Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday February 8 2013
Our Premier League campaign continues with a trip to Carrow Road this weekend with Martin Jol looking to add to a points total that has stagnated, apart form the three points from the West Ham victory, in recent weeks. Jol will be hoping that his squad can shake off the disappointment of losing to Manchester United, last time out, and add to Norwich City`s concerns about their recent inconsistent form, by taking the three points on offer.
After the 'Great Escape` down at Fratton Park during, we thought talk of relegation was something that belonged in the past. But the fates have conspired to drop us down the table and once again we`re looking over our shoulder.
Martin Jol, looking to pull away from the relegation pack has commented ahead of the clash with Chris Hughton`s side,
'If you leave it until the end of the season you've always got a problem - you don't want that.'
'What I always say is get to 35, 36 points as soon as possible, before the last couple of months of the season.'
Exactly, let`s nail this preposterous suggestion that we could be relegated, grab the points and pull away from the pack!
Chris Hughton, via the magic of social networking, has given us an indication of his squad make up, by tweeting,
'All players on international duty returned without any new injury concerns. Kei Kamara (Norwich's new loan signing from Sporting Kansas City) came in and trained for the first time today and did well. It's just one day so we'll continue to assess him as he settles in.'
However, Norwich City will still be without the injured Andrew Pilkington, although their recent signing from Leeds United, Luciano Becchio could start.
An under-rated midfielder who, on his day, can be very influential, he`s also capable of scoring the odd goal or two.
Fulham travel to Carrow Road hoping that Dimitar Berbatov can shake off the hamstring injury he picked up against Manchester United in the FA Cup, We imagine that Berbatov will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness.
There is better news about Brede Hangeland though, the Norwegian centre-back limped off last time out but is expected to be included in the starting eleven,
As to how many of our trio of transfer deadline day signings start, that really is the great unknown, although don`t be too surprised to see Emanuelson start.
One decision Martin Jol will have to consider is whether to start with Bryan Ruiz with the player only expected back from international duty on the eve of the fixture.
Mr Consistency himself, the on loan defender never lets us, or himself, down!
Norwich are a side who we have a great record against. In the last 11 meetings we`ve emerged as winners 9 times.
Norwich haven`t beaten Fulham since 29th March 1986, when they triumphed 2-1, and The Canaries have yet t beat us in a top flight game.
The last time we met, on the opening day of the current season, we emerged 5-0 victors.
The referee, up at Carrow Road, will be the World Cup Final official Howard Webb
Fulham, on the road, are a strange proposition. One week we can look as if we`ve got thing sunder control, the next week we`re chasing the game and looking as if it is a permanent uphill battle. Norwich were the victims of a cup giant-killing when non-league Luton knocked them out of the 4th round of the FA Cup. It was a wake-up call that won`t have done us any favours. But I`m taking Fulham to rise to the occasion and bring the three points back to West London by a score-line of 1-0!
The next fixture we`ll be participating in is when we entertain Stoke City, at Craven Cottage, next Saturday.
Date:Friday February 8 2013
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