Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday May 3 2013
Craven Cottage hosts Reading this Saturday afternoon with our visitors set to bow out of the Premier League, shortly, after suffering relegation following the 0-0 draw with our local rivals, Queens Park Rangers, last season. It should be a game we can win, if only we could score a goal or two!
Martin Jol will be looking at his squad ahead of the game and pondering over who will fill the void left by Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian is out for two weeks after picking up a calf injury at Goodison Park.
Also out are Ashkan Dejagah, Mahamadou Diarra and Simon Davies with ankle, knee and hip injuries respectively.
Steve Sidwell is suspended for the remainder of the season courtesy of two red cards in consecutive appearances.
Elsewhere, Jol will be hoping that Sascha Riether can shake off an ankle injury to bolster the defence.
Damien Duff, having been out with a thigh injury, should be available for selection again.
With Berbatov missing, Fulham will look towards the skills of Ruiz to create the chances for others to capitalize on.
Nigel Adkins, looking to rebuild Reading to ensure they mount a Championship challenge after being relegated from the Premier League, will have a couple of players missing for the trip to Craven Cottage. Definitely out are Jimmy Kebe and Jason Roberts with groin and hip injuries respectively.
However, his squad is boosted by the return of Hope Akpan and Adam Federici, both of whom are reported as being available again.
A familiar face at Craven Cottage and someone we know can score goals, hopefully not against us though!
Reading don`t normally do very well in fixtures, against Fulham, at Craven Cottage with Fulham having lost just one of the last seven.
The reciprocating fixture, earlier this season, ended in a highly entertaining 3-3 draw.
The officials appointed for this game are;- Referee - N. Swarbrick Assistants - G. Beswick and J. Brooks Fourth Official - M. Halsey
Relegated Reading will arrive at Craven Cottage with a point to prove. With a new manager in harness, in Nigel Adkins, the players will be desperate to prove they still have a future at the club, which could prove dangerous for us. Can we get back to that free-flowing football whereby the goals come easily or are we destined to huff and puff without making inroads? I reckon we can nick this one and get three valuable points on the board.
Next up for Fulham is a Premier League fixture against Liverpool, at Craven Cottage, on Sunday 12th May.
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Date:Friday May 3 2013
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