Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Tuesday March 3 2009
After the 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday it`s a return to Craven Cottage this Wednesday evening to take on a struggling Hull City. Three points will take us even nearer to the mythical forty points that signals survival and it`s only the first week of March, isn`t life good?
That old chestnut the UEFA Cup keeps raising it`s ugly head, although might say it`d be beautiful to compete.
Roy Hodgson is one and ahead of the clash he`s remarked,
'I must say that a UEFA place has never been mentioned during the time that I have been at the club."
'What we want is a finish that is as high as possible and most importantly away from the relegation zone."
'But you don't want to crush hopes, expectations and dreams, although at the same time you can't encourage people to start believing there are no problems and everything will be hunky-dory from now on."
'The UEFA competitions are something that mean a lot to me personally so it would be very nice if I could take part again with Fulham.'
Looks like we`re thinking along the same lines Roy!
Roy Hodgson will, as previous form dictates, stick mostly to the starting eleven that has served him so well this season. The only change likely is at right-back where the free from suspension, John Pantsil, is likely to reclaim his favoured role. Pantsil`s starting replacement on Saturday, Chris Baird, is not in the squad due to a dead leg.
Therefore, for what seems like the umpteenth time this season we reckon Roy will go with the following starting eleven:-
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey, Johnson and Zamora
I`ve probably jinxed the guy now by picking him but his recent form has displayed all the attributes Roy obviously knew the lad possessed when he signed him. Since the departure of Bullard, Dickson has come on leaps and bounds and the balance of the midfield looks a lot healthier.
This match should have marked the return to Craven Cottage of a certain Jimmy Bullard. Hands up all those who were waiting to give him a few verbal volleys! Unfortunately Jimmy is crocked so that treat will have to be saved until next time.
As for the remainder of Phil Browns squad, there are doubts about Ian Ashbee, Craig Fagan and Michael Turner. As regards suspensions, Dean Marney and Andy Dawson are both out.
Linked with a move to Craven Cottage last season but having already played for two clubs complicated matters law-wise. It`s a chance to see whether we missed out on something special or not!
With Hull enjoying their first season in the Premier League this will be the first time the two clubs have met at Craven Cottage in the Premier League. Earlier, on the first day of this season, Hull triumphed so Wednesday cold be viewed as payback time!
In all League game splayed on our patch the records are as follows - Fulham 17 wins, Hull 8 wins with 13 games drawn.
Mike Jones of Cheshire.
Hull, since gaining all the accolades for a sparkling start to the season, have struggled in recent times, wins are as rare as the proverbial rocking horse sh*t for Phil Brown and his men. On the other hand, Fulham have established a fortress at Craven Cottage so all the odds point to a home win, on paper you`d be calculating by how many goals. But, as we all know, theirs is nothing more dangerous than a wounded beast expect the 'Tigers` to come out with their claws extended as they try and scrap their way to a win, we`ll go for a narrow Fulham win, probably by the odd goal in three.
An easy encounter awaits us this weekend, a Quarter-Final FA Cup tie with little old Manchester United. It`ll prove once and for all whether our name is written on the FA Cup this year.
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Date:Tuesday March 3 2009
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