Everton v Fulham Preview
After the late win over Wigan last time out, courtesy of a header from Philippe Senderos, Fulham make the long trek to Goodison Park, this Saturday, to take on David Moyes Everton side. Although our league position is looking healthy we wouldn`t say not to a further three points, especially coming on the road, to cement what could turn into a good end of season flurry.
Our new look strike force is definitely a case of east meets west with Clint Dempsey teamed up with Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Ahead of the clash with Everton, this afternoon, Pavel has spoken about Clint in glowing terms, remarking,
"Clint did very well when he ha splayed as a striker against Bolton and Chelsea."
"I really enjoy playing up front when Clint is in midfield because when we are playing together on the field, we are great."
"The Everton match on Saturday will be a very important contest because both teams are looking for points."
"As we say in Russia, 'The appetite comes with the food,` and I believe we can do better as a team and finish the season stronger."
Not sure exactly what the Russian bit is about though!
Everton Team News:
David Moyes has a fairly settled squad to choose form although one notable absentee will be the talented midfielder Jack Rodwell. Also struggling to be fit is their left-back Leighton Baines who has a hamstring problem. As for Royston Drenthe, who had a fall-out with the club, who knows!
Player to watch: Phil Neville
Still going strong and captaining an Everton side that epitomizes his own never-say-die spirit and attitude!
Fulham Team News:
Martin Jol takes his squad to the north-west without the long term injured duo of Grygera and Ruiz. Sidwell is also missing after his second hernia operation whilst Stephen Kelly, who missed the win over Wigan, will require a fitness test.
Amongst those in the Fulham squad, two players will be eyeing a return to Goodison Park with a keenness to play. Both Andrew Johnson and Simon Davies enjoyed successful spells at Everton. We suspect though that neither will start with Johnson being, once again, afforded a place on the bench.
Player to watch: Pavel Pogrebnyak
Back in the first team after his injury and back on the score-sheet last time out, can he continue to add goals to his tally against an Everton side that gives very little away?
Match Facts & Stats
The history books show that Goodison Park is a far from happy hunting ground for Fulham. Our last 18 trips there have ended in defeat.
Throw into the mix the fact that Everton have already won at Craven Cottage this season and have also knocked us out of the FA Cup, at Goodison Park, this season then perhaps it is time to stick the head under the quilt and pray!
Our officials for this fixture are;- Referee - Phil Dowd Assistants - S,Burt, A.Garratt Fourth Official - M.Oliver
Everton away is always a tough fixture. David Moyes sides concede very little ground and are quite capable of beating almost anybody on their own patch. If you couple that with the fact that our away form, despite a recent improvement, is nothing to write home about and you can see that it`s not a fixture that I`m exactly looking forward to. Nevertheless, you`ve got to offer support to the lads and if 'Lady Luck` shines on us we may get an unexpected win but I`m being realistic and implying a draw may well be the best result coming our way.
As the season fast approaches a conclusion we face a return trip to Merseyside to take on Liverpool on Tuesday at Anfield.