He is obviously short on experience, but he has played a few cup matches this season, and he should be adequate enough, although Clint Dempsey is available for Fulham, and the American winger is in fine form this season.

My big concern, as usual, is Paul Robinson.  He is a Welsh disaster waiting to happen (kind of like the children of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas) at left-back, his natural position.  And tomorrow he will most likely be playing right-back.  Truth is, I don't even want to think about it.

Overall, I think it is going to be a good match, and whichever club wins has as good a chance as any to get all the way to Wembley.

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