Fulham take on a lively Blackburn side this Sunday keen to ensure the three points go to the home side. However, Blackburn, under the leadership of Mark Hughes, are a good side and they have actually won more games away from home this season than we`ve won all season!
Ahead of the clash Lawrie Sanchez has praised the job Mark Hughes has done at Ewood Park and has set out their progress as a template for us to follow, here`s what he had to say during the pre-match build up,
“After the Big Four you`ve got three or four teams who are pulling themselves away from the rest of us. Rovers come into that category.”
“It`s not based on their size or their revenue but on what they`ve achieved on the field. They are contenders for the European slots.”
“They are not considered likely to be fighting relegation but looking to qualify for Europe.”
“I have great respect for what mark has achieved there and I would be pleased to achieve something similar here.”
Fulham Team News:
After the international break somewhat disrupted proceedings it`ll be interesting to see what starting eleven Sanchez goes for. Will he persist with the striking partnership of Kuqi and Healy or will he play those who were not quite so involved in the international scene during the last ten days?
Definitely out are Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Jimmy Bullard, and Lee Cook. However he is able to welcome back both Konchesky and Elliot who have served suspensions. In the defence Moritz Volz is fit again but is likely to start on the bench.
Player to watch: Simon Davies
Fresh from captaining his country, Davies will be keen to maintain the fine run of form he`s been in during recent weeks, hopefully we`ll see another of those goals from long range.
Blackburn Team News:
Blackburn arrive in London with the controversial character that is Robbie Savage looking as if he`ll make an early return from injury. The Welshman, who had only just recovered from a broken leg before picking up a second injury will be looking to impose himself.
Definitely out is David Dunn who is suspended whilst the promising youngster, Matt Derbyshire, will require a fitness test.
Player to watch: Santa Cruz
Whilst Benni McCarthy is the obvious danger, Fulham will need to be aware of Blackburn`s close season signing from Bayern Munich. Strong and powerful he has the potential to cause havoc if our defence allows him to.
Match Facts & Stats
Looking through the history books we find that results between these two teams in fixtures in which Fulham are the home team normally favour as as the statistics show below,
at Fulham only,
League (inc PL): Fulham 14 wins, Blackburn 8, Draws 12
Prem: Fulham 2 wins, Blackburn 3, Draws 1
Here`s hoping we can continue that run!
Mike Dean will officiate
After the defeat at Anfield, two weeks ago, it`s critical that Fulham get back to winning ways especially as two daunting away trips (Manchester United and Everton) follow. A defeat will see us slip back into the danger zone and with Christmas coming that doesn`t auger well. However, we`ll look on the bright side and go for a cheering 2-1 home victory.
After going fourteen months without an away win in the Premier League, we face a daunting trip to Old Trafford next weekend. What a great place to end that run!