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Friday, 10 December, 1999, 17:10 GMT
Bulls thankful for cup cash

Hereford fans pay homage to a vegetable before big cup ties


Click here for details of Aston Villa v Darlington and the changes to this year's competition.

Click here for the third round weekend's schedule.


Premiership Leicester City travel to famous FA Cup battlers Hereford on Saturday, with the non-league club grateful for the cash injection the high-profile tie will bring.

Hereford's director of football Graham Turner has admitted that this year's cup run has helped stop the club going out of existence.


The appearance of a Hereford Bull is another pre-match ritual
The Bulls have debts of more than 1m and Saturday's game will be shown on BBC One's Match Of The Day, adding to what they received in the last round from Sky.

Former Aston Villa and Wolves manager Turner is the club's largest shareholder, but plays an active role - right down to to occasionally mowing the pitch.

The club, which spent 25 years in the Football League until 1997, is caught up in a row between the local council and developers over the future of their Edgar Street home.


Hereford facts
1.1m in debt
League members 1972-97
Most famous win over Newcastle in 1972
"This season it's the FA Cup run which has kept the club going," said Turner.

"If we somehow managed to get a replay with Leicester, it would take the money we have made out of the FA Cup into six figures."

Leicester midfielder Muzzy Izzet warns the players not to read too much into City's heavy defeat by Arsenal last week.

"If any of the Hereford lads watched that game on television, they will probably be thinking they have got nothing to fear," he admitted.

"But this weekend is all about the FA Cup and there will be no complacency."

And Turner admits that the Foxes are not the sort of big club who will be phased by playing his team, which includes a farm-worker, a schoolteacher and an electrician.

"There are so many foreign players in the Premiership now that coming to Edgar Street would be a bit of a culture shock for them," he admitted.


Schoolteacher Robin Elmes leads Hereford's attack
"But that doesn't apply to Leicester - Matt Elliott, Steve Guppy, Neil Lennon and Robbie Savage have all played at this sort of level and so we won't take them by surprise."

Guppy is doubtful with a back injury which has prevented him training this week, while new 3m signing Darren Eadie is not eligible.

Martin O'Neill and his high-flying team cannot be used to playing at a ground where a Hereford Bull is led around the pitch as fans bow down to a swede in the centre circle.

Paying homage to a vegetable was a bizarre local cup tradition which began in the 1940s and has recently been revived to great success in the last round against Hartlepool.

Leicester have been warned.


Hull v Chelsea

Chelsea's multi-national team travel to East Yorkshire, insisting they will treat their opponents as the "best team in the world".

The Blues' tendency to rise to the heights in Europe and then struggle at home has been a feature of the season.


Hull overcame Hayes to set up their Chelsea meeting
"We don't talk about Hull being a big club or a small club," said Uruguayan midfielder Gustavo Poyet.

"We have struggled against teams of that kind in the past so we have to go there thinking that they are the best team in the world and that we must play the best football we can play."

Boss Gianluca Vialli could give starts to Jes Hogh, Jody Morris and Chris Sutton.

Hull will be missing injured midfielder Gary Brabin but chairman Nick Buchanan is quietly confident.

"My instincts tell me we might get another replay out of the FA Cup," said Buchanan.

"I don't think it will be a whitewash like people are expecting, but it will certainly be the highlight of the year."


Crewe v Bradford

Bradford midfielder Gareth Whalley's chances of playing against his old club look good with Dean Windass and Peter Beagrie struggling to recover from with ankle and calf injuries respectively.

Crewe are waiting on the fitness of Scottish midfielder Colin Cramb.


Derby v Burnley

Derby's Danish defender Jacob Laursen is a doubt and could be replaced by Spencer Prior.

Mikkel Beck is back in the squad returning from a loan spell at Nottingham Forest, while midfielder Lars Bohinen has recovered from a knee operation.

Burnley have an injury worry over striker Bradley Maylett.


Exeter v Everton

Everton top scorer Kevin Campbell has shaken off a groin injury and will be fit.

Don Hutchison returns from suspension and Dave Watson and Mitch Ward are available after recovering from injuries.

New American striker Joe-Max Moore could win a place on the bench.

Exeter have no serious injury problems.


Norwich v Coventry

Norwich are without Darren Eadie, who has joined Leicester for 3m.

Coventry have four defenders with knee injuries - David Burrows, Marc Edworthy, Marcus Hall and Richard Shaw.

Gary Breen should recover from a dead leg but Mo Konjic has a fractured cheekbone.


Sheff Wed v Bristol City

Wednesday left-back Andy Hinchcliffe is doubtful with a calf problem and potential replacement Lee Briscoe is struggling with a bruised leg.

Petter Rudi could also be out due to an Achilles injury, but Danny Sonner returns from suspension.

City have defenders Andrew Jordan and Louis Carey sidelined by injuries, along with midfielder Tommy Doherty. Paul Mortimer is also doubtful.


Sunderland v Portsmouth

Sunderland are now clear of suspensions, after six players served bans in the past few weeks.

Pompey assistant coach Kevin Bond is expected to pick the side after Alan Ball was sacked this week.

Veteran striker Steve Claridge could win a recall alongside Wearside-born midfielder Lee Makel.


Tranmere v West Ham

West Ham have been hit by another defensive injury blow after Javier Margas pulled a hamstring in Monday's draw at Tottenham.

Tranmere have defenders Graham Allen and Clint Hill suspended so George Santos will play despite a groin problem.


Watford v Birmingham

Watford are still without long-term casualties Peter Kennedy, Alex Bonnot and Tommy Mooney.

But Nick Wright has recovered from a hernia injury and could be on the bench for this repeat of last year's play-off semi-final, which the Hornets won on penalties.

Clint Easton is pressing for a return after hamstring trouble but Xavier Gravelaine is suspended.

Birmingham are without influential defender David Holdsworth, who is suspended.

Brazilian striker Marcelo is struggling for fitness so defender Darren Purse is likely to continue in his makeshift role as striker.


Wimbledon v Barnsley

Egil Olsen faces a defensive injury crisis with Ben Thatcher and Dean Blackwell almost certainly out and Alan Kimble and Kenny Cunningham struggling to shake off injuries.

Barnsley have Martin Bullock and Robbie Van Der Laan struggling to overcome flu but Chris Morgan and Chris Barker have recovered from the bug.

On-loan Nottingham Forest defender Steve Chettle is ineligible.


Wrexham v Middlesbrough

Boro are without Paul Ince, recovering from a hernia operation, and Keith O'Neill, Curtis Fleming, Colin Cooper and Gary Pallister are doubts, as is striker Brian Deane.

But Hamilton Ricard is likely to shrug off a toe injury and Phil Stamp has recovered from an ankle problem.

Wrexham have named an unchanged squad, the only absentee being long-term injury-victim Wayne Phillips.

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See also:
10 Dec 99 |  FA Cup
A very peculiar FA Cup
11 Dec 99 |  FA Cup
Graham plays down big gun battle
10 Dec 99 |  FA Cup
Palace fall as Forest held
04 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Gunners stroll to victory
04 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Chelsea shot down in flames
07 Dec 99 |  Champions League
Chelsea survive Euro grilling
10 Dec 99 |  FA Cup
Davids and Goliaths on Wembley trail

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