Friday, December 07, 2007

Everton v Fulham - Match Preview

The BBC never provide the most accurate of match previews but occasionally there are interesting facts to consider. According to the Beeb "Fulham have made their worst ever start to a Premier League season with just two wins and 13 points from 15 games". Is that really true? It's not been great for sure but is it really that bad? If it is there must be at least another 6 teams who have started just as badly. Everton's not a place you really want to go with that sort of record. I'm sure anyone reading this already knows that "all 12 Premier League fixtures between Everton and Fulham have been won by the club playing at home" and Rich's article on CCN identifies that the last time we even got a point there was in 1959.

So, I'm clearly not expecting a win. In fact, if we got a point it would be a massive result. Everton played in Europe on Wednesday night, which might help. However, it was at home and they won so it probably won't. They've got a good side with a lot of players I like (Cahill & Arteta to name two) and they know how to play to their system. They're solid and reliable at the back, but have a really good mix of midfielder's and player's capable of scoring all over.

According to the Everton official site they've got a fairly full squad to pick from (only Stubbs and Turner the reserve keeper injured, and no suspensions). Based on their last three games I think the likely side will be;

Goal - Howard,
Defence - Neville, Yobo, Lescott, Baines,
Midfield - Arteta, Osman, Carsley, Pienaar, Cahill,
Attack - Yakubu
Subs from; Johnson, Anchibe, Vaughan, Jagielka, Valente & (GK) Wessels.

The Fulham side is unlikely to see many changes. Niemi has been looking very good in goal and the back four seem fairly settled now. The only doubt is over the right back spot and whether Omozusi was brought in specifically for the United game (and the threat of Ronaldo) or has genuinely usurped Chris Baird. In midfield I would expect Davies, Davis & Murphy to retain their spots, with Bouazza likely to edge out Seol or Dempsey on the left wing. Kamara was apparently injured for the United game and if he's unavailable again we've got to find a workable combination between Dempsey, Healy and Kuqi. I'd go with Dempsey & Healy as I think Kuqi is more effective as an impact player. It's going to be a tough game but I have a sneaky feeling we could nick something.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As you have not yet blogged the match I went to CCN and found some interesting comments. I saw the match highlights on Sky last night and thought FFC played as well as I've seen them all season but they don't know how to score goals! My feeling is that we are a good team but at Conference level, we need to up the speed of thinking if we're to compete in the Premiership. Niemi certainly kept us in the match and the youngster at right back made some great tackles and moves quickly, a great prospect. I felt the commentators did not give FFC the credit they deserved, but then reporters (and referees!) tend to favour the top clubs with their comments and decisions when they are playing a team from the lower half of the league. Hope you see this before writing your blog.
Chopper's Dad