Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday November 17 2012
After the thrilling 3-3 draw, last time out, at Arsenal, Fulham supporters will be hoping that Martin Jol`s side can provide a similar display to entertain the nation, live on Sky Sports, when they face Sunderland this Sunday afternoon. Three points for Fulham will provide further ammunition that a Europa League place could well be a legitimate target this season.
There`s no doubt that the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov was the perfect fillet for Fulham after the departures of Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey and on the eve for the fixture, against Sunderland, Martin Jol has remarked about the Bulgarian,
"He has been a big influence. When Clint and Moussa left I felt everyone was in denial or in a depression."
"Berba has helped us get over the loss of two quality players."
"We moved on and I feel we are better than before."
Martin Jol will have to do without the services of Kieran Richardson, the ex-Sunderland player, after he picked up an injury last time out. Chris Baird is suspended. Simon Davies is out recuperating from a hip operation whilst Mahamadou Diarra will require a fitness test.
Fast becoming a legend in the eyes of Fulham supporters, let`s hope he is the influencing factor in this fixture.
Martin O`Neill brings his Sunderland side south with several key figures facing fitness tests. Amongst these are Steven Fletcher, Lee Cattermole, Kieran Westwood and Phil Bardsley.
A decent buy from Wolves who started his career at the Stadium of Light well, but who, like the side, has kind of lost their way in recent times.
The record books would seem to indicate that Fulham have the edge when it comes to this fixture. They show that we`ve won 5 of the last 8 Premier League encounters at Craven Cottage whilst we`re also unbeaten in the last six fixtures between the two sides, keeping clean sheets in five of them.
Lee Probert takes charge of this fixture.
Martin O`Neill`s Sunderland side are in a poor run of form having won only once in the last eighteen Premier League games and I`m taking Fulham to add to that misery with a comfortable two goal margin win.
Next up for Fulham is a Premier League fixture against Stoke City, at the Britannia Stadium, next Saturday.
Date:Saturday November 17 2012
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Lonergan`s Views on Draw with Derby (Monday February 8 2016)
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