Everton v Fulham Preview
It`s a long trip to the North-West for us this weekend to take on Everton, at Goodison Park. It`s a fixture that many might just have us down to lose, so can Mark Hughes encourage his side to produce the kind of performance that will defy the odds? We think he just might be able to!
With speculation appearing that Bayern Munich were after the services of Mark Hughes yesterday, Hughes has come out and spoke about possibly staying at Craven Cottage and extending his contract, remarking,
"It is when other people want to do that - it`s not down to me, it has to come from the club."
"If the club feels that I am doing a good job, then I am open to those discussions."
"I`m really enjoying my work at this great club and we are heading in the right direction."
"If we can invest more in the players next year, then we can kick on. That is my focus at this time."
Everton Team News:
David Moyes will be without two of his key midfield stars with both Arteta and Fellaini out.
Also struggling to make this fixture are Cahill and Neville.
Player to watch: Tim Cahill
Not having the best of seasons in a season interrupted by both injury and the recent Asia Cup, but Cahill remains a dangerous player who can nick a goal at almost any opportunity with his drifting runs into the danger area a feature of his game.
Fulham Team News:
Mark Hughes takes his squad to the north-west, for a fixture we never win, with two of his first team squad definitely out - Philippe Senderos and Steve Sidwell.
Also struggling is Dickson Etuhu with a hamstring injury.
Hughes may well continue with his ploy of leaving Zamora on the bench as he continues to get back to 100% match fitness.
Player to watch: Bobby Zamora
Getting back to full match-fitness can take a long time but every minute back out on the pitch, after recovering from that injury, is beneficial to our Bobby. Perhaps Goodison Park will be another huge milestone on his recovery journey as he strides to do enough to get back into Fabio Capello`s England squad for the forthcoming round of internationals.
Match Facts & Stats
Goodison Park is a ground where we notably struggle. The record books show that we`ve never won a league game there drawing 4 times and losing 18.
Interestingly we`ve lost on our last 17 visits there with the last point being earned in a 0-0 draw back in 1959.
The man in the middle this time around is Michael Oliver
Life on the road with Fulham really is a love of labour. Wins are as rare as the proverbial rocking horse poo but still we believe this will be our day. I`ve lost count of the number of times there`s been an air of disappointment prevalent on the long road back to London so what makes me think this Saturday will be any different? Just a gut feeling, a gut feeling that Goodison Park will be a happy hunting ground and that we can heap further misery on an Everton side that are not enjoying the best of seasons. It could well be a smash-and-grab raid with Fulham nicking it 1-0 but does anybody care how it`s done as long as it is done?
Fulham welcome Ian Holloway and his Blackpool side to Craven Cottage next weekend.