Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday October 25 2008
Fulham return to the stage of their greatest triumph last season, Fratton Park. It was a day nobody associated with the club will ever forget as a Danny Murphy goal, in the seventy-sixth minute, saw Fulham escape relegation, to the Championship, on goal difference. This season, the fixture has come a lot earlier and this time Fulham will be hoping to get the same result as they attempt to get their first points away from home this season. The last five game splayed have yielded a poor return in four defeats and one draw, now is the time to turn things around.
The Fulham gaffer, Roy Hodgson, has spoken about last season ad the need to get a similar result this season in his pre-match media conference when he remarked,
"We were good enough to get a result that day."
"We`ve got to go down there again and try to play as well as we did last season - and hope that fortune smiles on us."
"It was a very memorable day. I`m sure one that will live on in the minds and hearts of Fulham fans for a long, long time."
"The performances have not really shown us to be on the slide - but the results have."
How`s about a poor performance but a win then Roy?
Portsmouth enter the game after having suffered a 3-0 reverse in the UEFA Cup against Braga, a result that saw Harry Redknapp berate the referee and incur the wrath of UEFA.
His team will take to the field without the injured Glen Johnson (pelvis), Glen Little (hamstring) and Niko Kronjcar (ankle). But, Lassana Diarra could return after an absence of three games due to suspension and a knee problem.
If he does play he`ll be the one Fulham need to get a grip with. His silky ball skills and passing make him the focal point of man a Portsmouth move. Man mark him please Roy!
Fulham travel to the south coast with only Leon Andreasen rated a doubt. The Scandinavian succumbed to a heavy cold on Friday and was sent home from training.
It`ll be interesting to see if Roy changes his established line-up in order to reverse the current trend of results.
Will Julian Gray, Erik Nevland or Clint Dempsey be given a start or will Roy persevere with his usual starting eleven of
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Davies, Bullard, Murphy, Gera, Zamora and Johnson.
We`d be interested to hear your thoughts.
AJ will be only too aware that in the opposition ranks will be a certain Jermain Defoe. AJ will know that Defoe has a place in the England set-up, a place he`d like. What better way to make in-roads into getting it back than upstaging Defoe on his own patch.
Fulham go into the game with no win in five games and no goals from open play in five games, so what chances do the record books give them?
If we look at games played on the south coast, only in the Premier League, our success last May is the only victory against two defeats and two draws. A win would even matters up.
In all league games played at Fratton Park between the two clubs, Fulham have five wins to the eleven of Portsmouth with eight drawn.
Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
The run of poor results has to end soon and Portsmouth are a little fragile. They`ve shipped goals regularly this season so a Fulham win is a possibility, we`ll go for 2-1 with AJ and Murphy getting the goals.
Fulham return to Craven Cottage, in midweek, for a crucial fixture against Wigan Athletic.
Date:Saturday October 25 2008
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