This will be the Clarets first ever visit to Whaddon Road and that ensured a desperate rush for tickets as many are going just to see a game at the new ground. One supporter, armed with four borrowed away ticket stubs, was in the queue when they went on sale the first day. It is to be his first away game since the start of last season, I wonder why he was at the Reebok?
Cheltenham are one of the league's newest clubs, in fact only Kidderminster Harriers and Rushden & Diamonds have been league clubs for a shorter time. They won a place in the 3rd Division at the expense of Scarborough in 1999 winning the Nationwide Conference and finishing four points clear of second placed Kettering Town. They had only been back in the Conference for two seasons and had finished second to Halifax Town in the previous season.
Their first season in Division Three saw them miss out on the play offs by one place and two points although an eighth place finish proved to be a good first season for them. They were close again last season but finished one place lower in ninth place and with 68 points had two points less than the previous season.
Although they have been beaten only once, a 3-2 scoreline against Mansfield in August, it is their home form that has been disappointing. They can add only six wins to that one defeat at Whaddon Road but on eight occasions they have picked up just the one point.
The home wins have come against Carlisle 2-0, Lincoln and Halifax 2-1, Exeter 3-1, Macclesfield 4-1 and Shrewsbury 1-0. The victory over Shrewsbury on Boxing Day was their last home win and three draws have followed.
Away from home they have won and lost five games, drawing the other three. The away wins have been at Hartlepool, Southend and Torquay 1-0, York 3-1 and Leyton Orient 2-0.
The 28 year old Julian Alsop stands at 6ft 4ins and that gives a clue as to the type of player he is and the style of football we are likely to see from Cheltenham. They are a very physical side who like to get the ball up early to Alsop and he wins most of the balls in the air. He will provide a threat to the Clarets defence simply because of his height but he is still three inches short of Peter Crouch who we dealt with.
We've taken a look at Cheltenham's league form but what about the FA Cup? They are playing in the 4th Round for the first time in their history and they are not a club with a great tradition from their non league days. To this day they have only ever beaten three league clubs in the competition.
It was away again in Round 2, this time against Hinckley. This time it was Cheltenham who went in front after five minutes and the scorer was Tony Naylor. Julian Alsop added a second four minutes into the second half and they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.
Round 3 saw them win a home tie against Second Division Oldham Athletic who included former Claret David Eyres. Again Tony Naylor scored the opening goal of the game, this time after 25 minutes, but Eyresy pulled Oldham back into it just a couple of minutes before half time. The goal that won Cheltenham a tie against the Clarets was scored by, no surprise here, Tony Naylor again for his fifth FA Cup goal of the season. It came on the hour and when Oldham's Darren Sheridan was sent off Cheltenham won through comfortably with a 2-1 scoreline.
Neil Howarth made his debut for the Clarets in the last game of the 1989/90 season at Colchester coming on as a substitute for Nigel Smith. Colchester had already been relegated to the Conference and the Clarets won 2-1 courtesy of an own goal and a Winston White penalty. Andy Marriott was in goal for Colchester. It was Neil's only first team appearance although he stayed at the club for another three years.
He played non league football for Macclesfield Town and was in the side that won promotion to the Football League and in the 1998/99 season played in their 2-1 victory against the Clarets on a flooded Moss Rose. Later that season he dropped back into the Conference with Cheltenham and helped them into the Football League.
He has recently been out of the side injured and hasn't played a first team game since November. We can though expect to see him on the bench.
In the Cheltenham side will be Mark Yates who signed for Burnley from Birmingham for £40,000 in August 1991. He became Frank Casper's last ever signing for Burnley and scored on his debut, a 4-1 win against Doncaster Rovers and a goalkeeper called Paul Crichton.
He moved to Doncaster in the summer of 1993 but was released after a year and returned to Kidderminster permanently. He joined Cheltenham in January 1999, just a month before Neil Howarth and again was a member of the promotion team. He is now captain and this week has spoken about his days at Turf Moor and how much he enjoyed it.
The team he leads out is expected to be similar to the team that drew 0-0 with Darlington at Whaddon Road on Wednesday evening and that was: Steve Book, Tony Griffin, Mike Duff, Chris Banks, Jamie Victory, Lee Williams (Neil Grayson 75), Mark Yates, Lee Howells, Russell Milton, Julian Alsop, Tony Naylor (Martin Devaney 75). Subs not used: John Brough, Shane Higgs, Neil Howarth.
Kick off is at 1:00 p.m. at Whaddon Road on Sunday to decide which club will have ball number 11 in the 5th round draw at 9:00 p.m.