SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Sheffield Wednesday manager David Jones salutes the crowd during the Npower League One match between Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe Wanderers at Hillsborough Stadium on May 5, 2012 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
On the face of it, Sheffield Wednesday away seemed like a relatively positive draw for Fulham but, upon closer inspection, the prospect has become that little bit more daunting. Our opponents, lifted in both division and confidence over the past few months, have been buoyed by the appointment of Dave Jones and look a vastly different outfit to the one left relegated from the Championship in 2010.
Currently, they sit only second to Blackpool in England's second tier and have yet to lose a game, winning two and drawing one. The buzz of promotion has yet to wear off and, perhaps crucially where Fulham are involved, a home Hilsbrough crowd will be there in full voice on Tuesday evening.
That will make the task harder but Martin Jol is known to be keen on both cup competitions this season. That said, the Dutchman will not be afraid to blood a few youngsters in Yorkshire.
"There will be a few changes," said Jol. "We have 18 or 19 players.
"They are good enough to come in for some others. I can give three or four players a rest."
Perhaps a young and exuberant side would be best to challenge a home team that is full of optimism and determination. Mesca, a player we have come to know well over pre-season, missed Monday evening's Under 21 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers, a likely indicator that he will play more than a peripheral role on Tuesday.
Wednesday are in fine form, having just beaten a resilient Millwall side 3-2 and previously defeating Birmingham City by the same scoreline. Both being home victories, they've scored six and conceded four at Hillsbrough - a fact which will have Jol defensively concerned but highly encouraged to press his opponents.
Fulham's 3-2 defeat to Manchester United carried many positives and will not dampen spirits in the Fulham camp, while the 5-0 hammering of Norwich City proved doubters of our early season credentials immediately wrong.
The last time we faced Wednesday we won 2-1 thanks to a dramatically late Andrew Johnson goal as we knocked the home side out of the FA cup in 2009. In our history, however, we've lost 19 times when away to the Owls and, in all games between us two, Sheffield Wednesday have won 27 to our 24.
Dave Jones could still be sweating over the fitness of defender Anthony Gardner, after he failed a late test ahead of their last game against Millwall. Mark Beevers played well in his absence, however, and could retain a place in the starting eleven.
Philippe Senderos remains out of contention for Fulham but there has been no extra news on Clint Dempsey, who hasn't been confirmed as either in or out of the squad. Jol could potentially be tempted into picking the American with less on the line, though it is highly unlikely.
CC Score prediction: Sheff Wed 2 - 4 Fulham