Games for the Weekend 15/09

So this weekend we face what will be the sternest test so far with a trip to the Etihad Stadium to face last seasons run-away Premier League Champions Manchester City.

Man City v Fulham
With the ‘international break’ over hopefully the team will have had some constructive time to ‘gel’ and one or two of the injured players should be nearer match fitness.
Man City away will probably be one of the games that we don’t really expect to get anything from, I’m hoping that, at least, we give a good account of ourselves and really ‘have a go’ as Wolves did a few weeks ago, then you never know what can happen we may surprise all of the pundits?
With Tom Cairney out for the next few weeks it will be a chance for the ‘new boys’ Jean Michaël Seri and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa to show why their the club’s most expensive ever signings, wouldn’t it be something to see their value against ‘City?
Mitrović and Schürrle are being to work really well together and if young Ryan Sessegnon gets to start then I think this is a game where he can really shine.

other Games of Interest

Saturday 15th
Bournemouth v Leicester
Chelsea v Cardiff
Huddersfield v Crystal Palace
Newcastle v Arsenal

Sunday 16th
Wolves v Burnley
Everton v West Ham

Monday 17th
Southampton v Brighton

COYW

Team against Man City 15/09

Over on the forum we’ve been discussing which team we’d choose to play against Man City this weekend, here are a couple of team selections…

whitejc

team against Man City

I think Betts hasn’t done anything that would cause him to be dropped, I know thats not a ‘ringing endorsement’ but I’m not sure there’s a lot of difference between all 3 goalies?

There’s been no word on Ream so I have to assume he’s still not fit, he needs to get game time ASAP as we need a consistent back 4.

I’ve selected KMac as Tom will still be out? Seri one of the first names on the team sheet and Anguissa has shown so really good touches

I’d put Ryan on from the start, Vietto hasn’t done much wrong (apart from giving away that pen) but I believe this game is one that Ryan can really shine. Mitro is the first name on the team sheet and Schurrle has shown  glimpses of how good he was/can be.

milo

team against Man City

Sessegnon to switch with Schurrle and provide cover for weaker flank depending on how City attack.

Notable inclusions:
Fosu-Mensah gets one more chance to keep his place after losing his man on a number of important occasions last weekend. Le Marchand however does lose his for giving the ball away for two goals in two subsequent weeks. Both Odoi and MLM seem to take up good positions and make intelligent interceptions, but are prone to errors that get punished at this level. The decision to play Odoi instead came down to the fact he hasn’t made one yet this season.

In midfield, Johansen fresh from two goals for Norway midweek and an assist against Exeter previously comes in to provide some box to box counter attacking threat. 

In attack, Sessegnon’s defending and his reputation (ie bizarrely as a fast paced winger hugging the touch lines) will be useful to peg back City’s full back on that side. Kamara to come on as we tire around 70 minutes. 

 

join in the conversation over on the message board…

http://www.friendsoffulham.com/forum/index.php?topic=67472.0

Games for the Weekend 01/09

This weekend we travel down to the south coast for a visit to Brighton and Hove Albion

Brighton v Fulham

After the success’ on Sunday and Tuesday evening we now face Chris Hughton’s Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
Team selection will be interesting for this game, will Slaviša start with the same eleven as against Burnley, assuming that Tom’s fit enough? Slaviša hinted that he’d change the team to reflect the opposition so perhaps Anguissa will replace KMac, as Brighton isn’t as ‘physical’ a side? and perhaps Ryan will get the nod over  Luciano Vietto even though he had a good game on Sunday?

For Brighton its their second season in the Premiership and it wasn’t too long ago that we gave them a good game(s) in the Championship so we might be able to use this game as a measure of how far we have progressed?

Games of interest

Saturday 1st September
Brighton v Fulham
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Everton v Huddersfield
West Ham v Wolves

Sunday 2nd September
Cardiff v Arsenal

COYW

Fulham v Exeter City – Carabao Cup

Tuesday evening see’s Fulham take on Exeter City in the Carabao Cup

Fulham v Exeter City - Carabao Cup

Survival in the Premiership is surly the top priority for Slaviša Jokanović however,  the Gaffer will almost certainly use this fixture to give ‘game time’ to some of the players who haven’t played so far this season.
The choice of goalkeeper will be interesting, perhaps we will get a look at Sergio Rico or will Fabri get another game between the sticks?
There’s a strong rumour that Alfie Mawson will feature, I doubt that he’ll get the full 90 minutes, getting him to full match fitness would certainly be a boost to the back four.
Others from the first team squad who may get a look in, if fit, are Tim Ream, Neeskens Kebano, Ibrahim Cisse and Rui Fonte. All of these guys played an important part in our promotion campaign and it makes sense to keep them ‘match fit’ in case their needed due to injury or suspension(s).
‘Youngsters’ who may also get a game include Steven Sessegnon, Marlon Fossey and Luca de la Torre. Any of these will be looking to show how their ready to make the step up to the first team squad and who knows maybe get their Premiership debut sometime this season?

Anyhow, whoever plays I hope they all have a great game and that maybe this will be the first game in a ‘cup run’ that would give us another successful day out at Wembley!

COYW

Team against Burnley 26/08

Over on the forum we’ve been discussing which team we’d choose to play against Burnley this weekend, here are a few team selections…

whitejc

team against Burnleysubs: Rico, Fosu-Mensah, Chambers, McDonald, Johansen, Schurrle, Vietto
I thought Fabri did OK against Spurs so I think he’ll get the start
Christie & Ream(if fit) for Fosu-Mensah & Chambers
the midfield looked good, a bit harsh on KMac but you don’t pay £20-£30 million and leave Anguissa on the bench especially after his good performance against Spurs
I’d revert Sees back to the left side and keep AK on the right, Mitre must be the first name on the team sheet

love4ffc

team against Burnley*Agree with those who leave the back the same.  Including Fabri even though he is making me more and more nervous.  it’s just too soon to pass judgement on him.
*Bryan remains but Ak goes to the bench as we need someone to offer better cover down the left side. 
*Midfield remain the same from Spurs match but would like to see Sess back on the left and Shurrle on the right up top splitting Mitro. 
*Can understand people wanting to get away from the attack minded 4-3-3 formation but I just can’t see it.  Slav likes and believes in the possession game. If the team is able to gel more then I do believe over time the system will work.  Of course that means the players do need to start making quicker decisions and faster one touch passes, especially in the box.  

Like the idea of seeing some of Vietto.

milo

team against BurnleyI remain unconvinced by Fabri’s decision making coming off the line. For the second week in a row I am picking the consistent, safe goalkeeper who I still tip to get an England cap in the next 1-2 years (provided we play him!).
Le Marchand got a lot of praise for his performance last week. However, as Ream is hopefully now fit and having seen his faultless display in pre season he returns to LCB. MLM on the other hand showed us in the same pre season games that he struggles out of position, so Chambers gets the nod.
I think Christie really embraced the Fulham ethos by getting down the right flank and supporting the strikers. I felt that although his crossing of the ball in dangerous situations could’ve been improved, I do not think he deserved to be dropped last week.
Kamara did not quite hit his stride against Tottenham and the occasion got to him a bit. I think he will settle down and will prove to be one of our main threats. Sessegnon had a typical performance – seemingly out the game for long periods but was involved in the goal scoring move. I do not think Schurrle has done enough to replace him.

 

 

join in the discussion over on the forum…

http://bit.ly/2BM7i6T

Games for the Weekend 25/08

This weekend we’re back home at the Cottage to take on Sean Dyche’s Burnley

Fulham v Burnley

The game against Spurs showed improvement, this team will get better the more they play together.  The inclusion of Anguissa came as a bit of a surprise however, he had a good game and showed signs of why we paid £20 million + for him.
Mitrović got his all important 1st goal, how often do strikers have to wait ages before breaking their duck?, and also displayed his ability to really worry defenders with his strength and speed.
Perhaps the most unexpected performance came from Le Marchand. Viewed by many as an ‘add on’ in the Seri deal he proved those doubters wrong with an outstanding performance in the back four.
Slaviša Jokanović will stick to his ‘football first’ philosophy however, over the years Burnley have been a bit of a ‘bogey’ team for Fulham and Sean Dyche is one of the highest regarded ‘young’ British managers, it should be an interesting and exciting game.

Games of interest

Saturday 25/08
Wolves v Man City
Arsenal v West Ham
Fulham v Burnley
Huddersfield v Cardiff
Liverpool v Brighton

Sunday 26/08
Watford v Palace
Newcastle v Chelsea

 

COYWs

Games for the Weekend 18/08

Another trip to Wembley, this time its Spurs in the Premier League!

Spurs v Fulham

After a disappointing opening game against Palace this weekends game ‘on paper’ will be a far sterner test against a ‘top six’ side in Spurs.

The whole team needs a little time to gel but I don’t think that will take too long. There were lots of positives from the Palace game, Seri looks as good as his reputation suggested, Bryan looked comfortable and hopefully will prove to be a more than adequate replacement for Mattie Targett. Cyrus Christie showed why he was brought in as Freds replacement, if he can get some accuracy into his crosses then he’ll soon become a ‘fans favourite’. Mitro’ was Mitro’, and on another day would have scored a couple.

Games of interest

Saturday 18/08
Cardiff v Newcastle
Everton v Southampton
Leicester v Wolves
Spurs v Fulham

Sunday 19/08
Burnley v Watford
Man City v Huddersfield
Brighton v Man Utd

Monday 20/08
Palace v Liverpool

 

COYWs

Team against Spurs 18/08

Over on the forum we’ve been discussing which team we’d choose to play against Spurs at Wembley this weekend, here are a couple of team selections…

WhiteJC

Spurs v Fulham (whitejc)

Although Fabri wasn’t as bad as some have made out, I think that we’ve loaned Rico to give both Betts and Fabri competition so I think he’ll get the nod against Spurs.

Assuming Ream and Bryan are fit I think this will be our regular starting back four until Mawson is fully fit.

The midfield three picks itself.

Harsh on Schurrle as I don’t think he did much wrong against Palace however, I’m going for AK rather than Schurrle as I like him, I think he’s going to get better and better as the season progresses. Sess further upfield is a no-brainer as is Mitro.

Not sure about the subs but I would probably choose

Fabri, Le Marchand, Schurrle, Vietto, Fosu-Mensah, Johansen, Kebano

Milo

Spurs v Fulham (milo)

Notable inclusions:

GK: Bettinelli
With the season well underway, we are forced to make a decision on our keeper after seeing them play for just 1-2 games. I would like to see Rico in the flesh, but until then Bettinelli takes the number 1 spot. Fabri was brought in for better distribution which we have not seen yet, but more worryingly we have seen his poor decision making coming off his line to take crosses, defend free kicks, and in 1 on 1s. I was disappointed by Marcus’s tweet, I think the more sensible approach would have been to let Fabri put the nails in his own coffin.  

LCB: Ream
Hopefully he will be fit. I had read a few reservations about him stepping up to the Premiership on the forum, but having seen the Celta Vigo game he was faultless and will bring a great deal of solidity to our back four. 

LB: Le Marchand
This was based on Bryan being injured. The Le Marchand we saw do well against Palace is not the player we saw in pre-season. That suggests to me that he struggles when out of position (ie not at LCB where Ream will return). That said, we either play MLM or Sess at left back. I do not think our full backs will get chance to go forward as much against Spurs so I have gone for the out-and-out defender. 

RW: Kamara
Controversial. You’ve got to get the Sessegnon balance right – haul him off after one quiet game and you may affect his confidence. He is a level-headed young player though and will not let his head drop. I would much rather he came on with 20 minutes to go and pop up in the right place at the right time as we all know he can. On to Kamara, he is a real handful. Not at all what we all thought we were buying last summer, instead of the nippy striker we have got a battering ram. In the final few games of last season he suddenly developed a great first touch, good close control and passing. I think he will be an important player this season.

 

have a look at the forum to read this and other discussions about FFC…
http://www.friendsoffulham.com/forum/index.php?board=1.0

Games for the weekend 11/08

Fulham are back in the Premier League!

For our first game of the season we welcome Roy Hodgson and Ray Lewington back to Craven Cottage with his Crystal Palace team.

In a nice bit of symmetry our last Premiership game, 4 seasons ago, was against Palace, funny how this turn out sometimes?

So after the excitement of the, so frustrating at times having to wait for some of the deals to crawl over the line, transfer window we now get to see the ‘new look’ Fulham in action in a game that really matters.

What a transfer window we’ve had starting with Seri and Le Marchand, both from Nice, showed the calibre of player(s) we were targeting, Seri especially surprised many having been previously linked with a host of top European sides.
Fabri arrived next from Besiktas were he was a firm fans favourite making eleven appearances in the Champions League, and six in the Europa League, while he was also voted as the best goalkeeper in the Super Lig for the last two years in a row.
Mitro arrived after what seemed like an interminable wait, didn’t we all think he’d be the first through the door? But I guess dealing with Newcastle Utd was never going to straight forward was it?
Mawson, another protracted signing?, his medical seemingly was never ending, but he’s here now and once fully fit (September?) and ‘match sharp’ I’m sure will prove to be a fantastic signing for the Whites!
Schürrle came in on a two year loan, a World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, he played in six of Germany’s seven matches, famously scoring twice in the 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the Semi-Final.

It’ll be interesting to see how well Seri, Schürrle, Mitrović, Sessegnon and Cairney work/link with each other, I can’t wait.

On transfer deadline day we manage to secure a number of deals, Sergio Rico, Joe Bryan, Andre Zambo Anguish, Luciano Vietto and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. (at time of writing only the Rico & Bryan deals have been confirmed on the club website)
If any of these will be ready for Saturday remains to be seen?

With Odoi banned for this game and the next game, following his red card at the play-off final, the back four should also be interesting, will they line-up as for the friendly against Celta Vigo? Christie, Ream, Le Marchand, R. Sessegnon or will Slaviša go with a different line-up? will he include Calum Chambers having joined so recently and perhaps allow Ryan to play further up-field? or will Joe Bryan and Tosu-Mensah get a run out?

Also will Betts, Fabri or Sergio Rico get the shout as goalie, according to some reports Bettinelli has been carrying an injury for most of the closed season?

COYWs

GAMES OF INTEREST…

Friday 10th
Man Utd v Leicester

Saturday 11th
Newcastle v Spurs
Bournemouth V Cardiff
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Wolves v Everton

Sunday 12th
Southampton v Burnley
Arsenal v Man City

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Play-Off FINAL

Wembley, Wembley, we’re the oldest team in London and we’re going to Wembley

We overturned the 1 goal deficit against Derby County with a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage which gives us the opportunity to go to Wembley for the play-off final to decide who’ll be playing Premiership football next season.

Aston Villa will be out opponents, they beat Middlesborough 1-0 over the two legs.

Fulham v Aston Villa play-off FINAL

43 year ago Fulham had a disappointing visit to the “old” Wembley loosing to West Ham in the FA Cup Final after the longest FA Cup run in history, it’s a funny coincidence that Villa and West Ham have the same shirts? however I’m looking forward to a better result this time.

Our record against Villa this season:
21 Oct 2017   Villa 2-1 Fulham
17 Feb 2017   Fulham 2-0 Villa

 

COYW’s

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