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Second string set to shine

Berbatov will likely line up against his old club Spurs today. (FILE)

By Gary Meenaghan

Anybody hoping for a preview of the Carling Cup final when Manchester United meet Tottenham this evening are in for a disappointment.

Spurs coach Harry Redknapp has already said he will field a "mish-mash" side for today's FA Cup fourth round tie at Old Trafford as he focuses on keeping Spurs in the Premier League.

And Sir Alex Ferguson's team will be missing nine players through injury, including Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand.

What supporters may be treated to is a pair of second string sides playing a match they could likely do without at this stage of a busy season.

But one match that won't be being taken lightly is the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool. The two sides met last week and shared the spoils.

But with Liverpool still battling in the Premiership and Champions League and Everton having little strength in depth, they will both be looking to avoid a replay.

Two teams who would not be adverse to a replay would be Blue Square Premier outfits Kettering Town and Torquay United who face Fulham and Coventry City respectively.

Kettering host The Whites, but would love a lucrative replay at Craven Cottage, while The Gulls would benefit from a return trip to the Ricoh Arena.

But, of course, while a draw would spell increased revenue, a win would be welcomed by either team. And if they pull off a cup upset, they could face a depleted United or second-string Spurs in the Fifth Round.

FA Cup 4th round Fixtures:


Chelsea v Ipswich

Doncaster v Aston Villa

Hartlepool v West Ham

Hull v Millwall

Kettering v Fulham

Man Utd v Tottenham

Portsmouth v Swansea

Sheffield United v Charlton

Sunderland v Blackburn

Torquay v Coventry

Watford v Crystal Palace

West Brom v Burnley

Wolves v Middlesbrough


Cardiff v Arsenal

Liverpool v Everton