Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday October 30 2009
After visiting cash-laden Manchester City last weekend, and coming back from 2-0 to draw 2-2, Fulham entertain one of the so-called big four that Manchester City are trying to eclipse, in Liverpool, this weekend. It has the potential to be a fascinating encounter!
Having lost their last four away games and also having lost five out of their last six matches in all competitive fixtures, Danny Murphy is keen to hammer home the point that a wounded Liverpool side is a very dangerous creature when he comments,
"Liverpool tend to pull out big performances when the chips are down and it was a fantastic effort to beat a strong Manchester United team on Sunday."
"It may well be the confidence booster they need to sting a run of results together and start applying pressure to the other sides at the top of the table."
With a little luck the poor run will continue and it`ll be the side in white celebrating this weekend.
Roy Hodgson goes into this game with his squad still troubled by injuries. Definitely out is Andrew Johnson, still troubled by the shoulder injury whilst the central midfield duo of Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu are both doubtful. Paul Konchesky missed the last fixture, with Stephen Kelly deputising, and that may well be the case this time around as well.
Also out, suspended, is Dikagcoi serving the remainder of his suspension for his recent red card at Upton Park. On the positive side though, rumours suggest Simon Davies is in contention for a starting place.
Therefore, putting two and two together, we anticipate Roy Hodgson going up against Liverpool with the following starting eleven:-
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Kelly, Duff, Baird, Greening, Dempsey, Zamora and Kamara
After that horrific miss against Manchester City, a miss that no doubt brought guffaws of laughter from anyone who has since seen it on television, Bobby knuckled down well and played his part in a superb comeback, a comeback that could have resulted in a victory. Against Liverpool, you get the impression chances could be few and far between, here`s hoping that if one falls Bobby`s way he`s cool enough to slot it home. You never know it could be our winner!
Liverpool arrive in South West London with doubts about the fitness of their captain, Steven Gerrard. Fernando Torres is expected t start though and their new £20 million midfielder, Aquilani is expected to be on the bench. Definitely out is Rieira as is Glen Johnson who has a small calf tear.
Probably the best buy Rafa Benitez has made out of the seventy odd he`s attributed as having brought to Anfield. Although not fully fit he embarrassed Rio Ferdinand last weekend with a sublime finish. If Liverpool are in a crisis, having lost five out of the last six, where would they be without this Spanish sharp-shooter?
The last four fixtures have seen Fulham fail to score against Liverpool with three of those fixtures having been won by Liverpool and one being drawn. Therefore, perhaps even scoring, tomorrow, might be cause for celebration!
Lee Mason is the man given the task of keeping law and order.
This will be a tough one! Like Danny Murphy has commented Liverpool are at their most dangerous when being written off. Five defeats in six games is a hurtful statistic and one that Rafa Bentiez will want to banish with a series of good results. Fulham though, after two draws in consecutive Premier League games (West Ham and Manchester City) need to get back to winning ways. Unfortunately, despite my usual high level of optimism, I can`t see it happening on Saturday and the best we can hope for is a draw, so I`ll go for 1-1!
It`s back to the Europa League in midweek with a visit to the eternal city to take on AS Roma, two fantastic games in a week; we`re in danger of being spilt are we not!
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Date:Friday October 30 2009
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