Right then, so here it is, my first preview and FA Cup time. 21 long years now since ‘95, and 7 years since we got beat by Chelsea in the final. A day I vaguely remember after drinking a load of beer and almost pulling a bird from Wallasey. Anyway enough about my fondness for non-Scouse girls and on to Everton.

Are we doing alright? Is Martinez the right man for us? Why do they keep playing them fan songs at half time? Time to stop worrying about the league now, back to back cup games are what we have and in theory we should win at least one of them, and seeing as we’ve just seen off City in the first leg you know what’s coming… Everton that.

So, on to our opposition.

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I’ll be honest, I know nothing about Dagenham & Redbridge, other than Dagenham is somewhere within the M25 loop and I’m assuming Redbridge is too as to have two places so far apart coming together as one team would be a logistical nightmare.

Oh and that a Dagenham Smile is slang for a workies crack.

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So owing to my limited knowledge of our League 2 opposition, I have had to get some information from my girlfriends dad who supports League 2 mid-table battlers Carlisle. “They’re crap.”

Cheers Bob.

I’d best do some real research then. So they were founded in ‘92, 3 years before we last won something *sigh*. It seems they were involved in a match fixing scandal, they have two Trinidadians in their squad, one of which is the captain, and after reading the Daggers forum it seems they’re both off playing Haiti so may miss the game. Advantage Everton! Oh, our little mate Dwight “Crusher of Dreams” Gayle once played for them.

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Apparently they have cheerleaders too, an American concept that I think is fatally flawed over here, imagine being sat there at half time and the County Road troupe comes bouncing out in their velour trackies, barely moving ‘cos they don’t wanna knock their rollers out, still better than those fan songs though.

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In truth, they aren’t very good and I mean no disrespect to their 15 or so fans. They’re just above the relegation zone of League 2, they haven’t won a game at home and they barely scraped in to this round after struggling twice against non-league Whitehawk. Their history, admittedly small, isn’t anything to really care about, started off non-league, promoted, promoted again, relegated, haven’t budged.

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But when has that ever stopped Everton doing an Everton? We’ve been here before, FA Cup, Third round, lower league opposition, Everton knocked out. We either laughed, cried, or just completely ignored it and decided the league was our focus. However this season it seems that the cups are taking over, we’ve got a toe in the final of the Worthington Cup and now it’s time to make a start in the FA cup.

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On to the team, will he keep Joel in? How boss is Besic, you wouldn’t spill his pint would you? Gareth Barry despite his years still has it. Funes Mori gives me a tingle that I enjoy, my favourite Argentinian related thing since the Vulcan. You’d fully expect Martinez to run out a bit of youth here, maybe rest a few key players, and give game time to those needing it, I heard a rumour that Pienaar has been discovered in Bin Ladens cave. So expect last nights team to start again.

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Alas that looks unlikely so, owing to the slight knocks a few of them picked up, Coleman seemingly suffering the worst, is Hibbert fit? I fully expect Besic to be starting again as his performance against Toure will leave him feeling pretty good at the prospect of facing James Dunn. Whoever starts RW though may find themselves in for a tricky afternoon against Justin Hoyte! Who to start up top if we rest Lukaku, is Rodriguez alive? You could probably give Ferguson a run out here. No doubt whoever we start we should be battering these, and you’d imagine we’ll be in the pot for the 4th round draw.

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So off we go, two cups in one season would be nice Everton.

Thanks for reading if you’re still here.

Love from Sapie x