It seems an age ago that we drifted out of Craven Cottage having walloped Queens Park Rangers 6-0, but international football does have that sort of effect on you does it not! But, Premier League football is back with a vengeance and we`re faced with a difficult trip to the Britannia Stadium to take on Stoke City. It`s a game that many don`t expect us to get much from!
Although we`ve yet to win away this season, Martin Jol appears to be happy to come away from the Britannia Stadium, on Saturday, with a bore draw, with Jol commenting,
“We have to play our own game like we did, for example, against Newcastle,’
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I think we had the initiative for most of the game against West Bromwich.
‘It was the same but we couldn’t score although I thought we were the better team. It was a 0-0 there and I think a 0-0 at Stoke would be a good result. But I still hope that with the confidence we have got we are capable of scoring a couple of goals.’
I`ll pack the ipod then Martin if that`s the entertainment level we can expect!
Stoke City Team News:
Tony Pulis will be anxious to keep his sides good start to the season going, but the Welshman will be without several key players this weekend.
Missing through injury will be Kenwyne Jones, Jermaine Pennant and Marc Wilson.
Struggling to get fit is Matthew Etherington who`ll be undertaking a form of alternative medicine in having a sugar injection, in his back, to try and make the starting eleven.
One player that might be rested, according to some sources, is the Irish international, Glenn Whelan, after his midweek exertions for his country.
Player to watch: Rory Delap
The bane of many a sides visit to the Britannia Stadium with those devastating long throws, just clear it lads anyway you can!
Fulham Team News:
Martin Jol takes his side to the Potteries with Aaron Hughes hoping to make a comeback from injury. Fulham do have some injury concerns though with Bryan Ruiz (knee) and Phillipe Senderos (thigh) are both definitely out.
Also struggling is Kerim Frei who has an ankle problem.
Player to watch: Andrew Johnson
Having scored five goals in the last two games, AJ is on fire. Hopefully his fine scoring form will continue at the Britannia and we`ll have a good reason to celebrate come Saturday evening,
Match Facts & Stats
Although we`ve struggled to win on the road in the last two or three seasons, we did actually do the double over Stoke last season, winning 2-0 on both occasions, although Stoke did knock us out of the FA Cup, by the same score, on the road to Wembley.
Martin Atkinson will be the man in charge of the whistle and the man in black will be looking for an incident free afternoon after the shenanigans of his last outing whereby he wrongly sent off Jack Rodwell in the Merseyside derby.
Stoke are a far more difficult proposition on there own pitch and when you add into the mix our poor away form with that fact it`d take a brave person to predict a Fulham win, even if we`re full of confidence following the 6-0 rout of Queens Park Rangers. I`d like to go against the tide but, to be brutally honest, I reckon we`d do well to get a draw! A further indication of how good Stoke can be at home is the fact that both Manchester united and Chelsea only managed draws whilst Liverpool were beaten.
Next up is a return to Europa League action with a visit to Poland to take on Wisla Krakow, on Thursday, followed by a visit from Everton, next Sunday, in the Premier League.