DIMITAR BERBATOV will sit out Fulham's FA Cup third round replay against Blackpool tonight as Martin Jol looks to rest some of his first team players ahead of their trip to Manchester City this weekend.
The likes of Brede Hangeland, John Arne Riise and Damien Duff could also join Berbatov in sitting out tonight's game as a run of one win in their last six games mean Fulham have fallen to 13th in the Premier League, just six points above the drop zone.
Although another defeat would dent morale, Jol knows the league is very much a priority for the London club and will therefore use the opportunity to rest Berbatov, who has played the last 16 games.
Jol also knows that even if Fulham overcome Blackpool, they are likely to have to beat Manchester United to make it into the fifth round, and will therefore rest a number of regulars in Lancashire tonight even though it could mean his team are knocked out of the cup.
"I was really happy to get a draw against Blackpool (in the initial third round tie) and then I saw the draw," the Fulham manager said.
"I feel we need to change the team for Blackpool to give players like Berbatov, who have played all the matches, a rest.
"But I have to make a decision on that because I still feel it is very important to stay in the FA Cup."
Jol has been linked with moves for Tom Huddlestone, Banel Nicolita and Jores Okore and he admits bringing players in to Craven Cottage before the transfer window shuts is a big priority.
"We had a very good start to the season. We had a settled team before but I think we are a bit unsettled now," Jol said.