Fulham, after the international break, welcome Ian Holloway and Blackpool to Craven Cottage this weekend in a fixture that both sides will be looking to win to ease any remaining relegation fears
Blackpool under Ian Holloway have been a breath of fresh air in the Premier League this season and ahead of our clash Mark Hughes has had nothing but glowing words for the Blackpool boss, remarking,
“I really enjoy his company as you`d expect. He is a great personality and great guy to spend his time with. And he is exactly the same in private as he is in public.”
“What you have to understand is that at times people laugh at his comments and his bravado but he knows his tuff. He is a very knowledgeable football man.”
“Sometimes when he says stuff that makes people chuckle that is lost.”
“But make no mistake, he knows what he is talking about and that is reflected in his teams.”
Respect to both guys we say!
Fulham Team News:
Mark Hughes takes his squad into this fixture hoping that his influential centre-back, Aaron Hughes, will be fit enough to play. Hughes, on international duty with Northern Ireland, dislocated his shoulder.
Elsewhere, our January transfer window signing, Steve Sidwell, is hoping to make his first start after being sidelined for a month thanks to an ankle injury.
Bobby Zamora, having recovered form his horrific leg injury is, reportedly, laid low with an illness whilst Philippe Senderos remains unavailable as he continues to recover from his Achilles injury.
Fulham have no players missing through suspension.
Player to watch: Clint Dempsey
We`ll need Clint to be at his best and to continue his excellent scoring record this season, if we are to push Blackpool onto the back foot and take all three points.
Blackpool Team News:
Ian Holloway brings the Tangerine Army to West London without his star striker DJ Campbell who will be serving the last match of a three game ban.
Blackpool have relied on the services of Richard Kingson in goal after injuries deprived them of Matt Gilks and Paul Rachubka. Despite both of these recently having made a comeback in the reserves it`s being inferred that Kingson will continue in goal a Craven Cottage.
Carney and Clarke though, are both expected to remain sidelined with injuries.
Player to watch: Charlie Adam
Signed from Glasgow Rangers, Adam has gone on to show that he is a bright talent who is surely destined for a move to a bigger club this summer. Spurs and Liverpool both expressed an interest in the January transfer window but the word on the grapevine is that Manchester United are now, probably, favourites to get his signature this summer.
Match Facts & Stats
The record books show that this is the 100th fixture between the two sides. Fulham appear to have the upper hand in recent years with Blackpool not having won at Craven Cottage since 1986, some eight games ago.
The last fourteen meetings between the sides have seen Fulham only lose once.
Our visitors arrive at Craven Cottage on a poor run of form having won only one of their last ten games.
The man in the middle will be Stuart Atwell.
This has all the prospects of being a very attractive game of football. Blackpool, under Ian Holloway, have played some entertaining stuff, especially away from home and will come to Craven Cottage looking to take all three points. Fulham are normally far better at home than they are away from home. We`re taking Fulham to take all three points, in a narrow win, at fortress Craven Cottage.
Next up is a daunting little trip to Old Trafford to take on the current Premier League leaders Manchester United, next weekend.