What happened to the week? I’ve just not found any time to make any comments this week, though it has to be said it’s been pretty quiet. The only piece of news worth mentioning is that the reserves took a bit of a thumping at Birmingham City on Monday night. Due to first team call ups of several reserve regulars, a younger side than usual lost to an experienced Brum side 5-1. Reports can be found here from the FFC Offal and here from the Birmingham City site.
The only statistic you really need to know about our forthcoming trip to Liverpool is that Fulham have never won in any competition at Anfield. In the six seasons we’ve been in the Premiership we have managed two 0-0 draws, but the other 4 times we’ve been beaten fairly comprehensively (2-0, 3-1, 5-1 & 4-0). It won’t help that Liverpool managed a stunning 8-0 win over Besiktas midweek. Sanchez is well aware of the task ahead and says on the Offal that “Liverpool are probably the most difficult team in the Premier League to prepare for. I’ve got no idea what their team will be but you’ve got to give credit to a man who has won the UEFA Cup, was a Champions League finalist and has won the Spanish League twice – he obviously knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t fit in with what people do in this country but at the end of the day, they’ve just won a game 8-0”. We know we’ll be facing quality players, whoever is selected, so it has to be a case of making ourselves hard to beat. Even managing a point in this game would be a great result.
Not much point then in trying to anticipate the Plod’s starting line-up, but ours is almost as difficult to pick. The right back slot was a concern, Omosuzi is suspended for one match, and both Volz and Baird were struggling with injuries, but it sounds like Baird is now fit and will return to the side. Bocanegra returns from suspension and will almost certainly return at left back. Following his comments early in the week about Smertin, I wonder if Sanchez may consider playing with a five man midfield. Maybe Davis, Smertin and Murphy in the middle with Davies and Bouazza on the wings. Dempsey has been outstanding and can play just about anywhere, he could fit into a central three or play wide left. Though unimpressive in recent performaces Seol may also be pushing for a starting place (possibly on the left instead of Bouazza) as Sanchez seems to view him as being stronger defensively. If we do play with five in midfield than I have no idea who would get the nod up front. I’m pretty sure Kuqi hasn’t got the legs quite yet for a full 90 minutes, Healy looks our best bet for a goalscorer but would struggle on his own, and Kamara was shocking last weekend but may be required for his pace.
I used a lot of words there to basically say I don’t know what team Sanchez will pick so here’s my choice:
I can’t believe I’ve just picked Kamara after slating him last week and dropped Danny Murphy for his return to Anfield. Think we may see the Kuqi & Healy double act brought on at some point if we’re still in the game late on. Whoever makes the side good luck, work your socks off and make us proud. If you’re travelling up for the game have a good time. I went last year and, despite the result, really enjoyed the day.