FAMOUS old FA Cup fighters Peterborough United won`t give West Bromwich Albion an easy passage into the fifth round of the competition.
The fourth round tie at London Road today features the top two scoring teams in the English league with 112 goals between them.
League Two Posh are no strangers to giant-killing glory in the FA Cup with a number of notable big-club scalps down the years, including Arsenal, Newcastle United and Leeds United
It`s a tricky tie for the Baggies and a tough call for manager Tony Mowbray, who will need to strike a delicate balance with team selection, bearing in mind the awkward and hugely important trip to Preston on Tuesday.
With Premiership teams falling like ninepins in the competition so far, it has escaped no-one`s attention that a side from the lower divisions could make it all the way to Wembley.
The round of the last 32 sees three all-Premiership clashes, which will reduce top-flight participation in the fifth round to no more than eight clubs.
Albion boss Tony Mowbray told the club`s official website: ‘We’ve been there already this year so it doesn’t hold any fears but we will be respectful of them because they’re having a decent season and they have got some good players.
‘In the League Cup game they caused us plenty of problems, particularly in the second half. We know it’s going to be a tough game.`
Peterborough United Team News:
Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson`s major concern is captain Micah Hyde, whose hamstring injury will require a late fitness test. Dean Keates is on standby to replace the former Watford man if required.
Left back Jamie Day is fit but full-back partner Tom Williams and Liam Hatch are cup-tied.
Danny Crow could be back for the first time since a broken metatarsal back in September.
Chris Westwood and Shane Blackett are still out with knee injuries.
Player to watch: Aaron McLean
Leading goalscorer in League Two so far this season with 23 goals in 32 games. McLean’s strike partner Craig Mackail-Smith has weighed in with 15 goals in 24 starts and together they have fired Posh into a League Two play-off spot.
West Bromwich Albion Team News:
Albion travel to their FA Cup fourth round tie at Peterborough United today needing to patch up an injury and suspension-hit squad.
Ishmael Miller and Jared Hodgkiss are definitely missing, while Pedro Pele is a doubtfu starter. Zoltan Gera misses the game because of a one-match ban.
Craig Beattie returns to the squad after a thigh injury, together with Bostjan Cesar and Carl Hoefkens back from illness and Paul Robinson after completing a two-match suspension.
Boss Tony Mowbray`s selection problems will inevitably focus on the troublesome central defensive partnership, a perm-any-two-from-three conundrum involving Leon Barnett, Martin Albrechtsen and the returning Cesar.
Kevin Phillips, Roman Bednar and Beattie will contest striking duties, with Jonathan Greening, James Morrison, Robert Koren, Chris Brunt and Andrade Filipe Teixeira vying for the midfield berths.
Sherjill MacDonald will be in the mix somewhere and Mowbray has also added 15-year-old England U16s striker Lateef Elford-Alliyu to an 18-man squad.
Player to watch: Paul Robinson
Robinson’s return at left back should add confidence to a defence that all too often seems lacking in direction.
Match Facts & Stats
Albion beat Peterborough 2-0 in the League Cup back in September. Today’s clash will be their first FA Cup meeting and only the 11th time the two clubs have payed each other. The Baggies have won six and Posh three, with one game drawn.
Preston North End v West Bromwich Albion
Tuesday January 29th
Kick off: 7.45pm