Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday December 10 2010
Separated from a relegation place purely by goal difference isn`t a scenario we`d envisaged when we started the season with a decent unbeaten run. But that`s the case and it`s up to Fulham Football Club to knuckle down and get a few results to get us out of this situation, starting this Saturday when Sunderland visit Craven Cottage.
Dickson Etuhu has stepped forward to say a few words about our current situation and has spoken good sense when he`s remarked to the media,
"Fans are frustrated and so are we - but three wins and we`re right up there again We`re getting stronger, and everyone has to remember we played Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal in the last month.
Something that is perhaps lost on our critics that last point.
Mark Hughes enters this fixture without five of his squad. Mousa Dembele, Carlos Salcido, Frederic Stoor, Philippe Senderos and Bobby Zamora are all definitely out whilst Halliche is rated as doubtful.
Having played so well, but lost, at the Emirates Stadium last weekend, Hughes may be tempted to start with the same starting eleven which would mean that Andrew Johnson would, once again, be on the bench.
The American has begun to find his form in recent weeks and the faithful would appreciate a decent performance against Sunderland, this Saturday.
Steve Bruce returns to West London this weekend hoping his side can emulate the result that saw them inflict a heavy defeat on our near-neigbours, Chelsea, the last time they were in the area.
The Black Cats though will be without Bramble, Campbell, Turner, Kilgallon, Carson and Reid whilst two of their most impressive players Gordon and Gyan are rated as doubtful. However, Bruce does welcome back Meyler to the squad after injury.
Competitive is the nicest way of describing his play. He should be right up Danny Murphy`s street!
Goals are rare in fixtures between these two sides with only two coming in the last four meetings.
Those who do the football pools may well pick this match as one of their choices with Sunderland having drawn eight of their sixteen games this season whilst Fulham have more than matched that drawing nine out of sixteen.
The man in the middle will be Neil Swarbrick who`ll be assisted by Andy Halliday and Trevor Massey with Mike Dean as the fourth official.
We desperately need a win! A defeat on Saturday, or even a draw, would give us all cause for concern with regards to relegation worries, especially with a tough away trip to follow next weekend. But the display against Arsenal last week was encouraging and I`m tipping Fulham to edge this one, hopefully by 2-1!
It`s back on the road next weekend with a tough trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool and a certain Roy Hodgson!
Date:Friday December 10 2010
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