Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday November 25 2011
It`s the short trip to North London this Saturday afternoon for a showdown with Arsenal. Covered live by ESPN those Fulham supporters unable to get tickets for the clash can watch the action unfold live on the television. But, it promises to be a hard grind to get anything from a side now flying high after an indifferent start.
A clash with Arsenal will, inevitably, bring to the fore the recent speculation that Mark Schwarzer could well have been keeping for Arsenal with a transfer being mooted several times in the recent past.
Talking of such a move, Schwarzer has set the record straight, remarking,
"You can never harbour any regrets. What was done was done and you move on."
"The minute I signed a new deal at Fulham the whole situation was dealt with, otherwise I wouldn`t have re-signed. I`m more than happy where I am and I`ve said from the day I arrived at Fulham that I love playing here. It`s been a great time in my career."
"Who knows [if I will finish my career here]? That would be great but you never say never."
Well I, for one, am grateful he never moved on!
High-flying Arsenal, with at 8-2 drubbing at Old Trafford now nothing more than a bad memory, are likely to be without the following injured players this Saturday for our visit, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs, both of whom are out until around the Christmas period.
Possibly returning after injury is Tomas Rosicky whilst Abou Diaby could make his first Premier League appearance since picking up an ankle injury.
The Dutch striker is scoring for fun at the moment averaging almost a goal a game. He`s one of the best finishers,, if not the best, in the Premier League and could derail our hopes of getting something from this game.
Although Grygera is a long term doubt, Martin Jol will be hoping that both Stephen Kelly and Steve Sidwell can shake off injury concerns.
Dickson Etuhu is likely to cover for Sidwell if he is unable to pass a fitness test whilst Jol could opt for a back four of Senderos, Baird, Hangeland and Hughes if Kelly isn`t fit.
Once rumoured to be an Arsenal target, the Norwegian could / should deliver the kind of commanding performance that will make Arsene Wenger regret spending on the German centre back, Metasecker, although we`re not grumbling!
Anyone ridiculing my doubts about getting anything from this fixture might like to consider the following statistics.
In 25 fixtures on Arsenal turf, we`ve never won with Arsenal winning 22 times and drawing 3 times.
As for goals relieving the doom, we`ve scored 6 in our last 10 visits but have never scored more than 1 in a game!
And as for our away form in the Premier League, we`ve won a paltry 12 out of the last 101
It`s all doom and gloom!
I reckon, considering our away form and the form Arsenal are in at the moment, that I`d be carted away in a strait jacket if I predicted a Fulham win for this one. Therefore, is the best we can hope for a draw? Either way, come Sunday morning that Premier League table will still carry a menacing look about it with the relegation trap-door firmly in our sites!
Our next Premier League fixture has us entertaining Liverpool next weekend. Before then we do have a Europa League fixture against FC Twente, on Thursday, in Holland
Date:Friday November 25 2011
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Fulham v Reading - The Officials (Thursday December 1 2016)
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