Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday March 3 2012
After the win against Queens Park Rangers last weekend, at Loftus Road, Martin Jol will be hoping that his side can earn a third win on the bounce to cement their credentials as challengers for a top eight place this season. Our opposition are Wolves, a side struggling to avoid relegation and a side that recently changed their manager. With Fulham featuring on the television, this is a good opportunity to show the country that we are on the right track.
Mark Schwarzer, fresh from a trek to Melbourne to lay for his beloved Australia in a World Cup qualifier, has spoken about the desire to get three points from a game like we face tomorrow, remarking,
"All our matches are crucial, particularly our home games."
"When you look at a fixture like Wolves, you realise that they are the sort of matches we have to win. And having won our last two games we want to make it three in a row."
"The sooner we get to 40 points, the sooner we can start looking forward instead of over our shoulders."
Some fair words indeed.
Martin Jol will be hoping that Stephen Kelly can shake off a thigh problem in order to be available, if not Chris Baird may deputise. Definitely out are Zdenek Grygera (knee) and Steve Sidwell (hernia). Fulham fans will be hoping that they can get glimpse of the latest acquisition Diarra, although we doubt he`ll get a start after a period of inactivity.
Can our Russian get off to a dream start with three goals in his first three Premier League games. If he does net against Wolves he`ll become the first Fulham player to achieve that feat.
Terry Connor brings his charges to Craven Cottage keen to capitalise on a great draw against Newcastle, at St James Park, last weekend. He`ll be boosted by the news that Steven Fletcher is available for selection after recovering from an illness and also hoping that his classy goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey, is fit and that Dave Edwards has overcome an ankle problem.
Not your ideal vision of what a Premier League footballer should look like but nevertheless, a very effective player with a penchant for scoring.
Fulham will be looking to get revenge after suffering a 2-0 loss in the reciprocating fixture back in August when Kevin Doyle and Matt Jarvis ensured Wolves took the three points.
Revenge, if past performances are to be judged, on the cards for Fulham with Wolves not having won a league game at Craven Cottage since August 1967.
When it comes to hitting the back of the Craven Cottage nets, Wolves have managed that just once on their last four visits.
Fulham will have to be aware of the 'new-manager` syndrome. After dispensing with the services of Mick McCarthy, Wolves appointed his assistant - Terry Connor, and in his first match Wolves came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Newcastle United. I have my suspicions that this 'feel-good` factor could well carry over into our clash tomorrow so we`ll have to be at our best, although we shouldn`t be fearful of going all out for that much valued win as Wolves are vulnerable at the back. A recent 5-1 mauling by local rivals West Bromwich Albion proved that and it wouldn`t surprise me that much if , despite my fears, tomorrow proved to be a little more comfortable than I imagine, therefore I`m going for a 3-1 Fulham win.
Next up for Fulham is a trip to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa.
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Date:Saturday March 3 2012
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