Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday September 11 2009
After a break that seems to have lasted for an eternity after our poor display against Aston Villa, two weeks ago, Fulham get the chance to show that they can match the heights they achieved last season with a home fixture against an Everton side who have also had a relatively poor start compared to last season. With the eyes of the nation once again watching us, courtesy of Sky Sports, let`s hope third time lucky results in us giving a good performance.
Ahead of the fixture the Australian international and good friend of Mark Schwarzer, Tim Cahill, has offered his view on why Fulham are so hard t beat at Craven Cottage, remarking,
"The ground is small and it`s a bit more intimate. It seems to be working for them. So we`re going there knowing what they`re all about and any result for us will be brilliant."
It sounds, to me, as if Cahill is on the back foot before he`s even heard the referee blow his whistle.
TAKE TWO - All change as they used to shout when that familiar red bus descended upon the terminus!
Far from being deprived of key personnel by injuries, we now learn by the magic of modern medicine that Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy and Andrew Johnson are all fit enough to be considered for selection on Sunday.
Also, as an added bonus Simon Davies is fit to return after a lengthy absence. However, Mark Schwarzer is rated as doubtful.
Therefore, our second take on a starting eleven, reads as thus,
Zuberbuhler, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Dempsey, Murphy, Etuhu, Duff, Zamora, A.Johnson
We`d hope the verbal criticism from young Master Riise might just spur the Irishman on to give a match winning performance - not that we`re saying the criticism was in any way deserved!
David Moyes will be without his two long term injury concerns, Mikel Arteta and Phil Jagielka but the rest of his squad remains fit and ready to play except for Victor Anichebe who has only just resumed full training after a long lay-off.
Expected to make his debut is the Dutch defender, John Heitinga, signed by Moyes after losing Lescott to Manchester City.
Up front, we expect a certain Mr Saha to play a big role. Also, look out for the recent signing from Russia, Bilyaletdinov, the lad is a bit special according to some.
Let`s all pray that Saha doesn`t join that ever expanding list of players that score against their former clubs.
Strangely enough, in sixteen Premier League clashes there has never been a draw between the two sides. In fact, up until last season neither side had tasted victory on the other sides ground until two goals from Leon Osman ruined that particular record!
Peter Walton will take charge of this fixture.
Games involving Everton are usually tight affairs, any side prepared by David Moyes knows exactly what their manager expects and they`ll come to Craven Cottage prepared. Fulham, on the back of two poor performances in the Premier League will know that a decent performance is craved for by the fans. I`m of the opinion that we`ll get it and emerge victorious by the odd goal in three!
Our jolly Europa League jaunt continues this coming Thursday with a trip to Sofia to take on CSKA
Date:Friday September 11 2009
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