Fulham away? Should we bother? The two encounters between us at Craven Cottage finished goalless last season and Al Fayedâ€™s boys have kicked off this campaign with 7 draws out of 8 games played. Their three main strikers are injured and weâ€™ve got one league goal all season from our four. Itâ€™s got nil nil written all over it. Maybe everyone should be saved the trouble of the trudge through the mud of Bishopâ€™s Park and just award a point each.
Or is that too pessimistic? What are the arguments against the likely scenario of Hangeland knocking balls off Crouchâ€™s head all afternoon as our outnumbered midfield fights for possession and our fullbacks get caught up in petty squabbles with Duff and Dempsey? Gold star to anyone who said Rafael Van der Vaart or Gareth Bale, the two current jewels in our attacking crown (if a crown can attack). Stretching the metaphor closer to breaking point, every precious stone needs to be firmly set and thereâ€™s a chance that Redknapp might even have some good news regarding the fitness of defenders capable of providing a solid base from which VdV and Bale can launch themselves.
Our attrition rate for centre backs has been roughly one a week but physioroom.com lists all of Gallas, Kaboul and Dawson as possible returns this weekend. Iâ€™ll believe that when I see it but someone of experience and a bit of pace to help out Bassong would be a great boon.
The ever-loveable Mark Hughes is in charge at Fulham these days of course. Draws were the root of Sparkyâ€™s downfall at Man City as he collected the beginnings of Manciniâ€™s All-Bores and so far this time round it looks like heâ€™s retained the knack of turning out teams that are hard to beat but struggle to win. Murphy, Dempsey, Duff, Davies and Gera will all pose a threat if given room but they are sorely lacking up front.
A draw is about 11/5 and seems a reasonable punt to me. Donâ€™t put your house on it though because if Bale and the Dutchman are cut loose by Redknapp and find a bit of room to operate, we might all be pleasantly surprised.
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