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Etherington: touch and go

Filed: Sunday, 7th May 2006
By: Matthew O'Greel

Alan Pardew has conceded that Matthew Etherington is a major doubt for next Saturday's FA Cup Final.

Pardew revealed tonight that the winger is facing a race against time in order to be fit for the FA showpiece next weekend. The Hammers boss confirmed that Etherington is set to face a last-minute fitness test on the day of the game in order to ascertain whether or not he will be fit to play.

Meanwhile Dean Ashton, another who missed today's 2-1 victory over Tottenham is set to face a fitness test on Thursday morning at Chadwell Heath prior to the squad leaving for Cardiff. His chances of recovering are considered to be marginally higher than Etherington's, although the 7m man remains another major worry for Pardew.

* Liverpool look set to be without Spanish international Xavi Alonso for the FA Cup Final after the midfielder was stretchered off during his team's 3-1 win at Portsmouth (Liverpool's 11th straight victory).

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