Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday November 26 2010
After being soundly beaten by Manchester City last timeout, a fixture that saw us dumped just above the relegation places in the Premier League, Mark Hughes will be wanting to get his side back to winning ways this weekend when Birmingham come to Craven Cottage.
Continuing to harangue ourselves over the defeat we suffered last timeout, when Manchester City walked all over us to leave us sitting fourth form bottom, our Northern Irish defender, Chris Baird, has tried to put things in perspective by remarking,
"I think we`re in a false position, we`re a much better team than we showed last weekend."
Let`s hope those comments don`t come back to haunt us!
Lady Luck refuses to smile on Mark Hughes with the strikers in his squad hit by injury. Bobby Zamora is out long term and Moussa Dembele is also unlikely to be available. There are also slight doubts about Andrew Johnson who is reported to have a slight hamstring strain.
If Johnson is unable to start, Diomansy Kamara could slot into the front line.
Definitely out of contention though are Phillipe Senderos (long term), Halliche and Stoor.
Hasn`t really gotten back into the groove since returning from a series of injuries that kept him out for an eternity, perhaps this will be the match he gets back on the score-sheet!
Birmingham, managed by Alex McLeish, have a trio of influential players not available. Maik Taylor, James McFadden and Craig Gardner are all out injured.
Lee Bowyer deputised for Gardner last week and notched the only goal of the game as Birmingham added to Chelsea recent woes with a 1-0 win!
A little taller than our own Brede Hangeland, this striker cuts an imposing figure. Hasn`t really set the Premier League alight since joining Birmingham in the summer but you get the feeling something is going to click for the forward soon. Let`s hope it`s not this Saturday!
Glancing through the record books, a draw would seem the most favourable result for this fixture with 15 of the combined total of 28 games these two teams have played ending that way.
Birmingham last won at Craven Cottage in December 2004. Last time we clashed at the Cottage, Bobby Zamora scored a last gasp winner to earn Fulham the three points on offer.
The 2010 World Cup Final referee, Howard Webb has been appointed the man to take charge of this fixture!
This will be a close game. Birmingham are not doing as well as they were at this stage of last season but their defence is resolute. In Johnson and Danns they have two centre backs that are at the peak of their game and the side, as a whole, don`t concede too many goals. They`re not the strongest going forward and miss the skills of James McFadden. We`re going for a1-0 win to Fulham, as for the scorer, you decide!
For Fulham, after two home games on the trot, our Premier League campaign continues with a tricky little fixture against Arsenal, at the Emirates Stadium, next weekend.
Date:Friday November 26 2010
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