Fulham v Bolton Preview
After the emphatic 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers in midweek, Fulham get a further chance to consolidate their position in the Premier League table with another home fixture, this time against Bolton Wanderers. The Trotters, managed by Gary Megson, are not in the best of form and it is a game that Fulham, on paper, should win.
This fixture reunites Kevin Davies (our highlighted opposition player to watch) with the manager who took him to Blackburn Rovers, Roy Hodgson.
Speaking about Davies, Roy has remarked,
'It's no surprise to see his form over the last seasons,'
"It's quite strange because the summer we signed him we had a good year and got into Europe."
'People were speaking very well of Blackburn and thinking we could have another good season, and Kevin Davies was hailed as an excellent signing by virtually everybody."
'Of course the major problem was losing Chris Sutton and Kevin Gallagher in the first couple of weeks of the season. We had to throw Kevin in and when it didn't work out for him things got worse and worse."
'He certainly put that behind him and now he's a highly respected front player in the country and a player most teams would love to have."
'I'm pleased with that because I'm pleased to see I'm not totally incompetent when looking at forward players. I'm pleased he succeeded even if he didn't help me at the time.'
Here`s hoping he doesn`t rub salt into those wounds and score a couple tomorrow then Roy!
Fulham Team News:
After implying that Danny Murphy and Andrew Johnson could be back for both the Birmingham and Blackburn fixtures they were in fact available for neither. Whether another couple of days training puts them in the frame for the visit of Bolton remains debatable.
There are concerns about the fitness of Bobby Zamora who was substituted, due to an injury, close to the hour mark on Wednesday evening and he may well join Diomansy Kamara on the `not available` list.
If so, Clint Dempsey, on the back of his two goal display in midweek, may be asked to play up front alongside Erik Nevland.
Player to watch: Clint Dempsey
Currently our top scorer, in the Premier League, and in a rich vein of form. His two goals on Wednesday night will have bolstered his confidence and he`ll be looking to add to his tally against a Bolton side that didn`t look too impressive in their shaky 2-0 home defeat to Blackburn last weekend.
Bolton Team News:
The tabloids are suggesting that Gary Megson`s position is under pressure. The Bolton manager has not enjoyed a good start to the season and has never been a favourite of the supporters up at the Reebok Stadium.
He brings his squad to London with Davis and O`Brien definitely out although Cohen, Gardner and Samuel should be fit enough to play and Riga and Shittu will be subjected to fitness tests.
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
A no-frills bustling centre forward who troubles the best defenders in the Premier League with his physical presence. It`ll be interesting to see how he fares against the tall Brede Hangeland. Hopefully he`ll come off second best!
Match Facts & Stats
Get your money on a Fulham win! Bolton Wanderers have never won a Premier League fixture at Craven Cottage and you have to go back as far as November 1992 for their last win at Craven Cottage when both clubs were in the third tier of English football.
The last Premier League fixture between the teams ended in a convincing 3-1 victory to Fulham up at the Reebok Stadium with goals from Johnson, Dempsey and Kamara for us and Davies for Bolton.
Steve Bennett will officiate.
I`m feeling confident about this one. The 3-0 win over Blackburn may have had something to do with that, especially as Blackburn beat Bolton last weekend. As long as we show no complacency I can see another decent home win possibly by at least two clear goals. The good times are back, COYW`s!
It`s a return to Europa League action next week with a Thursday evening fixture against CSKA Sofia.