down cross

Sensible play is to pick Fleetwood for victory

Cod Army can march into second round

Ashley Hunter (left) is a threat for Fleetwood in attack
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FA Cup first round
BT Sport 1, 7.45pm Monday

Fleetwood were held to a 0-0 draw at Southport in a televised Monday-night encounter at the same stage of last season's FA Cup but are likely to have learned from the experience and can justify odds-on quotes at National League North highflyers Chorley.

With a three-division gap separating the sides, Chorley know that their best chance of success is to catch Fleetwood on a bad night.

But the Cod Army are a club who remember what it was like to be on the other side of the fence (this is only their sixth season in the Football League) and manager Uwe Rosler has talked about selecting his strongest possible side.

He cannot select key midfielder Bobby Grant, who was withdrawn with a knock during Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Blackburn.

But Rosler is a great believer in the squad rather than 11 players and will have been delighted when Grant's replacement, Burnley loanee Aiden O'Neill, came off the bench at Ewood Park and scored his first goal of the season.

The draw at Blackburn left Fleetwood outside the Sky Bet League One top six on goal difference and there seems to have been no significant drop in standards since last term, when they reached the playoffs.

Rosler rarely seems to be mentioned when the bigger jobs become available and it may take a decent cup run to give him the profile his managerial talent deserves.

Facing the German in the opposite dugout is Matt Jansen, another former top-flight striker trying to earn his managerial stripes.

Jansen has been in charge of the Magpies for two seasons and has done a fine job, leading them to eighth place in his first campaign and to the playoff final last term.

Chorley are seventh this season but their chances of beating Fleetwood are reduced because two of their key players - goalkeeper Matt Urwin and top scorer Nick Haughton - are on loan from Fleetwood and are therefore ineligible.

They addressed the goalkeeping situation last week by acquiring Cardiff's Oliver Byrne on a two-month loan.

But attacking midfielder Haughton, scorer of four of their eight FA Cup goals this season, will be missed.

Chorley can ill-afford to be understrength for their toughest match of the season and the sensible strategy is to side with the visitors.

1pt 7-10 188Bet, Betway

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Team news
At least two changes are necessary with Fleetwood loanees Matt Urwin and Nick Haughton ineligible to face their parent club. Goalkeeper Oliver Byrne, signed on loan from Cardiff, is set to replace Urwin between the sticks.

Midfielder Bobby Grant picked up an injury during last Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Blackburn and is out. Forward Conor McAleny missed the Blackburn game and is a doubt.

Key stat
Fleetwood have lost only one of their last seven matches.

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Fleetwood have lost only one of their last seven matches
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