Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday February 21 2009
Fulham entertain the nation this Sunday lunchtime with a home fixture against West Bromwich Albion at Craven Cottage. Is it not the ideal time to erase those memories of being made to look second best at Old Trafford on Wednesday night?
Going into the fixture, Roy Hodgson has remarked about the importance of the fixture and also giving an insight into how he feels the rest of the season will pan out, remarking,
'This is a vitally important game for us, but unfortunately it's also vitally important for our opponents."
'We proved last season that with our backs to the wall we can produce that bit extra, so we have to be careful."
'But if our defending, attacking, movement, passing and tempo are as good as they have been, I'm confident we'll end the season well.'
Roy Hodgson goes into this match hoping that Andrew Johnson and Paul Konchesky have recovered form the knocks that saw them miss the 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford. Sadly, Dickson Etuhu may not have recovered sufficiently from the ankle knock that has affected him recently. Our Swedish full back, Fredrik Stoor is also another doubt. However, there is every possibility that long term injury victim, Diomansy 'Joe` Kamara, may be awarded a place on the bench as his recovery goes from strength to strength.
We believe Roy will opt for the following starting eleven:-
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Gera, Dacourt, Murphy, Davies, Dempsey, Johnson
The Hungarian will be looking forward to possibly face his old team mates (if selected) and what better way to show them what they`re missing than by scoring against them.
Tony Mowbray travels to West London boosted by the news that his loan signing, from Arsenal, Jay Simpson, is likely to be available again after suffering a hamstring injury.
Mowbray is also able to call upon the services of his recent acquisition, Juan Carlos Mensequez who has now received international clearance whilst Gianni Zuiverloon is back from suspension.
Mowbray will select his side from the following squad:-
Carson, Kiely, Zuiverloon, Hoefkens, Donk, Pele, Meite, Robinson, Cech, Koren, Teixeira, Kim, Valero, Brunt, Simpson, Fortune, Bednar, Moore, Mulumbu, Menseguez.
He`ll either have a blinder or a stinker, lets hope it`s the former!
I bet there`s not a Fulham supporter out there who wouldn`t take a repeat of the score line the last time these two clubs met at Craven Cottage. On that day, 11th February 2006, Fulham emerged 6-1 winners.
Indeed, it kept our 100% home record against West Brom intact with the statistics showing that Fulham have 3 wins from 3 meetings.
As for all League meeting on our turf, the record is - Fulham 13 wins, West Brom 11 wins with 7 draws.
Earlier this season, in the corresponding fixture up at the Hawthorns, West Brom emerged 1-0 victors with a goal from Bednar.
Time for revenge chaps!
The man hoping to not have to deal with any contentious issues is Martin Atkinson from Yorkshire.
After suffering at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening I sincerely hope we have something to cheer about on Sunday afternoon. On paper, with our great home record, we should see off the challenge of bottom of the table West Bromwich Albion quite easily, but everyone knows that those in the danger zone are capable of putting up an incredible fight. Also, with our midfield not as strong as it has been we`ll need those chosen to give their all, if that is the case I can see us running out 2-0 winners and moving ever closer to that magical 40 point mark. If not, it`ll end all square,
It`s a case of dig deep this week as hot on the heels of our fixture with West Brom at Craven Cottage we face and FA Cup 5th round replay with Swansea this Tuesday evening.
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Date:Saturday February 21 2009
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