Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday March 9 2012
Can Fulham string a fourth consecutive victory together? After three impressive wins, who`d bet against them? Aston Villa stand between Martin Jol and his side and a fourth win on the spin after Fulham have already seen off Stoke (h), QPR (a) and Wolves (h), the last of those three wins being an emphatic 5-0 thumping. Twelve points out of twelve would be a fantastic achievement and with only Aston Villa standing in a way, some would say it is very achievable.
Alex McCleish has no further injury concerns after the draw with lowly Blackburn but his Aston Villa side is deprived of the services of Fabien Delph, Richard Dunne and the costly striker Darren Bent, with the latter being out for the season after damaging an ankle.
If selected, he has the pace to trouble most defences but blows hot and cold.
Martin Jol is still without the services of Stephen Kelly, the Villa old-boy Steve Sidwell and Zdenek Grygera. But Jol is hopeful that Bryan Ruiz will be available for selection again after recovering from a virus.
There could be a starting place for Mahamadou Diarra, the former Real Madrid star, who made an appearance as a substitute against Wolves and looked quite effective.
But, another Villa old-boy, Aaron Hughes will also be given a fitness assessment in the morning.
Who else? Five goals in three games have proven that he is an astute loan signing. Can he make it four games on the trot, since debut, for scoring?
If we are to make it four Premier League wins on the spin then we`re going to have to do something we`ve never done before - win at Villa Park. It is something we`ve not done in 10 attempts.
Looking back through the record books, the last time we won a league game at Villa Park was back in 1973 when on 3rd March, a damn long time ago.
Perhaps we should take heart from the 1999 FA Cup victory though when we won 3-2.
I`m confident! I can see us nicking this one. If we get our football flowing then we`ll nick it 2-1!
Next up for Fulham, in the Premier League, is a clash Swansea, at Craven Cottage, next weekend.
Date:Friday March 9 2012
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|8. Derby County||18||7||5||6||3||26|
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|11. Aston Villa||18||5||10||3||3||25|
|13. Bristol City||18||7||3||8||2||24|
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