Date: Sunday, 26 January 2014; Venue: Bramall Lane, Sheffield; Kickoff: 13:00 GMT League One strugglers Sheffield United will be targeting another FA Cup upset in their fourth round tie at home to Premier League club Fulham. The Blades won away at Villa Park to set up this tie whilst Rene Meulensteen's side needed a replay to get past Norwich and remain in the oldest knockout football competition in the world. Nigel Clough and United can be confident about their chances as they never lost to Fulham in a League Cup or FA Cup tie in eight previous meetings. The last time these two sides met in the Premier League some seven years ago the Blades recorded a 2-0 win. Knocking Aston Villa out of this competition is the only victory earned by the Blades in the New Year so far. I witnessed their last outing, a 2-2 Yorkshire derby draw with Bradford City, from the Bramall Lane Kop. United were good value for their half time lead, but wasted chances to kill the game off. A deflected goal shook their confidence and they later conceded a soft equalizer. This sort of mistake cannot be replicated here. Blades keeper George Long needs to work on his kicking as gifting possession back to the opposition will hurt the cause especially here. In front of him, however, centre back Harry Maguire caught the eye with an impressive display in both boxes. Fulham meanwhile are struggling to strengthen their defence in the winter window as bids for Leicester City's Liam Moore and Swansea left back Neil Taylor have been knocked back. Meulensteen needs to do something as his team have conceded nine goals in their last three away games.
United boss Clough is buoyed by Jose Baxter's injury not being serious as it looked. The former Everton man was taken off on a stretcher last time out, but should be fit to keep his place. Right back Tony McMahon has joined Blackpool on loan, so John Brayford, who came in from Cardiff this week, should make his debut. Either Shaun Miller or Chris Porter will partner Baxter in attack as loan signing Billy Paynter is ineligible. Youngsters Callum McFadzean and Elliott Whitehouse are also cup-tied after playing for other clubs in this competition. Meulensteen meanwhile may be tempted to name several of the XI that comprehensively won their 3-0 replay win over Norwich in the last round. Academy product Lasse Vigen Christensen and defenders Aaron Hughes and Elsad Zverotic could all feature. Fernando Amorebieta misses out with a knee problem. Source: BBC
Sheffield United: George Long, John Brayford, Harry Maguire, Neil Collins, Matt Hill, Stephen McGinn, Michael Doyle, Ryan Flynn, Jose Baxter, Jamie Murphy, Chris Porter/Shaun Miller 4-2-3-1 Fulham: Maarten Stekelenburg, Elsad Zverotic, Aaron Hughes, Dan Burn, Kieran Richardson, Giorgos Karagounis, Lasse Vigen Christensen, Ashkan Dejagah, Pajtim Kasami, Alex Kacaniklic, Darren Bent 4-2-3-1
Jamie Clark is a qualified Web Journalist after undergoing professional training at the University of Sheffield. A prolific and accredited sports writer, he also enjoys classic comedy, historic fiction, 80s music and heritage.