Fulham, having already played two competitive games in the Europa League qualifying ties, begin their Premier League campaign with a trip to Fratton Park to take on a troubled Portsmouth side. Football is rarely a game for sentiment so let`s hope their woes prove to be beneficial to us and we return with three points.
On the eve of our first Premier League fixture of the season Roy Hodgson has reiterated that there has been no official bid for our talented centre back Brede Hangeland, remarking,
‘There has been no approach from any club for Hangeland and as a result we’re expecting him to play for us this season.”
Portsmouth Team News:
Portsmouth are a side that are in disarray. Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch have joined those that were sold in the January transfer window to alleviate the debts. The side that won the FA Cup only a short time ago is unrecognisable and there are many, including us, who feel that it shouldn`t have happened to a club like Pompey, a club whose support are fantastic.
Portsmouth are expected to welcome back David James after a shoulder operation and it`s very likely that, new signing, Frederic Piquionne will start. But, Steve Finnan, a player we all know well is out with a hamstring injury!
Player to watch: David James
Has he still got what it takes in World Cup year?
Fulham Team News:
With two competitive games already played Roy Hodgson is in an ideal position to hit the ground running. He`ll have a fir idea of who will form his starting eleven and if Clint Dempsey shows no sign of any jet-lag or injury woes after playing for the USA, the starting eleven could have a familiar look to it, namely,
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Gera, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey, Johnson, Zamora.
Off course, we should mention that Simon Davies is still on the injured list recovering from an injury that blighted the tail end of last season for the Welshman.
Player to watch: Bobby Zamora
After flirting with a possible move to Hull City, Bobby will be looking to continue the good form he`s already shown during the games Fulham have participated in so far. Here`s hoping Bobby can get off to a flying start and possibly notch up a goal.
Match Facts & Stats
If Fulham win down at Fratton Park it`ll be the first time they`ve done so on opening fixture day for five years!
Martin Atkinson will take charge
Has there ever been a better time to go to Fratton Park? Portsmouth appears to be a club in disarray. The proposed takeover has stalled and their best players are long gone. Usually we have to wait what seems like an eternity for an away win in the Premier League, is it too much too ask that come Saturday night we`ll have achieved it in our first away game of the season. Methinks not, 2-1 to Fulham!
Our next fixture will see us entertain Blackburn Rovers at Craven Cottage on the18th August, following that fixture some lot called Chelsea will visit us the following weekend.