Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday October 3 2009
Fulham travel across London this Sunday to visit a ground, Upton Park, where previous successes have been extremely rare. Can Roy Hodgson reverse a trend that has seen us beat West Ham only once in the Premier League?
Paul Koncheskey, an ex-Hammer, continues to defy the critics and play on with his knee injury. Paul will be hoping that he can score a goal of a similar nature to the one that silenced the West Ham faithful last season (before they went on to whip us 3-1) and he`s spoken out about the injury, ahead of the game, remarking,
"It`s fine. I may need an operation in the summer, but it`s manageable. I don`t like missing games."
Especially against former clubs we`d suggest!
Gianfranco Zola continues to welcome back players from what was once a lengthy injury lost. The latest to be welcomed back is the England international centre back, Matthew Upson. One player who will not be making an appearance though is Luis Boa Morte, a former Fulham player who remains injured, as does Dean Ashton whose career has come under much discussion in recent weeks.
The ex-Chelsea striker seems to be revelling under the tutorship of Gianfranco Zola and Hughes and Hangeland will have to be aware of his prowess in and around the area.
Roy Hodgson is expected to welcome back Brede Hangeland after the defender sat out the Europa League victory over FC Basel, in midweek. Also returning to the fold will be his defensive partner Aaron Hughes although the injured Damien Duff, Simon Davies and David Stockdale are not expected to play any part in proceedings.
Expect Fulham to line up something similar to:-
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Dempsey, Etuhu, Murphy, Gera, Zamora and A.Johnson.
Sold by West Ham in a deal that also saw John Pantsil come to Craven Cottage, Bobby will be keen to show his former paymasters exactly what he`s capable of.
Fulham always find it hard at Upton Park, last season after Paul Konchesky scored a belter we were overrun by West Ham and lost 3-1. Amazingly, we`ve never failed to score at Upton Park in premier League matches but with only one win in our Premier league history against them, you get the feeling we may well be jinxed. And off course, nobody mention the 1975 FA Cup Final please!
Our away form is notorious, only a victory against a deflated Portsmouth in the first game of the season; makes it look any different to previous years. Couple that with our atrocious record against West Ham, in the Premier League, and it doesn`t bode well for us, but with an autumnal feel in the air could there be a change of fortune sweeping in? Something tells me that Sunday will be our day, West Ham are struggling t get any points on the board after only one win all season and it is there for the taking this one, I`m going for 1-0 to Fulham, Bobby Zamora probably!
After (another) break for international football the Premier League fixture list continues with a home fixture against Hull City in a fortnights time!
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Date:Saturday October 3 2009
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