Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday October 31 2008
Fulham take the long road north to the northwest this Saturday for a lunch time showdown with Everton. After taking four points from two games (Portsmouth and Wigan) Roy Hodgson will be keen for his team to keep the momentum going. One man in particular, Andrew Johnson, will be relishing a return to his old stamping ground.
Roy Hodgson after the success against Wigan Athletic was keen to emphasise the effects two wins on the trot would have when he remarked,
"If we can get two back-to-back wins than you really fly up this table."
"Now I hope that we are going to be playing with the same type of consistency, the same type of effort, the same type of determination and the same organisation as we did against Wigan."
Nevertheless, it promises to be a tough encounter.
David Moyes team sneaked a late win at Bolton in midweek to capitalise on a fine draw against Manchester United last weekend.
But Moyes will go into the game without Nuno Valente (knee injury) and there are also doubts about the fitness of Tim Cahill and Leon Osman.
Moyes will select a starting eleven from the following squad.
Howard, Hibbert, Neville, Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Arteta, Cahill, Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar, Yakubu, Saha, Nash, Rodwell, Vaughan, Anichebe, Castillo.
A surprise buy from Standard Leige but he has all the attributes to become a top player and has really started to blossom in the last few games.
Barring any late niggling injuries we can see no reason why Roy Hodgson will want to change his starting eleven. They served him well on Wednesday night and they`ll all be keen to keep the momentum going.
Expect Fulham to start as follows:-
Schawrzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Davies, Murphy, Bullard, Gera, Zamora and Johnson.
Hopefully Johnson and Davies will both have storming games against their former club.
Unfortunately, Seol Ki-Hyeon is not available for selection after returning to South Korea for personal reasons.
It`ll be interesting to see how the Goodison faithful treat Andrew Johnson. Will they give him a rapturous reception or will he be the subject of much cat-calling? Could his 102nd League goal silence the Goodison faithful?
If Fulham are to win at Everton and take all three points they`ll be creating a little bit of history. The record books currently show that Fulham have yet to win a League game at Goodison let alone a Premier League game.
In all League games at Goodison, Everton have 16 victories to their name with 4 draws being the best we can do.
Sadly, in the Premier league it has been 7 straight Everton wins, not even a solitary draw for Fulham.
Last season a Yakubu hat trick sent us back to Craven Cottage feeling deflated.
But that`s what we like about records; they`re there to be broken!
The man in charge is Lee Mason, of Lancashire - isn`t that a bit adjacent to Goodison Park?
Everton away is always a hard fixture. Not many teams will win there, just look at Manchester United last weekend. But with a two game unbeaten run under our belts optimism is high. If I were to be perfectly honest I can`t see us winning at Goodison but then again I can see us returning to London with at least a share of the spoils. Therefore I`ll go for a 1-1 draw, with AJ getting a deserved equaliser, late on!
Our next match sees us take on the troubled Geordie nation at Craven Cottage next weekend.
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Date:Friday October 31 2008
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