Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Monday September 22 2008
After the disappointment of Saturday, we head towards the north-west again, to a town not far from Blackburn, to take on Burnley in the third round of the Carling Cup.
After beating Leicester City, thanks to two stunning late goals, the draw could have been kinder to us. With the 'credit crunch' biting hard a trip to Burnley, on a Tuesday night, despite our devotion to the cause is for many a step to far.
Nevertheless, whilst we may not be there in person we will be there in spirit and hopefully the lads will return to London, circa 230 miles away, with a place in round four safely in the bag.
In a season whereby the Carling Cup could well provide a welcome return to Wembley, it's trips to Burnley, uncompromising trips, that sort out the men from the boys.
Championship side Burnley will provide a stiff test and Fulham may have to face them without Jimmy Bullard who was on the receiving end of two rough challenges at Ewood Park and remains a serious doubt.
Perhaps, when it comes to going through to round four, the crux of the matter could well depend on the make up of our starting eleven. Will Roy Hodgson stick with the majority of his starting eleven or will he take the opportunity to rotate his squad?
In the build up to the Blackburn fixture he mentioned that Stoor, Etuhu and Gray were itching to become involved so will Roy give them the chance at Turf Moor?
Leon Andreasen, now fully fit, could also make a return to the starting eleven.
We here at Vital Fulham suspect that at least two of the three will be involved form the start.
Therefore, assuming that Bullard is not risked, we expect Roy to make a few changes and go with the following eleven,
Stockdale, Stoor, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Gera, Johnson and Zamora
But we may well be wrong!
As for the opposition, a team we've not beaten for an eternity, they are likely to be without their powerful striker, Ade Akinbiyi who has been struggling with a back injury whilst the ex-Manchester United youngster Chris Eagles will be vying for a starting place after serving a period of suspension.
One man Fulham should be aware of though is the competitive Icelander, Joey Gudjohnson, who has played at Premier League level in the past.
It promises to be a tight game but we're confident and we believe we'll be in round four although just like the last round, it could well be tight affair and there could well be extra time involved.
Date:Monday September 22 2008
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