After the narrow 1-0 victory over Portsmouth, on Wednesday evening, Roy Hodgson takes his troops north to face a Bolton Wanderers side now under the stewardship of Owen Coyle. If Fulham are to get anything from this game it`ll mean a dramatic change in their fortunes on the road.
As we head north it appears that our only prospect of qualifying for European football is to win the FA Cup with Roy Hodgson discounting a top six finish this year, having remarked to the media,
“We dropped too many points in January. The teams that are going to make Europe this year are already 10 or 12 points ahead of us.”
“It`s unrealistic. Had there been no injuries, then maybe we wouldn`t have lost so many games last month and had a few more points.”
“But we had to battle through January with a wounded team, and, as a result, we`ve slipped too far away from the top six.”
“Our only chance of getting into Europe is to win the FA Cup.”
Now that wouldn`t be to bad a thing would it?
Bolton Team News:
Owen Coyle will be without the services of Klasnic and O`Brien for this fixture and may also have to do without Holden and McCann.
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
A battering ram of a centre forward who, on his day, gives every team trouble. Let`s hope that Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes can snuff out his inevitable threat.
Fulham Team News:
Roy Hodgson takes his squad north still plagued by injuries, several of which are long term. Definitely out are John Pantsil, Clint Dempsey and Andrew Johnson whilst Simon Davies, Zoltan Gera and Paul Konchesky are on the extremely doubtful list.
New signings Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka are expected to continue in the starting eleven and we doubt whether Roy will vary much from the starting eleven that were chosen for the recent home fixture, against Portsmouth although we have a suspicion that Dickson Etuhu may return.
Probable starting eleven – Schwarzer, Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey, Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Greening, Zamora, Okaka
Player to watch: Stefano Okaka
The Italian made his debut on Wednesday evening and could have gotten his Fulham career off to a marvellous start but missed a sitter. Stefano will soon learn that chances, at Premier League level, can be few and far between, but we reckon this guy could make an impact.
Match Facts & Stats
The clubs will be meeting for the 72nd time this weekend with the history books revealing that Bolton have won twenty-seven times, Fulham twenty-five and with nineteen drawn.
Mark Clatenbug is the official appointed for this fixture.
The $64,000 question! Can Fulham end their appalling away record at the Reebok Stadium this weekend? One away victory, in the Premier League, all season is testament to just how poor it is. To be brutally honest I`d have preferred going to the Reebok when Gary Megson was in charge. Owen Coyle appears to have arrived like the proverbial messiah and started to turn things around. If you couple that fact with our outrageous injury list you`ll probably be able to guess that I`m a concerned man. Nevertheless, you`ve got to be optimistic haven`t you so why not stick our heads above the parapet and forecast a Fulham win! After all, it`ll come along one day will it not and we can say we were the ones that predicted it!
Fulham continue to rattle off the fixtures with a visit from Burnley this Tuesday evening!