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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Fulham vs. Aston Villa

Craven Cottage

03/02/08

16:05

On Sky

Villa (h) Preview!

Fulham entertain Aston Villa this Sunday in a fixture that is crucial if any hopes of an escape from the relegation zone are to be cultivated. However, we probably couldn`t have hand picked harder opposition than Aston Villa. Whilst they`re not enjoying a spell in the top four (just yet) their away record is top notch, losing just once on their travels, as Martin O`Neill looks to give their American owner, Randy Lerner, just reward for his investment.

Vital Quotes:

The Daniel Cousin thing still troubles me! However, Roy Hodgson remains optimistic that a deal can still be done insisting,

"I`m still hoping the initial decision could be overturned."

Fulham Team News:

Sunday will give the Craven Cottage faithful the chance to watch, in the flesh, some of the many players Roy Hodgson has brought in during the past few days. Likely to start are Hangeland, Andreasen and Nevland. Unfortunately, amongst our other signings, Johnson will probably be too jet lagged to play after flying in form the USA, Stalteri has a dead leg that requires further treatment and Limanen has still to return to full match fitness.

However, it`s still possible, despite all the comings and goings, to sort of select a starting eleven, we here at Vital Fulham suspect Hodgson may well opt for the following,

Niemi, Baird, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Davies, Bullard, Andreasen, Murphy, Dempsey, Nevland.

Player to watch: Aaron Hughes

The Northern Ireland defender will be keen to turn in a good performance against his former team. Would it be too much to hope that Hughes follows in that great tradition that sees former players score against their former teams?

Aston Villa Team News:

Fulham will be grateful that one major threat, that of Ashley Young, has been removed, due to suspension, however, this may give their recent signing and ex-Fulham player, Wayne Routledge, the chance to impress on his debut. In defence, ex-Fulham centre half Zat Knight appears to have fallen out of favour with Martin O`Neill preferring to start with Laursen and new England recruit, Davies.

Up front Hangeland will be required to tame the giant John Carew whilst Baird and Konchesky will need to be alert to keep the threat of Gabriel Agbonlahor, another England recruit, quiet.

We expect Villa to start with the following eleven,

Carson, Melberg, Davies, Laursen, Bouma, Gardner, Reo-Coker, Barry, Maloney, Agbonlahor and Carew

Player to watch: Gabriel Agbonlahor

This lad has pace to spare and if we`re not careful he`ll carve us apart with his direct running and attacking flair. Hopefully Aaron Hughes will have passed on a few of his trademark tricks to his fellow defenders.

Match Facts & Stats

We`ve taken just four points from our last thirty-six available, we`ve registered a mere two wins in the Premier League all season; we`re ridiculed as being favourites. Aston Villa are unbeaten in eight games and are looking towards moving onwards and upwards, we could dwell on what`s happened in the past but why should we, is it not time to look forwards, to look towards survival? Besides, you`re only ever as good as your next fixture, are you not?

Ref Watch:

Chris Foy will do his utmost to keep things in order.

Match Prediction:

Week in, week out we hold our heads high and suggest that this will be the week in which we can hold our heads high on a Monday morning and walk into work with a smile on our faces. It`s something we`ve only managed to do on two occasions; sceptics would suggest there isn`t much chance of this Monday morning being any different to most of the others, however, our hope is eternal and perhaps we should remember this lot are only some scruffy club from our second city. Be bole, be brave my father once said to me so this hack is going for a memorable 2-1 win to Fulham as Martin O`Neill and his troops flounder on the banks of old Father Thames!

Next Fixtures:

Our next fixture will see us journey to the land of the smog monsters - Middlesbrough, next Saturday, for another crucial relegation fixture.




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The Journalist

Writer: Andrew Joyce  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 2 2008

Time: 11:51AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
sorry chaps, very best you can hope for is a DRAW!
merlin
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02/02/2008 13:04:00

nah man! Nevalnd to score 2 and another clean sheet!
oranje_emu
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02/02/2008 13:47:00

I'm gonna go for Niemi, Hughes, Christinval, Brede, Konch, Bullard, Murphy, Andreasen, Davies, Dempsey, Nevland
oranje_emu
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02/02/2008 13:50:00

We have lost 1 away game in a year and that was to Man City, dream on. We won't lose to a team who are going down this season.
VillaCrazy
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02/02/2008 15:03:00

good luck fulham, i love going to craven cottage - its a proper ground. 3 points for the villa though.
Stig
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02/02/2008 18:49:00

proper ground - you really should get out more mate!
merlin
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02/02/2008 19:06:00

Stig knows his stuff!!
oranje_emu
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02/02/2008 20:23:00

Will be interesting to see a totally different side for Fulham.
Boro 01
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02/02/2008 21:40:00

Fraid Merlins right here, a draw would be pretty good for you lot. Sorry, but thats the way it is.
Blue is the colour
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02/02/2008 22:52:00

five hours to kick off and I've got a good feeling about this one!
Putney
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03/02/2008 11:06:00

 

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