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Match preview Vs Coventry City    FA Cup 3rd rd

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Date: 03-01-09gif Venue: Ricoh Arenagif Kick off: 15:00hrs
It's FA Cup 3rd round day tomorrow and it's the stuff that dreams are made of when minnow takes on giant and slays the over confident monster.  In our case our 'giant monster' is only a halfling but still big enough to cause ripples when it falls.

Coventry City are not the force they once were and come to that they were never really a force in the Premiership.  They're certainly not doing that good in the Championship either and their chances of making it back to the Prem look remote for the next five years at least.  Tomorrow they'll be more interested in keeping their pride intact and not get Suttoned again.

Harriers logo It was two years after their brilliant FA Cup Final win over Spurs in 1987 that they were drawn away against Sutton Utd who were then in the Conference.  The 'plucky minnows' embarrassed their mighty opponents by winning 2-1 to send City crashing out.  City also came close to making a quick exit from the Cup in 1997 when they were held to a draw by Woking at Highfield Rd but managed to save face in the replay at Kingfield when they ran out 2-1 winners but only after being given a stern test by our BSP compatriots.

Now tomorrow it's our turn and even though our away form is not all it should be we can only give as good as we've got.  We know that we can raise our game when playing big clubs as was shown when we took Wolves to a replay back in 2004 after holding them 1-1 at Aggborough.  Going back further how can we ever forget the Cup exploits of the 93/94 season when we reached the 5th round to play West Ham Utd at home having previously seen off Birmingham City and Preston North End.

So onto the game tomorrow.  We should be at full strength for the game with the only minor doubt being the goal scoring wonder kid Martin Riley with a groin injury.  He'll hope to be fit and add to his recent scoring run of the last two games including at Torquay on Sunday when his late header won the game for us.

Chris Beardsley has also returned to Kettering following the end of his loan spell but he couldn't have played anyway being cup tied.

Coventry City logo City have a few injury worries and could be forced to use some fringe players against us.  Jay Tabb, Danny Fox have both been ill with a flu bug although many fans think they have been frozen out after falling out with the manager Chris Coleman.

Michael Mifsud (bruised foot) and Elliott Ward (knee) are both carrying injuries and Scott Dann (dislocated shoulder) and Isaac Osbourne have long term injuries so Adam Walker, Jordan Clarke and Curtis Wynter could all feature in the game.

City have Guilly Beuzelin suspended for five yellows.

City's biggest worry is trying to keep hold of the majority of the squad now that January is here.  Danny Fox, Scott Dann, Keiren Westwood, Elliott Ward, Michael Doyle, Jay Tabb, Gary Borrowdale and Michael Mifsud have all been attracting interest from other clubs including clubs in the Premiership.

Fox is the one that's getting the most interest and it's his speciality free kicks that are attracting the likes of Aston Villa.  Whatever we do tomorrow please don't give away a free kick anywhere beyond the half way line.

Coming in they were hoping for the Livingston defender James McPake but that has now fallen through after the Scottish club wanted more money at the last minute.  Also City remain hopeful of signing the Icelandic youngster Johan Berg Gudmundsson from Breidablik.  The 18yr old winger has agreed to join the club on principle but other clubs are thought to be interested in him too so City might have a battle on their hands.

So, now we know who's who and what's what do we have any chance of pulling off a major Cup shock?  Yes I think we could if we stop this recent practice of hoofing the ball into the ether and play it on the ground instead.  We have men that can create in Martin Brittain and Russ Penn and men that can finish in Justin Richards and Matty Barnes-Homer.

At the back we have one of the strongest defences in the League and Aggborough is not known as a fortress for nothing.  If we can take that to the Ricoh we could be a headline by Sunday morning.

Teams:

Harriers from:
Bartlett, Coleman, Baker, Riley, Lowe, Ferrell, Creighton, Bowler, Jones, Knights, Foley, McDermott, Bennett, Hayward, Brittain, Penn, Barnes-Homer, Smikle, Richards, Moore, McGrath.

Coventry from:
Westwood, Ireland, Marshall, Konstantopolous, Wright, Hall, Fox, Ward, Dann, Doyle, Best, Eastwood, Gunnarsson, L McKenzie, Osbourne, Mifsud, Morrison, Turner, Tabb, Simpson, Kyle, Walker, Clarke, Wynter.

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