Date:Wednesday January 17 2007
While some fans would have been hoping for an upset in last night`s FA Cup third-round replay at The City of Manchester Stadium, I am personally relishing the opportunity of seeing Saints pit their wits against Premiership opposition again.
While playing Sheffield Wednesday would probably give Saints a greater chance of reaching the fifth-round, a match against an established Premiership team like Manchester City will give Southampton fans a good indication of how the will cope next season if promotion is achieved.
No-one expects Saints to go on to win the FA Cup, and I feel it is therefore preferable to have a crack at a Premiership team at this early stage in the competition with nothing to lose.
Due to the underdog status of his team, Burley may also be inclined to try out some new players or tactics as Saints have been a little bit erratic of late. I for one would love to see Bartosz Bialkowski given a chance to shine; after all he did make his name against Newcastle United last year with a solid performance before badly jarring his knee which has put him out of first-team action until now.
Saints were unfortunate to be beaten by Newcastle in last season`s competition, yet with a more stable and stronger squad this time around I think an upset is not out of the question.
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