West Brom v Fulham Preview
After the dramatic comeback last week, against Manchester, and the heartache of crashing out of the Carling Cup against Chelsea (on penalties), Martin Jol will be hoping that the side can carve out a win in the Premier League when they travel to the Hawthorns to take on a West Bromwich Albion side managed by our old friend, Roy Hodgson.
With Roy Hodgson`s association with Fulham, there`s every prospect that West Brom will have a game plan to nullify us.
Chris Brunt, part of Hodgson`s team, has given the media few thoughts on the forthcoming fixture, commenting,
"We know what Fulham are all about, the pass the ball well and spent big in the transfer window before the end."
"We're confident at home we can give anyone a game and in the two home games this season we've shown that."
'But we've got nothing from them so it's important we get the ball rolling, especially at home.'
"It'll be two teams looking for points and Fulham have had a lot of games this season with the Europa League."
'The gaffer knows all about Fulham and I'm sure they know all about him."
'I'm sure it'll be an interesting one but I'm confident we've got enough to cause them problems and we showed on Wednesday, for long spells, we can defend well and if we do that in the league games we'll be fine.'
Mind you, with our away record I reckon most teams would fancy their chances against us on their own patch!
Time to put that right methinks!
West Brom Team News:
Roy Hodgson will be acutely aware of the abilities and limitations of several of the Fulham squad he once managed. Always the tactician we can expect Roy to tailor his side to nullify some of our attributes.
Wets Brom will be without the services of their defender, Gabriel Tamas, who is suspended but are hopeful that their summer signing, Shane Long, will have shaken off a flu bug to play.
Player to watch: Zoltan Gera
After returning home, we have to ask the question has Zoltan actually played for the Baggies since leaving us? If his injury concerns are keeping him out then perhaps he`ll not add his name to the remarkable list of players that grows by the weekend of those who score against former teams. In hindsight, perhaps I should have selected Peter Odemwingie as the player to watch! Now he could be trouble.
Fulham Team News:
Having made eight changes for the short trip to Stamford Bridge for that ill-fated Carling Cup tie, Martin Jol will revert back to a more familiar starting eleven against West Bromwich Albion.
Some familiar faces who were rested or who came on as substitutes are likely to start. We fully expect the likes of Danny Murphy, Brede Hangeland, Damien Duff and Clint Dempsey to feature whilst Bobby Zamora, who came off the bench on Wednesday evening, is also likely to start.
Aaron Hughes, who missed the Manchester City game through injury, could come back into consideration to bolster our defence preferably alongside Brede, although Martin Jol seems to prefer Senderos for that role.
One player unlikely to start is Bryan Ruiz. The Costa Rican looked shattered after his to hour stint on Wednesday and his gradual introduction to life in the Premier League could continue with another stint on the bench.
Also on the injury list, and not available for contention are Dickson Etuhu and BH Riise.
Player to watch: Bobby Zamora
Having expressed a desire to get back into the England squad, Bobby will be acutely aware that he needs to get back on the score-sheet on a regular basis. Is there a better time or place to start than The Hawthorns this Saturday?
Match Facts & Stats
In fixtures between these two sides, the home side has had the edge in recent years. In fact the last away side to win this fixture was Fulham back in December 2000, with us winning 3-0.
As far as meetings go between the two sides, there have been a total of 76 meetings with West Brom winning 36 to the 25 that we`ve won.
People have seen Shergar and lord Lucan more often than they`ve witnessed away wins by Fulham, in the Premier League, in recent times, but you have to remain optimistic, otherwise you might as well throw in the towel altogether. In fact, without trying to sound rude, West Brom is exactly the place we should be looking at going to and taking the three points on offer. Although they are a competent outfit they are nothing to fear and although we`d hate to offend Gentleman Roy Hodgson, we reckon Saturday will be one of those occasions when we do register one of those elusive away wins. 2-1 to Fulham!
It`s a return to Europa League action with a trip to Denmark, to play Odense BK. This is followed by a visit from near-neighbours, Queens Park Rangers, in the Premier League next weekend.