|DATE||Saturday 1st December 2012|
This is more like an old-boys
reunion than a meeting of Premier League teams. Spurs visit
Craven Cottage and there will be no less than six men who will be
facing their old clubs, with four on the Fulham side and two turning
out for Tottenham.
Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer seems like he has been there longer than Brad Friedel has been in football, but the Australian keeper has been a fine servant for the Cottagers and while his height is an advantage for a keeper, his use of that advantage is not always employed when crosses come in. A god shot stopper, he sometimes lacks accuracy in working out his angles.
The defence of Sascha Riether, Brede Hangeland, John-Arne Riise and Phillipe Senderos has been disrupted by Hangeland's sending off against Sunderland a couple of weeks ago. That dismissal saw Fulham go on to lose 1-3 and without the tall Norwegian ,Tottenham will be looking to capitalise on the absence of the big man. The most likely replacement for Hangeland would be Aaron Hughes and Spurs could cash in on his entry into the back four. A solid player, Hughes can lack positional sense and be pulled out of place. Defoe might gain some joy by utilising his movement to create gaps for others to move into. Stephen Kelly, Kieran Richardson and Chris Baird are other options and Jol may deploy one or both of the last named to do some work in the midfield.
former Chelsea winger Damien Duff is still going and works the touchline well, while another ex-Pensioner Steve Sidwell is having a good run in the side, but he lacks a little in pace and his distribution is not always that accurate. Former Greek captain Giorgos Karagounis is a hard working midfielder, who does have the ability to score from around the edge of the box. Mahamadou Diarra is the former Real Madrid midfielder, who his tall and strong in the tackle and he would probably take precedence over two youngsters in Kerim Frei and Pajtim Kasami. Frei is a youngster who has played at all youth levels for Switzerland and then went on to play for Turkey's national side. Currently on loan at Cardiff City, he is being given experience before Jol integrates him into the team. Kasami is a former Lazio and Liverpool youth player, who has found it hard to break into the Fulham first team.
Dimitar Berbatov needs no introduction and is a player who looks effortless in his play, sometimes drawing criticism from the crowd for laziness, but he sues his skill to reduce the amount of running he has to do. A clinical and cool finisher, he is a player who will need to be neutralised. Mladen Petric has been a minor hit with Fulham fans, scoring an average of one in two this season, but he ahs only featured eight times, so more consistency might yet see him become a useful member of the team. At 31 he might be finding it harder to overcome injury, but he has played at some good European clubs and is a useful goal-getter. A player who is used to the English game is Hugo Rodellega and the former Wigan Athletic striker is physically large, but does not always use his strength to his advantage.
Spurs will have a tough task, as Martin Jol will want to prove a point to Daniel Levy, even though there is supposedly no bad feeling between them, but BMJ has his professional pride. Expect Fulham to work hard in midfield to close Tottenham down and to try to get the ball to Berbatov in and around the box. The key to any success Spurs might find is the pace of breaking out from the back and catching Fulham short on numbers.
A nip and tuck game but with Spurs to edge it by the odd goal.
|PREDICTION||Fulham 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , history, etc.|
Simon Davies misses out on facing Tottenham, with a hip injury and hamstring injuries keep Alex Kacaniclik and Bryan Ruiz out, while Brede Hangeland serves the third of his three match ban in the stand. Kieron Richardson is fit again after recovering from a hamstring pull.
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey return to their old club, but Tottenham will be missing Scott Parker (Achilles) , Younes Kaboul (knee), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee) and Emmanuel Adebayor (third match of a three match suspension). Steven Caulker should return after illness.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Fulham 0 (0)
Saturday 1st December 2012
Venue : Craven Cottage
Tottenham Hotspur 3 (0)
Kick off 15:00
Bale (simulation) 23
Gallas (entering the field of play without permission) 58
|Crowd : 25,426||Weather : Dry, but cold|
|Referee : Chris Foy (St. Helens)||Assistant Referees : M. McDonough; R. Ganfield|
|Fourth Official : Jon Moss (Leeds)||-|
|Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Hammersmith end in the first half.|
|Fulham :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
1 Mark SCHWARZER
Mladen PETRIC (20
Hugo RODELLEGA 79)
18 Jermain DEFOE
|Manager : Martin Jol||Manager : Andre Villas-Boas|
|Sponsor : FXPro||Shirt sponsor : Aurasma|
|Kit Supplier : Kappa||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
An unusual game at Craven Cottage ended 3-0 to Spurs despite a poor performance, but a bit of luck and the team exhibiting some lethal finishing put Fulham away. with two wins in the previous week, this three points took Spurs into fourth, just behind a stuttering Chelsea on goal difference. And in that the club are sitting well-placed with some potentially winnable games coming up.
Spurs fielded both Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele against their old side and the receptions could not have been more different. The American was booed with every touch, while Dembele was given a good reception and a good hand when he was substituted. Tottenham had Steven Caulker returning from illness and Kyle Naughton came in for Kyle Walker, who was left on the bench.
The first half was, in general, a messy affair, with neither side getting any rhythm going nor getting much in the way of meaningful efforts on goal. Five minutes into the game, Dempsey took a pass on the edge of the Fulham box and turned Phillipe Senderos, but could only put his shot wide of Schwarzer's right hand post with only the keeper left to beat. With fifteen minutes gone, Spurs were hit by an injury to Michael Dawson, who has played well since he returned to the first team. In making an interception in his own area, he went down holding his thigh and limped off with a pulled hamstring. Spurs brought on William Gallas in his place in the middle of the back four. Fulham also had to make a change when Sascha Riether went off, with former Spur Stephen Kelly replacing him.
Mladen Petric seemed to have a shoot on sight policy, with efforts flying in from all over the place, with one flying over and a break down the left saw a ball played inside Naughton for Riise to put a low ball in to the near post, where Petric met the ball, but Hugo Lloris got down at his post to save well.
A better chance for Fulham came when Berbatov was involved twice with back heels that put Dejagah away on the right and then set up Karim Frei for a shot from the edge of the box, but the ball felw way over the bar. If he had hit the target, it might have been a worrying moment.
Just before half time, Aaron Lennon got away on the left and pulled a low ball back to Gareth Bale in the middle of the goal, but it was a little bit behind him and he could only squirt out a shot that went off target. Jermain Defoe got Tottenham's only shot on target in the first period in added time. It was that sort of game.
Was this a result of the effort put into the last two games ? Personally, I think we were just a bit below par on the day and weren't firing like we have been used to.
One of the main talking points at half time was Bale's second booking in successive games for diving. Is it that travelling at the pace he does, it only take a little to knock him off balance or is it that he doesn't want to take the kicks and so goes down as the challenge comes in to protect himself ? Only one person knows the answer to that and with referees seemingly aware that the Welshman is developing a bit of a reputation, we can expect more cautions for this offence.
The second half could be any worse .. .could it ?
well, as Sidwell fired a shot wide after being put in by Petric, who
had taken the ball off Sandro near the centre circle. Ten minutes
into the half, Sandro picked up a ball inside from the right and
with nobody coming to close him down, the Brazilian strode forward
to shoot at goal from 35 yards out. The ball dipped and swerved on
Mark Schwarzer and the keeper dived under the ball, which flew up
into the net off the keeper's hands.
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Queens Park Rangers||1||Aston Villa||1||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||0||Stoke City||1||Saturday|
|West Ham United||3||Chelsea||1||Saturday|
|Newcastle United||3||Wigan Athletic||0||Monday|
|5||West Bromwich Albion||15||8||2||5||24||19||26||+5|
|8||West Ham United||15||6||4||5||19||17||22||+2|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||15||0||6||9||11||27||6||-16|
Position before match :
Position after match : 4th
Position after the weekend : 4th
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