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CSKA Sofia v Fulham Preview!

CSKA Sofia v Fulham Preview!

Our Europa League campaign kicks off with a vengeance in Bulgaria tomorrow evening.

The first opposition in our group are the Bulgarian side, CSKA Sofia. It looks like being a hard nights work against a side that didn`t have to go through the pain of numerous qualifying matches, instead they simply swept aside a strong Dynamo Moscow side.

Considering our poor away form, in general, the task facing us looks too be erring towards the monumental with regards to getting a great result. But, you just never know with Fulham, you just never know which side will turn up.

If we can produce the same tempo game we displayed against Everton, on Sunday, then we may eve surprise ourselves although that will depend upon how seriously Roy Hodgson is prepared to take the competition.

Here at Vital Fulham we`d like to think, that after qualifying, Roy will field the strongest side possible in the Vasil Levski Stadium that will be used for the match. Quite why we`re not playing at CSKA Sofia`s normal home, the Bulgarian Army Stadium, remains one of the unanswered questions at the moment.

If Roy does decide to field his strongest side, he`ll be hoping that Mark Schwarzer will have overcome the neck injury he suffered whilst on international duty, a neck injury that caused him to miss the Everton fixture.

Elsewhere, we believe Roy has no other concerns and if the strongest available side is his choice, we`ll go for the following starting eleven:

Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Dempsey, Murphy, Etuhu, Duff, Zamora and Johnson

Don`t forget that the match, if you are not treking to Sofia, is live on the old goggle box tomorrow early in the evening, 17:30 if you can dash home from work!

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Writer:Andrew Joyce
Date:Wednesday September 16 2009
Time: 5:39PM


I think he'll play a decidely defensive lineup, with one forward and five in midfield. Roy doesn't seem to take many chances on the road. A grind it out 0-0 draw is my prediction. I could see Nevland, Kelly, Gera, Greening, Baird and Riise getting the start or at least significant time. Save the regulars for the home fixtures. Of course, I could be totally wrong. It would be nice to see them go for the victory, but not at the risk of causing problems for our trip to Wolverhampton.
16/09/2009 19:04:00
Aha! is reporting nine changes from the Everton starters, with only Pantsil and Stockdale keeping their spot. They're listing the following squad: Zuberbuhler, Stockdale, Stoor, Pantsil, Kelly, Baird, Smalling, Andranik, Riise, Davies, Greening, Nevland, Kamara, Seol, E Johnson, Elm, Dikgacoi.
16/09/2009 19:09:00
that would be surprising... let's hope we play proudly out there...
16/09/2009 19:28:00
sort of makes it hardly worht qualifying if we're going to treat it with disdain!
Al Billy
16/09/2009 19:50:00
I read on the offish messageboard that dikgacoi and elm weren't registered. Not sure if it's true. To be honest, I expect changes with Davies, Riise, Baird, Greening, Kelly, Nevland all starting and Stockdale keeping his place in goal.
16/09/2009 20:28:00
I don't know if he's treating it with disdain. I just think he's targeting wins at home to progress. A roll of the dice to be sure, but one I can understand. I'd feel differently if this were match #6 and needing a win to progress, we went in there with this squad, but this is just the first match. I'm ok with it.
16/09/2009 21:29:00
some of the first team have taken knocks i can see a second strink doing ok roy will have them well drilled and these players will want to show what they can do
truth sayer ffc
17/09/2009 13:49:00
exactly teddy, this is why we expanded our squad... i'd rather have 3 points from wolves than 3 from sofia...
17/09/2009 13:52:00
I personally understand Roy's stance, but no matter what he says, we clearly aren't taking the Europa League as seriously as was first reported.
17/09/2009 14:43:00
we can qualify from this group if we take it seriously!
17/09/2009 20:23:00
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