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Fulham V Norwich at Craven Cottage : Match Preview

13 Jan 2014 17:31:00

Fulham V Norwich at Craven Cottage : Match Preview

Fulham V Norwich - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Hangeland nears Fulham return

Brede Hangeland should finally be fit for his first action in three months following back surgery in December as Fulham host Norwich in the FA Cup.


The Norwegian may have to start from the bench though, as boss Rene Meulensteen eases his experienced defender back in.


First-choice goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg will not be ready in time for the third round replay, as he edges towards a return from ankle trouble.


The game crowds an already-packed fixture schedule, with Fulham facing Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday in league action.


Premier League survival is the clear priority, but Meulensteen said there is no temptation to field a second-string squad against Chris Hughton's Norwich.


"Well first, the FA Cup is a fantastic competition that I respect," he said.


"If you look back on its history there are so many joyful moments.


"And secondly, nothing good comes out of losing. There's nothing positive in doing that (writing it off).


"However it is a game where we have to utilise the squad, that's normal and it would be stupid not to do it.


"That approach can give a few players that extra bit of time to recover."


Norwich have no fresh injury problems ahead where manager Hughton confirmed he would again utilise his squad against Fulham.


Midfielder David Fox could come back into the side, while striker Luciano Becchio could also be handed a chance to impress along with 18-year-old winger Josh Murphy and his twin brother Jacob, who both played in the first tie.


Midfielders Alex Tettey (knee) and Anthony Pilkington (hamstring) have both returned to training, and could come into contention for the Barclays Premier League game against Hull. Centre-back Michael Turner (hamstring) and midfielder Jonny Howson (back) are still sidelined, winger Elliott Bennett (knee) is a long-term absentee.


Hughton said at a press conference: "I am very keen to use the squad. We felt we should have finished the (first) game off at Carrow Road.


"We know what awaits us in the next round and that would give us that little lift, irrespective of the competition.


"Firstly we have to get through and we found to our detriment last season (against Luton) it is not always the fancied team who go through.


"I wouldn't see an away tie at Sheffield United as anything but a difficult game, so we need to make sure we put ourselves in a position to get through.


"The only thing we don't know is what team Fulham put out because they obviously made quite a few changes from the previous league game (for the first tie)."


Norwich's 18-year-old winger Josh Murphy could be handed another chance to impress, having started the first tie and was replaced by his twin brother Jacob late in the second half.


Hughton said: "He is certainly in the squad and I thought he was excellent in the first game. He is a young lad and maturing well.


"Fulham would have done their research for the first time, but they will definitely know him a little bit better now."



PA

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