Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday April 29 2011
Stadium of Light
It`s a long away trip for Fulham this Saturday as they travel to Wearside to take on Sunderland. Can Fulham on the back of an excellent 3-0 home victory over Bolton Wanderers, improve their away form which, once again, has been a negative aspect of a season?
One quote could quite easily sum up both camps.
"We've had a terrible run but we have a great chance now to finish in the top 10."
It could quite easily refer to Sunderland`s recent run of form and from Steve Bruce or it could refer to our awful away form, and come from Mark Hughes!
Steve Bruce has a bit of a striker crisis looming. The word is that he doesn`t have one fit striker available with all of his strikers include din an injury list that includes - Bramble, Campbell, Gordon, Meyler, Noble, Gyan, Welbeck, Ferdinand, Mensah and Richardson.
Tipped by many to go on to bigger and better things. It`ll be interesting to see how he does against our midfield, especially if Danny Murphy starts to pull the strings.
Mark Hughes has a relatively fit squad. The only player not looking as if he`ll be available for selection is Damien Duff.
Having started the last two fixtures with the same starting line-up, will Hughes make a change? We think not, which means that Bobby Zamora may well start form the bench again.
His two goals against Bolton made him our highest scorer of Premier League goals, could the Stadium of Light witness another vintage performance from a much-underrated player.
Some contrasting statistics perhaps!
Sunderland have failed to score in four of the last five fixtures against us, with a striker crisis could that be extended to six?
But, we`ve only notched up one win in the last eight Premier fixtures against Sunderland, that being in the fixture at Craven Cottage last season.
Does, in that case, the fixture have draw written all over it when you also consider we`ve not own away from home in 2011 and have only 1 away victory in the last 35 attempts.
Our officials are - Howard Webb (referee), Peter Kirkup & Mike Mullarkey (assistants) and Stuart Atwell (fourth official)
Our away form is, to put it bluntly, appalling. Wins on the road are as rare as Royal Weddings and a win at Sunderland may well be celebrated in a similar fashion. But Sunderland, casting aside their recent thrashing of Wigan Athletic, have been on a poor run of form so perhaps all is not lost. I`m going for a similar result to that of our last away sortie, a 1-1 draw.
Next up, in May, is a home fixture against Liverpool.
Date:Friday April 29 2011
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