Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Thursday April 5 2007
Fulham travel to Goodison Park, for a Good Friday fixture, desperate to end a run of six Premiership games without a win.
However, it promises to be a tall order with Everton currently enjoying a good run of form, especially at home.
On the eve of the clash, Simon Davies, who has played for both clubs, had this to say,
"This is getting to the business end of the season, we really need to put a few back-to-back wins together and get some points on the board."
"It`s a big game for us and we need to get something out of it."
"Everton have got a great work ethic and are very organised at the back. We`ve got to try and impose ourselves on the game and keep it tight."
Everton, who will be missing the injured Tim Cahill, hope to have Manuel Fernandes and James McFadden available for selection. Fernandes had a thigh strain whilst McFadden has continued his comeback form a broken foot by scoring twice for Everton Reserves recently.
The Spanish midfield player continues to prove that David Moyes has a real eye for a bargain. His sparkling skills have illuminated many an Everton game and without Tim Cahill, currently sidelined by an injury, has started to become more involved in how Everton channel their play through the middle of the park. Fulham will need to be aware of his movement off the ball and also be careful not to give away any free kicks in dangerous places.
Chris Coleman will be hoping that the goal hero from last weekend, Ian Pearce, will have recovered from the foot injury he picked up several minutes before he scored that dramatic late equaliser. Coleman will also have to decide whether to start with on-loan striker, Montella, or persist with a strike partnership of McBride and ex-Everton player, Radzinski.
You just get that feeling that Anti could be the busier of the two keepers in this fixture. Since suffering that horrific looking neck injury, Anti has shown that his game has not been affected by his rehabilitation and the travelling support will be looking for a solid display from the popular keeper.
With Fulham having not won in six Premiership games and Everton hoping to extend their unbeaten run to five games, the smart money is on a home victory. Fulham have not won on their travels for thirteen games but can point to a 1-0 win over Everton at Craven Cottage earlier this season, courtesy of a Claus Jensen goal, as evidence that Everton can be beaten.
Dermot Gallagher (Banbury, Oxfordshire) has officiated in ten Premiership matches issuing three red cards and twenty-five yellow cards.
I`d love to predict a Fulham win but not even the optimistic part of me can see it coming. However, before all Everton supporters start cheering I have this sneaking suspicion that Fulham will sneak a draw, possibly 1-1.
Fulham are at home to Manchester City on Easter Monday.
Date:Thursday April 5 2007
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