Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Thursday December 24 2009
COYW`s clash with COYS this Boxing Day with both teams keen to keep the momentum they`ve established in recent weeks going. Spurs are looking to push for a Champions League place whilst Fulham are looking to prove that finishing seventh last season was no fluke.
Kicking of at 13:00 hours it`ll be time to delay dinner, shake off that Christmas Day hangover, get down to Craven Cottage and cheer on the team.
Last weekend, following the great 3-0 win over Manchester United, John Pantsil did his familiar lap of honour always appreciative of the support the team gets from the Craven Cottage faithful.
The Ghana international was also recently voted Ghana`s Footballer of the Year by the sports writers in that country prompting the full back to declare his allegiance to us, remarking,
'I keep saying the manager (Roy Hodgson) is like a father to me."
'He had faith in me and brought me here and I must say he has greatly influenced my play. His influence is great."
"He puts enough confidence in me and if you have such a great manager, the sky will be your limit."
"I will forever be grateful to the manager and Fulham for the confidence they had in me."
Would it be too much to ask for this Christmas for John to get his first Premier League goal?
We`re sure the celebration would be immense!
Roy Hodgson has a couple of injuries that might have affected his plans for this fixture, especially with another at Chelsea following so closely behind, with Diomansy Kamara, Andrew Johnson and Simon Davies all struggling to be fit. One player definitely out is Seol.
Vital Fulham suspect the starting eleven may pass a close resemblance to the following:-
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Duff, Murphy, Baird, Gera, Zamora, Dempsey
After scoring a cracker of a goal last week, Danny will be eager to do his utmost to put a former club to the sword. Besides we could do with the three points!
Harry Redknapp brings his squad down to West London, from North London, with Bentley, Cudicini, Modric and Woodgate injured. Rated as doubtful is King although Harry has no suspensions to disrupt his plans.
He`s always been a tricky customer but now he`s maturing he`s started to improve his distribution of the ball. Our full back, Pantsil and Konchesky, will need to be aware of his tricks whenever he decides to stick to the touchline.
When you glance through the history books our record against Spurs leaves more than a little to be desired. Our paths have crossed on 68 occasions with Fulham only registering 11 wins compared to the 33 of Spurs, with 24 having been drawn.
The last meeting between the two sides, also on Boxing Day, saw Fulham gain a creditable 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane.
Incidentally, for those who crave statistics, this is the third consecutive year that the two sides have played each other on Boxing Day, weird!
Steve Bennett will be the man in the middle on Boxing Day.
After dismissing the mighty Manchester united 3-0 and after also seeing of Liverpool in recent weeks, Craven Cottage is beginning to resemble the fortress it was last year. Spurs have intentions of gate-crashing the so called big four but if we can produce the football that saw off both Liverpool and Manchester United, Spurs could be in for a shock. I reckon it`ll be some Christmas cheer for us with our team emerging victorious! I`ll go for 3-2!
The fixture computer has been kind to us Fulham supporters. After a home fixture with Spurs, on Boxing Day, we only have the shortest of trips to make to take on that lot from down the road, Chelsea.
Date:Thursday December 24 2009
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