Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday April 28 2007
Fulham make the short trip to Arsenal on Sunday desperate to come away with a result.
Results didn`t go our way on Saturday, apart from Charlton losing. West Ham won at Wigan and now it looks like any two from Charlton, Wigan, West Ham and us will take the dreaded drop into the Championship.
On the eve of the fixture, Lawrie Sanchez has suggested that now is not the time for pretty football but more of a time to preserve our Premiership status.
Speaking on the eve of the fixture, this is what he had to say,
"What we are trying to sort out at this moment in time is a basic framework both offensively and defensively."
"Once we get through this season, then longer term views can be taken."
"We`ve laid down a structure for the players."
"I`ve done that with Northern Ireland and that experience probably benefits you when you`re looking for candidates to turn things around in a short space of time."
"There is pressure, it`s for me as manager to try and take that away."
"But ultimately the players have to be responsible for themselves."
"They have to take responsibility to know what their job is and then doing it. Those are the facts of life."
Arsenal enter the fixture knowing they cannot finish higher than third. However, they will be keen to make sure they finish the season well and will want to avoid the embarrassment of having to play a Champions League qualifier next season. Arsene Wenger will be without long term injury victims Thierry Henry and Robin Van Persie but hope to welcome back Freddie Ljungberg who limped off in the recent 2-2 draw with Tottenham.
The young Spaniard will be looking to finish the season with a flourish and Fulham will need to get to grips with him early on or else he will dominate proceedings.
Fulham enter the fixture desperately seeking to return to Craven Cottage with at least a point. However, they will have to do without the services of Collins John (knee ligaments) and there are major doubts relating to Franck Queudrue (ankle) and Ian Pearce (ankle).
A supposed target for Arsenal, the Finnish keeper will have to be on top of his form if Fulham are to have any chance of getting anything from this match.
In the reciprocating fixture this season, Fulham carved out a victory and dented Arsenal`s chances of mounting a serious Premiership challenge.
In all honesty it`s hard to see Fulham getting anything on Sunday. Our recent form has seen us plunge towards relegation and there are easier places to go other then The Emirates Stadium to get a result. However, we`ll remain optimistic and hope that we can, at least, add to our growing number of draws this season. 1-1 (fingers crossed)
Fulham entertain Liverpool next weekend as the race for Premiership survival enters its final stages.
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Date:Saturday April 28 2007
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