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Fulham (Away)
Premier League

Saturday 16th October 2010

 
 
Following the international break, we return to Premier League action with a London derby against Fulham at Craven Cottage. 

With Fulham having been hit by injuries to a couple of their players, manager Mark Hughes has a restricted pool to select from and with Bobby Zamora and Moussa Dembele being the long terms victims of tackles against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City, they have been hit in areas where they need to be effective. 

Clint Dempsey is a player who has come on since joining the English game.  His physical presence is now a factor in the way Fulham play and he is getting on the score-sheet more often than previously. 

Chris Baird is a full back, who can play centre-half, but he is prone to get sucked out of position and that can lead to other teams taking advantage of his absence.  Alongside him, the towering presence of Brede Hangeland is a focal point of the defence and he can also pose problems when set-pieces arise at the other end of the pitch.  Defensively, he wins most things in the air and his tackling is good, so movement to drag him away from areas where he wants to be would be the key to making space in goal-scoring areas.  Playing Peter Crouch might play into Hangelandís hands, so Pav, if he is fit, would be a player he might not enjoy marking, as he would pull wide and if he takes the Norwegian defender with him, that might open space up for midfielders to come through.  Aaron Hughes is another who can play central defence or full back and he will probably partner Hangeland, but he has still got much to prove and while a solid enough defender, he can get moved around by good movement.  On the other flank John Pantsil has established himself as a bit of a cult at Craven Cottage with his lap of honour after a big win.  Without Aaron Lennon, it looks like Spurs might have to rely on the wing-backs getting up the wide areas and Pantsil could be one who is attacked in this manner.

Goals may now have to come from Dempsey and  the returning Andy Johnson, who has been sidelined for months.  They might make a little and large pairing, which could pose problems for any defence.  It remains to be seen if Johnson returns to his nippy goal-scoring best, but a lot of his goals came from penalties, so stopping him in open play could be a manageable task.  It looks like Dembele might be fit for this game and his ability might give a makeshift back four issues.  The other option is Diomansy Kamara, who is back at the club after going on loan to Glasgow Celtic last season.  The Senegal striker is capable of scoring the outlandish goal, like the overhead kick against Spurs a few seasons back, but he is trying to re-establish himself in the forward line in the Premier League, hoping for a run in the side now Zamora is out with a broken leg.  He will have to vie with Demeble for a place in the team, but he is tall, strong and knows the Premier League, so could get the nod, in which case, Dempsey might drop back into the midfield role he has been occupying this season.

In midfield, we find two ex-Spurs players in Simon Davies and Danny Murphy, who are both enjoying a renaissance.  Davies has quit international football and Murphy was over-looked by England managers a long time back, so they can both concentrate on their club football.  With Davies still being the industrious wide midfielder that he was at White Hart Lane, he has added goal-scoring to his armoury now and seems to enjoy getting into the box more than he did in a Lilywhite shirt.  Murphy might not have the mobility of his glory years at Liverpool, but he is an astute passer of the ball and a player who knows how to deliver a free-kick.  While he has recently spouted off about the way some managers appear to send teams out to nobble the opposition, we must make sure that without cutting his legs off at the knees, we donít give him too much room to play, otherwise, he will create chances for the Cottagers. 

Dickson Etuhu is a strong ball-winner in midfield and he likes to get forward too, while new signing Carlos Salcido from PSV Eindhoven is an attacking wing-back, who has a very good delivery into the box, as he showed at the World Cup in South Africa.  If the Spurs counterparts can push forward, this may stymie his attacking efforts.  Other options available to Mark Hughes are the darting Irish winger Damien Duff, the combative Bjorn Riise, industrious Kagisho Dikgacoi and the two ball-players, Jonathan Greening and Zoltan Gera.  Gera had been playing well in the early games, but might have suffered because of that, becoming a player who is paid more attention now.

The fact that Fulham are the draw specialists of the Premier League should not detract from some very good players they have assembled.  However, Mark Schwarzer was not happy at the end of the transfer window, when he did not get his move to Arsenal.  The fact that his ambition has been thwarted initially lead to David Stockdale playing between the sticks, but a recent injury to the number two keeper could let Schwarzer back in.  A big man, he seems to experience problems with crosses and his positioning often lets him down on shots, so it will need a solid performance from him to keep Spurs out.

I don't see it, because, even with the forwards struggling to find the net, Tottenham should have enough fire-power from midfield to take the points ...

PREDICTION : -    Fulham    1      Tottenham Hotspur    2

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.

 
 
TEAM NEWS

FULHAM :  - Phillipe Senderos (out - knee); Bobby Zamora (out - broken leg); Stephen Kelly (doubtful - calf); - (-);  

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Younes Kaboul (out - hamstring); Jermain Defoe (out - ankle), Michael Dawson (out - knee & ankle), Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin), Jamie O'Hara (out - back);  William Gallas (out - abductor); Ledley King (doubtful - groin); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (doubtful - knee); Aaron Lennon (out - back); - (-);

 
 
Coverage

TV
Sky Sports 1 -  Football First  -  Saturday 20.25
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 - 23.50 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:40 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 11.00
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.35 - 23.35 (highlights)  Also available online.
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here
.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/10/12/live_commentaries_feature.shtml
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

 
 
 
 
For travelling fans who may wish to make use of some hostelries who are offering food/drink/accommodation,
please click here and see if there are any such facilities who have contacted MEHSTG in the area near to the ground.
 
Fu
 
 
 
 
 

Fulham   1    Tottenham Hotspur   2      (Half-time score : 1-1)

Premier League
Venue :  Craven Cottage
Saturday 16th October 2010
Kick Off :  3.00 p.m.
Crowd :   25,615
Referee :  Mike Dean (Wirral)
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Putney end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Dry, cloudy, chilly
Teams : - 
Fulham :

  1  Schwarzer

  3  Salcido
  5  Hangeland
  6  Baird
18  Hughes

29  Davies
27  Greening  (21  E. Johnson 84)
13  Murphy (c)  (  2  Kelly 52)
23  Dempsey      

30  Dembele  (11  Gera 75)
15  Kamara

Unused subs: 
12  S
tockdale
  4  Pantsil
32  Halliche
17  Riise

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

  2  Hutton
13  Gallas
26  King (c)  (19  Bassong 44)
32  Assou-Ekotto

14  Modric
30  Sandro
         (  7  Lennon 46)
  6  Huddlestone
11  van der Vaart
  3  Bale

  9  Pavlyuchenko  (15  Crouch 80)

Unused subs: 
23  Cudicini
  8  Jenas
21  Kranjcar
10  Keane

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Fulham

  Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Fulham

Kamara 30

Tottenham Hotspur

Pavlyuchenko 31
Huddlestone 63

Cards : -  
Fulham

     
Dempsey (dissent)  85  

    

Tottenham Hotspur  

     
Sandro (foul)  23  

     

Match Report : -  
An open game saw plenty of chances, but it was one chance too many that will be talked about concerning this game for years to come ... and it was the chance to make a firm decision, which Mike Dean had failed to do up to the 63rd minute of the match.  That was when Tom Huddlestone hit the net with a shot to make it 2-1, but the assistant referee raised a flag to signal William Gallas was in an offside position.  After a discussion over the issue, Dean pointed to the centre spot and pointed the way to three points for Spurs.

Playing with just Roman Pavlyuchenko up front, it looked like it would rely on the midfield supporting the lone striker to keep the bal away from the Tottenham goal, but in the early phases of play the team showed that the new found confidence in their ability to hold onto the ball ensured that the play was towards Mark Schwarzer's goal.

Three corners in the first five minutes came to little and some crosses flew in, before Sandro moved to the edge of the D in the 10th minute, but pulled his shot a way wide.  Pav took a shot after a volleyed Bale cross found him and the low effort went across the goal and missed the far post by about a foot.  Then Fulham started to threaten Heurelho Gomes' goal and the efforts mainly came from dead ball situations.  Kamara snuck ahead of the defence to meet a corner at the near post, but the header went wide, then after his third foul in quick succession, Sandro went into the book.  That was before a ball was played into the Tottenham box and when it was headed out, Luka Modric had an air shot and when the ball was played back in, Aaron Hughes got a free header on the ball, but put it wide.

About 27 minutes in and Fulham started to push on and a couple of crosses were knocked away and Mexican wide midfielder Salcido had a shot go wide when he cut inside and let fly from 25 yards.  Then on the half hour, a break down of a move saw Fulham's Simon Davies thread the ball through to Dempsey, who, up until that point, was having a mare and couldn't do anything right.  However, this time he took the ball on his chest turned away to the right of the box from a central position and played the ball back low across the box to Diamansy Kamara, who had been left by William Gallas and the Senegal striker knocked home the ball with little to stop him scoring.  It was not entirely against the run of play, but Tottenham had looked in control of the game.

It didn't matter much in the short term, as from the kick off, Gareth Bale got the ball from Huddlestone and his pass into the area found Rafael van der Vaart.  With a touch to control the ball and a left footed chip over Schwarzer from close in, the Dutchman's shot came back off the crossbar and Pav was on hand to touch the ball over the line from a yard out to make it 1-1 within less than sixty seconds of going behind.  Once more the new signing had made a difference.

Three minutes before the break, a Dempsey cross from the left was cut out by Ledley King, but it came at a cost, with the Spurs skipper staying down after Kamara had hit a shot that Gomes had to dive to keep out in the follow-up phase of play, making a very good one handed stop.  Ledley had to be replaced with a couple of minutes of the first half remaining and Sebastien Bassong came on for him.

At the break, Harry Redknapp made another change, taking off Sandro, who had the yellow card to his name and bringing on Aaron Lennon to counter-act the progress that Salcido was making up the left.  It was a change that almost paid immediate dividends with the little winger's right wing cross picking out van der Vaart.  Taking the ball early and from an acute angle, his volley was awkwardly kept out by Schwarzer's left foot.

That was just before Baird got up highest to head a corner at goal, but Gomes took no chances and tipped it over the top.  Then it was another Tottenham attack, with Bale and Pavlyuchenko linking to play Lennon in, but just on the edge of the box, he got into a shooting position, but his effort lacked conviction and the ball ended up straight at the keeper.

In the 62nd minute, Spurs had a corner, taken by Lennon on the Spurs left.  The ball was pulled back to Tom Huddlestone, standing almost on the far side of the penalty box, but some 30 yards out.  A defender got a touch on the ball, but Tom pulled the ball down and struck a low shot that flew past Schwarzer, with Gallas in there as the ball went through.  The linesman raised a flag and referee Dean initially ruled out the goal.  However, he ran over to talk about what had happened and as players began to close around him, he gave the goal, even though it had been deemed that the French defender had been in an offside position, but not interfering with play.  The Fulham players and bench were raging, but Tottenham were ahead for the first time in the game.

The home team were keen to get back on terms and Kamara had two golden chances to equalise.  Firstly, a ball into the box, with Dembele looking offside, saw the Senegal forward miss a volley with only Gomes to beat.  Then he was played in after a nice bit of passing play on the right wing, but with the goal in front of him and just twelve yards out, he lost all composure and blasted the ball for all he was worth, but it flew rising into the supporters behind the goal.

There were chances at each end, with van der Vaart hitting a shot into the ground and the ball went wide, Lennon shot over, Tommy struck another measured shot from outside the box, but curled it wide and Bale set up Rafael with a shooting chance, but Salcido and Kelly combined to block the effort and it went over the top.

The Mexican also had a great chance with twelve minutes left, when Gomes came for a cross, crashed into Alan Hutton, Luka Modric clipped and Salcido lashed his effort well wide on the other side of the goal, when he might have made a more telling contribution by making sure his effort hit the target.

Spurs had the last decent chance of the game with about ten minutes left, when Modric pulled a low ball back into the path of Alan Hutton and his low, first-time shot nearly caught out Schwarzer at his near post, but the Australian goalie got down to it to push it out for a corner.

Following the international break, the win over Villa, after going a goal behind might not have been fresh in the players' memory, but this was almost an action replay.  With the defence having to re-shape, they did well and the midfield worked hard going up and back, with the goals justifying Redknapp's decisions.

Craven Cottage is not a very happy hunting ground for Spurs, so three points is most welcome and it keeps Spurs up there, with the Champions League match to come in midweek against Inter Milan.

Sparky Marky

 
 
FI
 
 
 
 

Fan Reaction : -

 
 

A FINE LINE

 
 
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Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 2 Birmingham City 1 Saturday
Aston Villa 0 Chelsea 0 Saturday
Bolton Wanderers 2 Stoke City 1 Saturday
Manchester United 2 West Bromwich Albion 2 Saturday
Newcastle United 2 Wigan Athletic 2 Saturday
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 West Ham United 1 Saturday
Blackpool 2 Manchester City 3 Sunday
Everton 2 Liverpool 0 Sunday
Blackburn Rovers 0 Sunderland 0 Monday

 

   

 

League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 8 6 1 1 23 2 19 +21
2 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 12 5 17 +7
3 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 18 10 14 +8
4 Manchester United 8 3 5 0 20 13 14 +7
5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 8 4 2 2 11 8 14 +3
6 West Bromwich Albion 8 3 3 2 11 14 12 -3
7 Bolton Wanderers 8 2 5 1 12 12 11 0
8 Aston Villa 8 3 2 3 9 12 11 -3
9 Stoke City 8 3 1 4 9 11 10 -3
10 Blackpool 8 3 1 4 13 18 10 -5
11 Everton 8 2 3 3 8 7 9 +1
12 Fulham 8 1 6 1 9 9 9 0
13 Sunderland 8 1 6 1 7 7 9 0
14 Blackburn Rovers 8 2 3 3 7 8 9 -1
15 Wigan Athletic 8 2 3 3 6 15 9 -9
16 Newcastle United 8 2 2 4 12 12 8 0
17 Birmingham City 8 1 4 3 8 12 7 -4
18 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 1 3 4 8 13 6 -5
19 Liverpool 8 1 3 4 7 13 6 -6
20 West Ham United 8 1 3 4 6 15 6 -9

 

Position before the match :  5th
Position after the match :  5th
Position after the weekend :  5th

 

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