FOOTBALL: Struggling Palace looking for Cup relief

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Crystal Palace will put their Premiership problems on hold when they meet Watford in an FA Cup fifth-round replay at Selhurst Park tonight.

Alan Smith, the Palace manager, has added forwards Iain Dowie and Andy Preece to his squad and another striker, Bruce Dyer, is certain of at least a place as a substitute against his former team.

Watford, still without Andy Hessenthaler (knee ligaments) and Derek Payne (suspended), recall the striker Tommy Mooney following his appearance for the reserves last night. Mooney has recovered from a knee operation. The former Sheffield United left-back David Barnes, out all season with a groin injury, is added to the squad.

Alan Ball is likely to name an unchanged team for Southampton's FA Cup fifth-round replay against Tottenham at The Dell tonight with the defensive linchpin, Richard Hall, still suspended.

Hall, who managed to subdue the Tottenham striker Teddy Sheringham in the 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, is completing a two-match ban.

And that means Ball may again turn to a five-man defensive system after Saturday's defeat at Ipswich, with striker Craig Maskell hoping for a place on the substitutes' bench.

Tottenham will be without Sol Campbell and Gica Popescu, who were both injured in Saturday's home defeat by Wimbledon. Campbell (torn hamstring) misses only his second game of the season, with Dean Austin hoping for a recall, while manager Gerry Francis may call in Ronny Rosenthal for Popescu (damaged knee ligaments) in midfield.

Millwall and Swindon aim to make up for lost time when they meet at the New Den in tonight's only First Division game.

Mick McCarthy and Steve McMahon, the respective managers, have promised there will be no repeat of their recent touchline fracas.

Both teams have played 30 League games. Millwall's bid to reach the play- offs has been held up by their run to the FA Cup fifth round, which included wins over Arsenal and Millwall, while Swindon, who are hoping to reach Wembley if they can hold Bolton Wanderers in next week's Coca-Cola Cup semi-final second leg, have plunged into the relegation zone.

Swindon's cause is not helped tonight as right-back Mark Robinson starts a five-match suspension for reaching 21 points, which includes a red card in the first game with Bolton - and midfielder Luc Nijholt begins a two- match ban.

Andy Todd, on loan from Middlesbrough, is expected to make his Swindon debut in midfield. McMahon hopes his other recent signing, Peter Thorne, the former Blackburn Rovers striker, will add to the four goals he scored in his first two games. Swindon have not scored in the three matches since.

A win, however, would take them out of the bottom four on goals scored. Millwall, 13th and 12 points behind fifth-placed Wolves and the play-offs, are still without injured captain Keith Stevens and striker Dave Mitchell.

Whatever the result, the managers will, presumably, scream and shout throughout the match and shake hands the best of friends at the end.

McCarthy and McMahon, who were not exactly known for their restraint during distinguished playing careers, clashed when disagreeing over a tackle when the teams met in January's Coca-Cola Cup quarter-final.

McMahon said: "That's all finished immediately after the game. It's what happened when two highly-competitive people disagreed over an incident. It's done and dusted." McCarthy added: "It was handbags at 10 paces."

Comments