Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday September 21 2007
With all the shenanigans that have been going on down the opposite end of the Fulham Road, the fact that Fulham are playing Manchester City in a Premier League fixture this Saturday, has almost slipped under the radar.
It is, off course, a fixture of paramount importance for both sides. Manchester City have started immensely well under the stewardship of Sven and will be looking to continue that good start whilst Fulham will be anxious to register a win after two successive Premier League draws.
With the Mourinho departure dominating the media, Sven wasn`t slow in coming forward to offer his opinion on proceedings, strangely enough our own Lawrie Sanchez has retained a dignified silence.
We here at Vital Fulham would like to suggest that`s because he`s been busy preparing our squad for action rather than getting involved in matters that don`t really concern him!
Therefore, on behalf of Fulham Football Club, we here at Vital Fulham would like to wish Jose Mourinho all the best at whatever club he lands up at. The Premier League will be a poorer place without you.
Fulham go into the match still without long-term injury victims Jimmy Bullard and Brian McBride. The current status of our recently recruited winger, Lee Cook, remains unknown, however, the biggest decision Lawrie Sanchez may have to make surrounds who to play up front. David Healy is fit again and Sanchez will have to decide which
The American has hit three in three now and is the surprise hit in the line up so far. Last week, with a little more luck, or some would say more clinical finishing, he could have had a hat trick.
Manchester City arrive in West London having enjoyed their best start for ages. With Sven at the helm they`ve surprised a lot of people. The Swede purchased several players without actually seeing them in the flesh but his football knowledge has seen them integrated into a side that could play a part in the European positions (UEFA Cup) this season.
Their top scorers are Geovanni, Rolando Bianchi and Michael Johnson each with two goals each. Richard Dunne their influential defender; will be making the 250th appearance of his career the day after celebrating his 28th birthday.
Sven will choose his starting eleven from the following squad - Schmeichel, Hart, Corluka, Onuoha, Sun, Dunne, Richards, Garrido, Ball, Fernandes, Geovanni, Hamann, Johnson, Ireland, Petrov, Elano, Mpenza, Bianchi, Vassell, Samaras.
We can`t let the opportunity pass to have another dig at a player who left his country in the lurch recently. The youngster has been awarded with a new contract but if he whispers something in your ear and promises its true 'on my grannies life` give him a wide berth!
In the corresponding fixture last season, Fulham were thumped 3-1 with City going 3-0 up through goals by Barton, Beasley and Vassell before Bocanegra grabbed a late consolation goal.
Overall, the record is as follows,
Home and away - League (inc PL): Fulham 13 wins, Man City 21, Draws 10
Prem: Fulham 2 wins, Man City 4, Draws 4
at Fulham only - League (inc PL): Fulham 9 wins, Man City 7, Draws 6
Prem: Fulham 1 win, Man City 2, Draws 2
Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
On paper you`d think that Manchester City would be the slight favourites, however, our performance at Wigan last week has given us renewed hope. Therefore if Fulham can hold out for ninety minutes and stop conceding late goals, goals that have cost us eleven points this season, we can put an end to any Manchester City hopes of topping the Premier League come Saturday evening. Therefore, I`m going to be bold and predict a 2-0 win for Fulham.
Fulham entertain Bolton Wanderers in the Carling Cup in midweek and travel to troubled Chelsea next weekend to pour more salt in their festering wounds.
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Date:Friday September 21 2007
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