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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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