Traumatised and triumphant we take on Fulham this Sunday at White Hart Lane, a game we should win, but if nothing else Thursday night was a lesson in not taking anything for granted.
Perhaps surprisingly, given how little they’ve caught the eye, the Cottagers lie 10th in the table. They’ve had a lot of draws. They’re Berbatov-centric and denying him the ball will be the key to nullifying any danger and getting a positive result, the man still has a technique and ability to find space to be envious and wary of. Elsewhere their threat takes the shape of Ruiz and Karagounis, the rest are mostly scurrying workers.
The 3-0 scoreline at Craven Cottage in December makes it look like we were all over them when in fact the game was very even until Sandro’s pot shot from range beat Schwarzer in the second half. It was a memorable game for Bale, he was booked for being tripped by Sidwell and then pulled up and limped off hamstrung, his only injury of note (thank Hod) thus far this season.
Talking of hamstrings, we should welcome back Aaron Lennon on the right hand side and that’ll immediately give the side a much more balanced look as Dembélé moves into the middle. Lloris and Dawson will come back and maybe Benny too though AVB does seem unsure whether he or Naughton is the better bet on the left. The latter came off injured in the San Siro so that’ll probably swing it. It’s anyone’s guess who’ll play alongside Bale up front, and the way both Adebayor and Defoe are playing it doesn’t really matter.
West Ham are unlikely to do us any favours at Stamford Bridge so three points are pretty crucial in terms of getting some momentum back after last week’s disappointment.
Mike Jones is the man in black. Or green or yellow or something. COYS.
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