AS Roma v Fulham - Preview!
Who`d have though as we converged on Fratton Park the season before last, to witness the concluding episode of the great escape that a little some eighteen months later we`d be descending upon Rome for a European fixture.
Okay, it might not quite be the heady heights of the Champions League but for us Fulham supporters it`s all a far cry from the dark and distant days when a Lawrie Sanchez led side looked destined for Championship football.
Instead of the delights of Peterborough, Barnsley and Scunthorpe those two thousand or so who are heading for the eternal city will be bale to explore the delights of all those familiar tourist spots that decorate the pages dedicated to Rome in the travel brochures.
It really is a once in a lifetime trip and I`m exasperated at having to miss out, especially when cohorts of mine are taking great delight in texting back sarcastic comments and pictures of the, previously mentioned, tourist attractions.
Only a last gasp, last kick of the match goal prevented Fulham from beating AS Roma in the reciprocating fixture so the opposition holds no fears for Roy Hodgson`s men, there`ll be no gladiatorial feelings as they seek merely to survive rather than prosper.
Unfortunately though, that equaliser put a different slant on the group, the two points we were deprived of may possibly force Roy Hodgson`s hands when it comes to team selection. I`m not naïve enough to believe Roy would put Premier League success behind Europa League success but then again I doubt that it is in Roy`s make up to enter a competition without wanting to do well.
In recent weeks the side has been hit by injury problems. Simon Davies has seen his comeback delayed, Danny Murphy picked up an injury against Hull City and Andrew Johnson, battered black and blue in a previous fixture, has a groin injury. Matters were also compounded by the fact that Diomansy Kamara and Damien Duff limped off in that victory against Liverpool.
Unfortunately, Stephen Kelly is suspended after the farcical sending off, a situation orchestrated by two of the six officials on duty that night.
But, if required, we believe that Murphy and Johnson are available for selection on Thursday evening whilst Dickson Etuhu, who has also been injured, is now considered fit enough to rejoin the party. So who will Roy select to represent Fulham Football Club tomorrow night?
At Vital Fulham, we reckon the following starting eleven could be the chosen one:-
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Dempsey, Baird, Murphy, Gera, Zamora and Nevland.
Off course we may be totally wrong but whoever is chosen let`s all hope that, once again, the lads give a performance that makes us feel proud.
Come on you whites!