Bristol Rovers hope to use the inhospitable conditions at the Memorial Stadium to spring an FA Cup shock against Premier League strugglers Fulham on Tuesday night.
The League One side forced a third-round replay with the Cottagers after a spirited 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage, but the rematch was postponed last Tuesday due to a waterlogged pitch and the rearranged game is again at the mercy of the elements.
The pitch is now under covers after Bristol played Cardiff Blues in a Heineken Cup rugby union match on the surface on Sunday afternoon.
Standing water was visible at the end of Rovers’ 1-1 draw with Walsall on Saturday – prompting fears the Fulham game would be postponed again.
But Rovers head coach Paul Trollope, who represented the Whites as a player, was hopeful and said: “We will need a bit of luck with the weather, but we have invested heavily in new covers and hope the Fulham tie will be on. They may take a look at the pitch and not fancy it, while it will play to our strengths. But they are professionals and top-quality players so we know it is going to be tough whatever the conditions.”
Midfielder Craig Disley has staked his claim for a recall by scoring the Pirates’ late equaliser on Saturday.
Byron Anthony and Lewis Haldane have recovered from foot and ankle injuries, though the postponement of a reserves game has not allowed them to prove their form.Ryan Green is still receiving treatment on his Achilles and will miss out.