Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday November 21 2008
With successive home wins in the bag after beating Newcastle and Spurs, two wins that lifted Fulham to a lofty ninth place in the Premier League, Fulham face a difficult trip to Anfield to face the joint premier League leaders, Liverpool. It`s a fixture in which the pundits are leaning heavily towards a home win, can we pull off a surprise, I guess we`ll know come Saturday night whether we`ve done something we`ve never done, namely win at Anfield..
Simon Davies, looking ahead at our Premier League fixtures, had this to say about what looms ahead for us,
"We obviously saw that our next two games were away at Liverpool and Aston Villa. We knew how important the home games against Newcastle and Spurs were to try and get us up the table and take a bit of pressure off."
'It's job done to that extent and we can go to Liverpool in a more relaxed mood and give it a really good go up there."
'A couple of teams have been close to getting something up there this season - Wigan pushed them very close."
'We've had a couple of good wins so we're not desperate to get something up there, so if we nick a win or get a draw then it will be all the better for us.'
Nick! He said it not us!
Liverpool will be defending one of only two unbeaten home records in the Premier League but it looks like they`ll be doing it without the services of Steven Gerrard. The midfielder, forced to travel to the England camp to prove he was injured, doesn`t look as if he`ll be ready to face Fulham this Saturday.
But, our hosts are likely to welcome back Fernando Torres to form a dynamic attack that will also contain Robbie Keane and Diry Kuyt.
On our opinion he`s up their amongst the best strikers in Europe. Hangeland and Hughes will both have to be on top of their game to contain him.
After the back to back wins over Newcastle and Spurs we don`t anticipate many changes being made in the starting eleven by Roy Hodgson. Against Spurs he switched Zoltan Gera for Clint Dempsey but Gera may well get his place back after scoring a fine goal for his country in midweek.
Here at Vital Fulham we suspect that Roy will go with the same eleven that started at Craven Cottage last weekend as long as Aaron Hughes recovers from the eye knock picked up last week, namely,
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Dempsey, Bullard, Murphy, Davies, Johnson, Zamora.
One man keen to also keen to make a good impression will be Andrew Johnson who we signed, off course, form Liverpool`s great rivals, Everton.
Danny will enjoy facing one of his former clubs and will be looking to put on a decent show on his old stomping ground. If selected, he`ll also notch up a personal milestone of 450 career starts; a goal to celebrate would be nice Danno!
If we look at what has gone before, especially in the Premier League fixtures at Anfield we`re probably best not to turn up with Liverpool registering 5 wins to our majestically low figure of 0 wins with two fixtures being drawn.
If we consider all league fixtures at Anfield, the percentages get even worse with Liverpool recording 16 wins to our, yes you`ve guessed it 0 with 5 draws.
Last season many will say we were unlucky to lose with Liverpool emerging 2-0 victors with late goals from Torres and Gerrard, from the penalty spot.
Mark Halsey will be the man responsible for keeping law and order.
This is without a doubt the hardest fixture we`ve faced this season. On paper we`re not expected to get anything from it. Liverpool are in great form and look intent on securing that elusive first ever premier League title win, but football can be a strange game and looking ahead I can see the spoils being shared in a tight game of few goals, 1-1 possibly!
After the 220 mile hike to Anfield we`re off on our travels again with a trip to Villa Park next weekend for the second half of a very difficult away double.
Date:Friday November 21 2008
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