Unless you really hit the eggnog hard over Christmas, you’ll recall that these sides met just eight days ago, with the Cottagers coming from behind to claim a vital 2-1 win. That encounter was a hard-fought survival scrap in the lower echelons of the Premier League; this fixture should be a different story, with both sides seeking a cup adventure to offer diversion (but not distraction) from their league travails.
Wigan’s triumph last season showed that FA Cup glory is not an impossible dream for the league’s strugglers; on the other hand, the Latics were relegated, an irony that won’t have gone unnoticed by the pragmatic duo of Rene Meulensteen and Chris Hughton. One imagines that neither boss would be entirely dejected to be eliminated from the competition at this early stage.
Norwich are the bookies’ favourite for the dubious prize of a place in the fourth round; but this is a fixture that Fulham have utterly dominated in recent history. Both these sides are just about keeping their heads above water in the Premier League; but which of them will get the chance to surf a wave of cup glory?
KICK OFF: Saturday, 3pm
LAST THREE MEETINGS:
Norwich City 1 (Hooper) Fulham 2 (Kasami, Parker), Premier League, December 2013
Norwich City 0 Fulham 0, Premier League, February 2013
Fulham 5 (Duff, Petric 2, Kacaniklic, Sidwell) Norwich City 0, Premier League, August 2012
Fulham are unbeaten in their last 13 league and cup meetings with Norwich, winning 10. Norwich haven’t beaten Fulham since March 1986, when they won 2-1 in the old Second Division.
Norwich have been on the receiving end of two of Fulham’s heaviest league wins in recent times losing 6-0 in 2005, and 5-0 last season.
Gary Hooper has scored in 4 of his last 5 matches at Carrow Road.
Norwich City have not progressed beyond the fifth round of the FA Cup since 1992.
Fulham have kept only 1 clean sheet in their last 14 matches in all competitions.
Norwich City to win: 1.9
Fulham to win: 3.5
TV: Highlights on ITV1 at 11.05pm.