Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday October 6 2007
After our battling performance at Stamford Bridge last Saturday, we entertain high scoring Portsmouth this weekend in a fixture that is live on Sky Sports.
Games against Portsmouth are always enjoyable and their army of noisy fans will create quite an atmosphere, let`s hope the home faithful can match them as we seek to get those vital three points that`ll get our season kick started.
It`s not the first time we`ve played Portsmouth this season, our paths crossed in the tournament we participated in on the Hong Kong tour a fact remembered by Simon Davies who had this to say about our visitors,
"We played Portsmouth in Hong Kong pre-season and they were a strong physical side."
"They`ve got athletes all over the pitch and a lot of pace up fornt, which is difficult to play against."
"It will be a close game and we have just got to take our chances when we can. If we can defend like we did at Chelsea we should fancy our chances."
Let`s sincerely hope so!
After the encouraging performance at Stamford Bridge last weekend, it looks increasingly likely that Lawrie Sanchez will opt to stick with the same eleven that could have snatched three points at the death.
This will mean that Kasey Keller will remain between the posts thereby keeping the recently recalled to the Finnish national team, Anti Niemi, on the bench.
Two Fulham players, Alexei Smertin and Diomansy Kamara are likely to play against a club they have previously played for, a tonic for a goal each methinks. However, Dejan Stefanovic may have to be content with a place on the bench.
Clint`s had a bit of a rough time the past week after Chelsea tried to force a little retribution for the stray elbow that floored John Terry last weekend. Hopefully nothing was forthcoming and perhaps Clint can collect the perfect tonic with a goal against Portsmouth.
Portsmouth arrive at Craven Cottage having taken part in an eleven goal thriller against Reading last weekend. It`s hard to see the popular Harry Redknapp making any changes to the starting eleven unless any of his squad picked up any knocks.
Portsmouth are likely to have a very familiar figure in the centre of the park in the shape of Papa Bouba Diop who moved to Fratton Park during the transfer window. Let`s hope he receives a lively welcome.
After his hat trick last weekend, against Reading, his confidence will be sky high, here`s hoping it was a flash in the pan and that he`ll revert to his previous style, cruelly described as not being able to hit a barn door from three foot.
Last season the corresponding fixture finished 1-1with Fulham grateful to a last gasp equaliser from Ian Pearce.
As far as the history books go Portsmouth have the upper hand in all fixtures at Fulham with nine wins compared to our six (eight draws). In the Premier League, Fulham have the upper hand with two wins compared to one for Portsmouth (one draw)
Howard Webb (Yorkshire)
We`ve got to remain positive, we`ve got to accept that we`re not going to get another 3-3 goal fest and we`ll willingly settle for a 1-0 win, wouldn`t we?
With the international break coming up, Fulham wait a fortnight until relegation favourites Derby County arrive.
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Date:Saturday October 6 2007
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