Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday February 4 2011
It`s off to Villa Park this Saturday as Fulham seek to take three points on offer that would consolidate their recent rise up the table.
As we seek to win two on the trot, Aston Villa are seeking to not lose two on the trot, prompting Gerrard Houllier to offer the following quizzical quote,
"A good team doesn`t lose twice in a row, it`s as simple as that. We`ll see if we`re a good team or not."
An interesting theory!
Gerrard Houllier goes into this fixture with a couple of players unavailable. Herd and Young (Luke) are both injured whilst Baker is serving a suspension.
Houllier may decide that this fixture is the ideal time to give his new loan signing a debut, the American Michael Bradley who showcased his skills in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
A cultured left foot that can cause havoc in most defences with its accurate delivery
Mark Hughes will still be without the services of Bobby Zamora and Phillipe Senderos both still coming back from long term injuries. Dickson Etuhu will also miss out with Steve Sidwell set to deputise in midfield.
Hughes may decide to give Eidur Gudjohnsen his debut but will probably give his other newcomer, Gale Kakuta, a place on the bench
We have no suspensions to worry about.
Can Steve join the ranks of professionals that have scored against their former club? It worked last week when Danny Murphy got an early brace to set us on the road to victory!
The record books make slightly disheartening reading if you think Villa Park will herald a Fulham victory this Saturday.
Apparently Villa have never lost a Premier League match at home to us having played 9, won 6 and drawn 3/b>
It`s also an eternity since we won there in a league game, March 1973 to be precise when we emerged victors by a single goal in a five goal thriller.
A tough proposition is on the cards then!
Lee Mason takes charge of this fixture ably assisted by David Richardson and Patrick Keane running the line. Patrolling the technical area will be Scott Mathieson.
We`re back to that old chestnut of our away form are we not! Can we win at Villa Park, off course we can. Mark Hughes has us playing well and if Villa come at us we can do some damage on the counter attack, although it`ll take some resolute defending to stave them off. 1-0 to Fulham!
It`s local derby time next weekend when we welcome Chelsea to Craven Cottage.
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Date:Friday February 4 2011
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