Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)  (Read 14328 times)

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2011, 02:46:03 AM »

Exclusive - Dembele: 'England are jealous of Belgium's young talent'

By Warren Haughton

Thursday, March 17

Mousa Dembele has told talkSPORT the new generation of Belgian players are the envy of Europe’s elite.

Belgium are struggling to qualify for Euro 2012 next summer, but Dembele is confident the future is bright for his country’s international team.

He told talkSPORT: “We have a very good team and, even if you compare us to England, we have talent England is very jealous of. We should be qualifying for tournaments.

“If our players were English they would play for the English national team. I hope more Belgian players come to the Premier League.”

More pressing for Dembele right now is to end the season on a high with Fulham and to banish any lingering fears of relegation.

The Cottagers face a tough challenge this weekend when they travel to Everton, but Dembele feels his side has been boosted by the return of England man Bobby Zamora, who has missed much of the season through season.

“Everybody is happy he’s back,” added the Belgian striker. “He’s shown us already he’s a good player. He is very strong in the air and can keep the ball.

“It’s a very important game and we have proved ourselves against the good teams. At the start of the season, we played well but did not have much luck, but now our luck has changed.”

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2011, 02:47:27 AM »

Hughes reveals Senderos closing in on Fulham debut

By talkSPORT

Thursday, March 17

Fulham manager Mark Hughes has revealed that defender Philippe Senderos will finally return to full training next week.

A serious Achilles tendon injury has prevented the Switzerland international from making his Fulham debut, despite joining them seven months ago.

But Hughes has confirmed that the former Arsenal and AC Milan defender is now on the verge of finally shaking off the problem and could be fit enough to take part in  Fulham's run in this season.

Ahead of Saturday's trip to Everton, the manager said: "Philippe Senderos is still unavailable.

"He's got some stiffness in his hamstring, so he had to have some treatment from the medical people, but he should be back in full training next week."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2011, 02:49:10 AM »

Sorry, Fulham fans, but Mark Hughes is the perfect fit for Bayern Munich.

Sparky still has many connections there from his time as a Bayern player and when I played for him at Blackburn, the club even arranged for us to stage a training camp at their pre-season site on the German/Austrian border.

Bayern are struggling this season and their fans would appreciate Mark’s determination and the demands he makes on his team.

With Champions League football virtually guaranteed every year – although it might be beyond them this time – it’s an ideal stage for a manager who should still be in a job at Manchester City, even though Jupp Heynckes appears to be in pole position for the role.

I’ve said it before but Fulham seems to me to be too cosy a club for someone like Sparky.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2011, 02:53:02 AM »

Manchester United track Dutch wonderkid

Published on March 17, 2011

by Rob Morris   

Manchester United are tracking 18-year-old FC Twente wonderkid Ola John.

John, who is the younger brother of former Fulham striker Collins John, has reportedly been scouted by both United and Ajax this season.

John said: “I speak to Collins every day. He is proud of me and told me to continue here.

“In any case it is too early to go to England and FC Twente is a good club, so why would I want to leave?”

John has a contract at the Eredivisie club until 2014.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2011, 07:52:18 AM »

Lawro's prediction

Everton v Fulham (1730)
Everton have been hit by injuries to key players at a really important time. They may sit ninth going into the weekend but only six points separate them from West Ham in 18th and without Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Neville they could have problems.

However, they do put teams under real pressure at Goodison and Fulham continue to look unconvincing on the road. They got a draw at Manchester City in February, which showed they're no pushovers.

That said, I think Everton will edge it and they need to. They've got mounting debts and chairman Bill Kenwright recently said that if someone came in for manager David Moyes they wouldn't be able to stand in his way. These are slightly worrying times for Evertonians.

Prediction: 2-1

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2011, 10:23:14 AM »,19528,11681_6819843,00.html

Palace loan star impressing

Clubs check on Fulham midfielder

By Graeme Bailey - Follow me on Twitter @graemebailey   

Last updated: 18th March 2011

Dikgacoi: Impressing

Kagisho Dikgacoi is attracting attention after an impressive spell on loan at Crystal Palace, understands.

The South Africa international is on loan with the Eagles from Premier League Fulham.

He has started six games for Palace and has played a major role for them as they look to try and avoid relegation from the Championship.

And his displays with the South London club have not gone unnoticed elsewhere.

Roy Hodgson, the man who took him to Fulham and now in charge of West Bromwich Albion, is thought to be keeping close tabs on his progress.

West Brom's Black Country rivals Wolves are also believed to be taking a look, while Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers are believed to be showing an interest.

Dikgacoi joined Fulham in 2009 from Golden Arrows, but has been limited to just 13 appearances for the Cottagers in that time.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2011, 10:35:06 AM »

Sidwell's arrival will make me a better player - Etuhu

Mar 18 2011

By Paul Warburton

DICKSON Etuhu reckons Steve Sidwell's attempt to snatch his Fulham place will make the Nigerian international a better player.

The defensive midfielder throws his hat into the ring for a slot at Everton tomorrow (Saturday) knowing he could bang nails into his mate’s coffin if he holds down the place that has been his for the last two years.

Etuhu said: "It’s not for me to make those kind of decisions, but the competition with Siddy will only make me want to perform better.

"It’s true there’s not really been anyone else to go for my particular role. And I think I have built up a particularly good partnership with Danny Murphy in midfield, but ideally the club needs two good players for every position."

Sidwell, who is sidelined with a knee problem, has insisted every chance he gets in a white shirt is a step closer to a long deal when his current six-month contract runs out in the summer, and the former Chelsea and Aston Villa player made his Fulham debut when he replaced Etuhu during the 2-0 win over Stoke in January.

Etuhu was straight back in to the Cottage with a hamstring strain after he made way – but aggravated the injury in the 3-2 win over Blackburn a fortnight ago.

However, he returned to training yesterday ahead of the trip to Merseyside as the Whites look to continue their climb up the table.

And with a string of Fulham wins, Etuhu is eyeing a return to Europe next season – so concertinaed is the Premiership from sixth down.

It would do the Cottage cause no harm at all if Chelsea were to win the Champions League at Wembley – and free up one more Euro spot for Fulham and other English contenders.

"I’ve also got mates at Chelsea," said Etuhu. "The African players there like John Obi Mikel, Michael Essien and Didier (Drogba) I get on well with – although I’d better say I Manchester United as well, so I don’t get so much stick from their fans the next time we play them."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2011, 10:39:51 AM »

Race to the Finish

Friday 18th March 2011

Fulham midfielder Dickson Etuhu is hoping to be fit for Saturday's clash against Everton at Goodison Park after picking up a hamstring injury following the game against Blackburn Rovers.

The recent break in fixtures has allowed additional recovery time for the Nigerian international who is now looking to finish the season on a high with nine Barclays Premier League fixtures remaining of the 2010/11 campaign.

“I did my hamstring against Stoke and I tried to come back about ten days later and I did it again. That kept me out another ten days and then I did it again after the Blackburn game,” Dickson told “I’d not trained for two weeks. I’ve started training this week to be fit for the Everton game.

“The last game I played before my hamstring injury was against Stoke when we won 2-0. At the time I was flying and getting stronger with every game and enjoying my football so much. I came off just after we’d scored the second goal and we absolutely battered them.

“From a personal point of view I was doing well and I was fit and now I have to build myself up again. Obviously the Team’s doing well and now I’m coming back and ready to fight for my spot. There are still a lot of games left to go this season and I’m looking forward to finishing strong.”

Etuhu is confident that Fulham are more than capable of achieving a top ten finish this season and with Mark Hughes' Team enjoying several fine wins in 2011, the midfielder is focusing on pushing hard until the finish line on Sunday, 22nd May.

“If you look at the League table you can see we haven’t lost many games,” explained Dickson. “I’ve always thought we’ve done okay and that we’ve just drawn too many games and sooner or later we’ll turn those draws into wins.  That’s what we’re doing now.

“At the end of the day I believe we can finish a lot higher than where we are at the moment. We all believe that and it’s about focusing on trying to take maximum points from every game. We’ve got to keep pushing in the right direction.”

Etuhu has a healthy respect for Saturday's opponents, having been on the receiving end of a heavy defeat at Goodison Park during his Sunderland days, and Fulham will clearly not be underestimating the challenge that lies ahead this weekend after a tough encounter against David Moyes' side at the Cottage earlier in the season.

“It’s a tough place to go," said Etuhu. "I played there for Sunderland when they got battered 7-1! I remember that beating. I didn’t play at Goodison last season because I was rested. It’s tough against them and they’re a good team. They gave us a tough match at the Cottage this season and if I’m honest I thought we were lucky to get a draw on the day. They played very well.”

Etuhu is now in direct competition with January signing Steve Sidwell for the midfield berth alongside captain Danny Murphy and Etuhu expects both players to remain at the very top of their game with such fierce competition for places.

“It’s good to have that challenge and I’m looking forward to it," Etuhu explained. "It keeps you on your toes and probably makes you deliver better performances so everybody wins. It’s good to have competition and I’ll fight for my spot.

“It’s up to the manager to choose who he feels is right for his Team but whatever happens I’ll be pushing to get a shirt. Steve [Sidwell] will be doing the same – he’s a good lad and we get on well. It’s football and there are only eleven shirts so not everyone can play and like I said, it helps both of us because it keeps us at the top of our game.”

Etuhu will enjoy his first break from football this summer after two non-stop years of playing and whilst the midfielder is looking forward to giving his body a well-earned rest, his desire and passion for the game shines through.

“The summer before the World Cup I was playing World Cup Qualifiers for six weeks so I’ve had no break over the past two summers. I’ve had 10 days off - after a while your body starts to feel it but I’m trying to get as many breaks as I can here and there, but I wouldn’t change it for anything and it’s great to be playing football. I love the game and the buzz.”

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2011, 10:41:04 AM »

Club Focus - Everton - Saha and Johnson prepare to face former clubs

By Andrew Tuft - Football Correspondent

Friday 18 March 2011

After a break for the FA Cup Everton return to action this weekend as they host Fulham in the Premier League, and with just two points separating the sides a victory for either team would keep flickering hopes of European qualification alive. Both David Moyes and Mark Hughes, however, will be reliant upon an injury-plagued striker facing a former club - Louis Saha for the Toffees and Andy Johnson for the Cottagers.

Saha spent four years at Craven Cottage, 2000-2004, scoring 63 goals in 142 games and gaining promotion from the First Division to the Premier League in his first season. The Frenchman was an instant hit in London after a taste of English football during a brief loan spell at Newcastle United, finding the net 32 times in 48 second-tier games, and only really began to suffer the serious injury woes that have stifled his career after leaving for Manchester United. At Old Trafford, Saha began the pattern that has continued into his Everton tenure - goals and impressive performances coming sporadically, with long spells out injured much more frequent. Having scored nine goals in 25 appearances this season - from a possible 35 - Saha has featured in the overwhelming majority of Everton games but his injuries have come at the worst possible time, such as the knock suffered in training just days after scoring four times against Blackpool. His stats do compare favourably with Johnson’s, however.

Johnson, who left Everton for Fulham in 2008 for a £10m fee, £2.5m more than Everton paid Crystal Palace two years earlier, has scored only twice from 21 games, and managed only three goals in 13 appearances last season after a serious knee injury. It is a far cry from the striker’s Palace heyday, when 84 goals in 160 games, including 21 in 37 Premier League games, convinced Everton to make him their record signing. Johnson did make an encouraging start upon his return to the capital, netting 10 goals in 36 games during his first season as a Fulham player, the same tally as his final season on Merseyside and only two behind his first. Considering the money spent on Johnson - not only the £8.5m transfer fee but the wages around £40,000 a week - his time at Everton must be considered a disappointment for all concerned, with only 17 league goals, although, since two of those goals came in a 3-0 Merseyside derby win over Liverpool, he will always be fondly remembered and can expect a warm welcome on Saturday evening.

When Johnson left Everton in 2008 Saha was drafted in to replace him, and scored his first Everton goal against Fulham, with Johnson in the visitors’ line-up, in November. Johnson, however, has not scored against his former employers while Saha has not scored against anyone since that quartet against Blackpool in early February. The law of the ex in football often rears its head and few would be surprised if Johnson breaks his Everton duck or Saha gets back on the goal trail against sides they know so well.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2011, 12:34:58 PM »

Everton midfielder Seamus Coleman ready to fight for his place as he warns of Fulham’s Irish threat

by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post

Mar 18 2011

SEAMUS COLEMAN is determined to win back his starting role for Everton tomorrow – as he warned of the Irish threat from Fulham.

Having started 16 games in a row, Coleman was rested to the bench for the victory at Newcastle United and the home draw against Birmingham City earlier this month.

Coleman, though, was pressed back into action just nine minutes into the Midlanders’ visit following an injury to Mikel Arteta.

With the Spaniard out for a month with a hamstring tear, Marouane Fellaini missing for the rest of the season, Tim Cahill having been absent for three weeks with a foot problem and Phil Neville nursing his own hamstring concern, Everton manager David Moyes is running short of midfielders.

And that should open the way for Coleman to return to the starting line-up against the team he made his full Premier League debut against at Craven Cottage in September.

“I played a lot of games and the manager decided to take me out and I have no complaints about that,” said Coleman. “Hopefully I have worked hard in training and convinced him to put me back in. I’ll always remember my first start and that was against Fulham, playing right midfield, I have been lucky and played a lot of games since then.

“I remember the manager telling me I was starting and that was a great feeling. I was a bit nervous because playing for Everton in the Premier League is a big thing and hopefully I can go on and play a lot more games for the club.”

Coleman could find himself in direct opposition with international team-mate Damien Duff tomorrow, and the Everton man is wary of the threat posed by the winger.

“When I was a kid, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane were the players me and my friends looked up to,” he added. “The 2002 World Cup was fantastic, they were superb and had a great tournament. He (Duff) is a top player and seems to be close to his best. He has been a good player for Fulham this season, scoring goals and he will be a threat.”

Despite his injury, Cahill has been named in the Australia squad for their friendly in Germany on March 29 in Mönchengladbach with the 31-year-old expected to recover in time.

Tim Howard has been named in the USA squad for friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay later this month, while goalkeeper Iain Turner – currently out on loan to Preston North End – has been named in the Scotland squad to face Brazil at the Emirates Stadium on March 27.

Meanwhile, npower Championship side Hull City have signed Everton’s reserve midfielder Hope Akpan on loan until the end of the season, with an option to sign the 19-year-old on a permanent deal in the summer.

“We do have options to make the deal permanent should we feel that it’s right,” said Hull manager Nigel Pearson. “We’ve got an agreement in place, and hopefully it’ll be a good addition to the squad.”

Akpan has made one appearance for the Everton first team as a substitute in the Europa League tie against BATE Borisov in December 2009.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2011, 12:36:56 PM »

FM Preview: Everton v Fulham 19 Mar 2011

By Footymad

Updated Friday, 18th March 2011

FootyMad attempt to assist you with their form guide as Everton take on Fulham in a Premier League match on 19th March 2011 at 17:30.

 History of the Everton v Fulham fixture

Fulham face a trip to Everton at Goodison Park at tea-time on Saturday, and have come away with little in previous meetings, having taken no points from 18 of the 26 contests.

The most recent encounter between these two sides was less than a year ago, in April 2010, the Toffees carving out a narrow 2-1 victory in a Premier League match.

Recent encounters between the teams

Season Date Team Result Team Comp
2010/2011 Sat 25 Sep Fulham 0 - 0 Everton Premier League
2009/2010 Sun 25 Apr Everton 2-1 Fulham Premier League
2009/2010 Sun 13 Sep Fulham 2 - 1 Everton Premier League
2008/2009 Sun 24 May Fulham 0 - 2 Everton Premier League
2008/2009 Sat 01 Nov Everton 1 - 0 Fulham Premier League
2007/2008 Sun 16 Mar Fulham 1 - 0 Everton Premier League
2007/2008 Sat 08 Dec Everton 3 - 0 Fulham Premier League

For a detailed analysis of the complete head-to-head record between the two sides, click here

Recent respective form guides

Everton have collected 2 wins and 3 draws from their last six home matches. A total of 11 goals have been scored by the Toffees in those games, with 8 conceded.

Fulham have an average recent record on the road, collecting 1 win and 3 draws from the last six played. A generous 6 goals have been both scored and conceded in this period.

Everton lie just outside the playoff positions in the Barclays Premier League, picking up 37 points from their 29 games so far.

Fulham see themselves just below half way in the Barclays Premier League, showing a record of 35 points from their 29 games played so far,

Current overall team form

Team P W D L F A P
Everton 6 2 2 2 6 6 8
Fulham 6 2 3 1 7 6 9

For a detailed analysis of current team form guides in this or any division, click here

FootyMad's prediction ...

Not a lot has been going right generally for Fulham on their travels as of late, but we can certainly see them gleaning a point from their game against Everton. No-score draw

Sequence statistics

Team Sequences
Everton Failed to win in previous 2 home matches.
Fulham Previous 2 away games have finished all-square.
Not won in previous 5 away matches.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2011, 12:39:00 PM »

Fury as Mohamed Fayed brings Michael Jackson statue to Fulham

Oliver Poole and Jonathan Prynn

18 Mar 2011

He is one of London's most bizarre figures and even planned a mausoleum for himself on the roof of Harrods.

But now Mohamed Fayed has alienated the one group of people he could rely on for support whatever the headlines - grateful Fulham football fans.

Supporters of the west London Premier League club are furious at the Egyptian tycoon's latest scheme, a statue of "the king of pop" Michael Jackson at its Craven Cottage ground.

The six-foot figure, complete with ammunition belts strapped across his chest and with what appear to be underpants over his trousers, will show the singer "in one of his most iconic poses."

It was originally due to stand at Harrods. But after Mr Fayed sold the store to the Qatari royal family for £1.5 billion last May he decided to plant the tribute to his "friend" by the side of the club he owns.

He will join Fulham Fifties footballing legend Johnny Haynes as the only two club "figures" immortalised at the stadium. But hundreds of fans have already signed a petition protesting against the statue and a demonstration is planned on the day of its unveiling on April 3 when Fulham play Blackpool.

Jackson's only known involvement with the club was in 1999 when Fayed invited him to watch the Second Division victory over Wigan,

Fans complained that Mr Fayed was using Craven Cottage as a "dumping ground for his weird statue", would make Fulham a "laughing stock" and asked if the ground should be renamed Madame Tussauds.

Mr Fayed insisted that the statue, which has been placed on the Thames side of the ground between the Riverside and Hammersmith stands, was an appropriate tribute to the singer.

"He was my friend, a man with whom I shared many happy memories and who died a tragic and untimely death," he said.

"I hope that many fans of his will visit the statue at the Cottage from far and wide."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2011, 12:41:50 PM »

Away Gain

Friday 18th March 2011

Mark Hughes is looking for his Team to continue their progressive form away from home when they travel to Goodison Park on Saturday.

The Whites will be looking to record their first ever league win over the Toffees at Goodison Park this weekend - and following impressive away draws against Manchester City and Aston Villa in February, the Fulham Manager outlined his intentions for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League encounter

“Our record at Everton is not very good at all,” Hughes told “In fact I don’t think we’ve ever won at Goodison Park. If we can change that on Saturday it will show we are making progress. I think people can see by the way we approach games, certainly more so away from home, we’re more positive and we create more chances than we have done in the past.

“We’ve picked up a decent amount of points on the road and we want to continue in that vein because it’s important in our progression as a Team and a Club that we continue to improve our away form, which has hampered the Team in previous seasons.

“I think it’s a good group of players and we can add quality as we go along. I think the way I want my teams to play, and the work that’s gone on before, we can become better and there have been signs of that in recent weeks.”

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2011, 12:46:27 PM »

Striking Matters

Friday 18th March 2011

Andrew Johnson returns to Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon as Fulham face David Moyes’ Everton - and Mark Hughes is hoping that his striker will have a point to prove against his former club.

Johnson has returned to the Fulham First Team in fine form and has been a key asset in the Whites’ attacking play, setting up an interesting encounter this weekend.

“He’s obviously an ex-player and he’s looking forward to going back,” Hughes said ahead of the match. “He had a good time there and I think he enjoyed being an Everton player.

“It’s always good for a player to go back and I think it’s in the back of a player’s mind. You want to show people that you’ve moved and improved as a player they once remember.

“That’s the attitude a lot of players will try and show and certainly AJ, given his attitude to work and the way he approaches games, he’s very much in that mould. He’ll want to show everyone how good he is.”

Bobby Zamora continues improving on his fitness levels and, as Hughes explained, it’s only a matter of time before he comes into starting contention.

“He’s probably not ready yet but he’s getting up to speed,” the Fulham Manager explained. “We’re really pleased with what he’s producing, not only when he gets a taste of the action but also every day he’s getting stronger and more confident in training.

“We’re really pleased where he is at the moment and he’s very positive in his own mind which is important after a serious injury. He’s obviously going to start games before the end of the season.”

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2011, 12:55:16 PM »
Bobby Zamora: Tricks of the trade

Get the edge over your marker with a trick of the trade from Fulham and England striker Bobby Zamora

You've had no change out of a centre back all game. Nothing seems to be working.  He's wily, quick, strong and aggressive. How are you going to break free of his Velcro tight marking?

Wouldn't it be nice if an established Premier League striker whispered a piece of magic advice in your ear?

Well guess what? Fulham's Bobby Zamora has let us in on a trick of the striker's trade and we're going to share it with you.

Click play and find out his confidential intel.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2011, 01:57:04 PM »

Everton v Fulham preview
Everton chief hoping they can end their season on a high

By Soriebah Kajue   

Last updated: 18th March 2011   

Form guide:
Everton: DWWLWL
Fulham: WDDDWL

Everton: Cahill, Fellaini, Arteta
Fulham: Sidwell, Senderos

SKY BET odds: Everton evens, Draw 21/10, Fulham 16/5

Opta stat: Everton have won their last 17 home league games against Fulham and all nine in the Premier League era.

David Moyes is desperate for a strong end to Everton's season as they bid to snatch a European place.

So much was expected from the Toffees this term but a combination of injuries and poor form saw them tumble down the table.

Everton are unbeaten in their last three games and look to be finally producing the kind of form that was expected after back-to-back wins against Sunderland and Newcastle.

Everton have won just five games at home this year and will look to better that record as they enter the final phase of the season.

Mark Hughes will make an emotional return to Goodison Park where enjoyed a two-year spell towards the end of a glittering career.

After a slow start to his career at Craven Cottage, the former Wales international manager is now starting to make his mark at Fulham.

They have suffered just two defeats in their last 11 league games and will be buoyed by their performance in their last outing when they edged past Blackburn 3-2.

Everton team news
Moyes will hope to be able to call on the calming experience and presence of skipper Phil Neville who missed last week's draw to Birmingham with a hamstring injury.

Australia midfielder Tim Cahill is a doubt with a foot injury but the Blues will give him every opportunity to prove his fitness as his goals are so vital to the team.

However, they will definitely be without the talents of playmaker Mikel Arteta and towering presence of Marouane Fellaini.

Fulham team news
Bobby Zamora will have to be content with a place on the bench despite scoring a last-minute winner against Blackburn a fortnight ago.

But after such a long period out with a broken ankle, Hughes will not be rushed into playing the England international for 90 minutes.

Dickson Etuhu has returned to training and looks like he could shake off a hamstring complaint to line up in midfield.

Sadly for Steve Sidwell, his knee injury will exclude him from this fixture, while Philippe Senderos remains sidelined with his hamstring injury.

Possible starting XIs:
Everton: Howard, Neville, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Coleman, Heitinga, Rodwell, Osman, Beckford, Saha

Fulham: Schwarzer, Salcido, Hangeland, Hughes, Baird, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Dempsey, Johnson, Dembele.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2011, 02:04:41 PM »

Mark Hughes proves that money can't buy happiness

David Smith

18 Mar 2011

Mark Hughes sat back in his office overlooking the white-lined lawns of Fulham's Motspur Park training ground, and smiled. There was a serenity about the man that was in keeping with the serenity of his surroundings.

The money-fuelled maelstrom of Manchester City seemed a million miles away. Down here, in hushed Surrey, Hughes is in no danger of being accosted by petulant superstar footballers, of being harassed by agents shouting percentages, of being accused by owners and assorted cohorts of not returning sufficient bang for their megabucks.

Oh yes, Hughes admitted, he does receive phone calls from Fulham chairman Mohamed Fayed. But these calls are of the welcome variety. The soft-spoken Welshman said: "Before games he'll ring up out of the blue and wish everybody well. And he makes sure I pass on those comments.

"The chairman has a real input and a real enthusiasm for everything that we do. And it is much appreciated because, goodness me, if he hadn't come in and invested heavily in the club when he did then this club might have folded. So we're forever in his debt.

"It's a little different from other relationships I've had with chairmen and owners. But it works and it's fruitful, and that's really key. He has been really supportive. He has been really encouraging in terms of always asking whether I need anything. I've enjoyed that."

It is little wonder Hughes has shrugged off reports that Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich might be interested in his services at the end of the season.

The silver-haired 47-year-old has been around the block enough times as a player and now as a manager to realise that the thickest cheque book and the most glittering of trophy cabinets do not necessarily make for happy employment.

Fayed is thought to have invested some £200million in 13 years at Fulham. That is, of course, a substantial sum yet one that roughly equates to the amount Hughes, backed first by former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and later by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, of Abu Dhabi's ruling family, spent in the transfer market before his 18-month tenure at Manchester City ended abruptly in December 2009.

The absence of City-scale resources have certainly not dulled Hughes's enthusiasm for his latest job. Ahead of tomorrow's visit to Premier League rivals Everton, he said: "I've been really pleased with what I've found. There are good people here, it's a good club, well run, with good facilities.

"On a day-to-day basis, if you've got all those things in place, it stands comparison to any club irrespective of their stature."

Indeed, Hughes sees potential in Fulham that might include backdoor entry into Europe - if the season was to end now, Fulham would qualify for a second Europa League campaign in three years through the Fair Play tables run by UEFA and the Barclays Premier League.

UEFA have reserved three places in the first qualifying round for the top three national associations in their Respect Fair Play League - points are awarded according to criteria that include positive play, respect for the opposition and the referee, behaviour of the crowd, as well as cautions and dismissals. In the latest table, England are in second place behind Norway.

The Football Association would award England's place to the top club in the Premier League's Fair Play table that have not already qualified for Europe. And currently Fulham lie second to Chelsea, who will almost certainly get in to Europe based on their final Premier League position.

Hughes, whose vast collection of medals gained as a player includes those won in the European Cup Winners' Cup with Manchester United and Chelsea, is excited by the prospect of a Europa League challenge with Fulham, whose sensational march to the final last season was worth £12.5m according to the club's latest financial report.

"Let's hope we have the opportunity," he said. "It would be great to get back in. We would benefit from the experience we had last year and I would argue that we've added to the quality that was at Fulham's disposal last season, so there is no reason why we couldn't do well."

'Sparky' is glowing with professional ambition and personal contentment at the moment. He only returned to his former stamping ground of west London in late summer when he replaced Roy Hodgson at Fulham, yet already he has bought a house off the King's Road.

"I like the London life," he said. "And I'm at a good club with good people. I like the place in the world where I'm living."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2011, 02:11:28 PM »

Everton seek perfect 10 against Fulham

By Brian Sears

18 March 2011

In many ways, Everton have struggled to hit the statistical heights in the Premier League era. Of the seven ever-present Premier League clubs, Everton will be the last to reach the coveted 1,000 points total – they are still 39 points short.

(Tottenham were the sixth club to reach the target this February when they won 2-1 at Sunderland, while Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Aston Villa had already reach the grand total).

Even at Goodison, the “Big Four” have taken more points away with them than they have left for The Toffees: Manchester United’s PL points tally on that side of Stanley Park reads 42-12, Arsenal’s is 33-18, Chelsea’s 28-19 and Liverpool’s 28-25. Tottenham are also in Goodison credit by 30 points to 18, while Aston Villa are all square at 18-18.

But in one contest at Goodison Park Everton reign supreme. Oh yes. And how.

Fulham have come visiting nine times in the Premier League era and each time – yes, nine from nine – Everton have claimed the three points, for a magnificent 27 from 27 in total. This 100 per cent record has been achieved with a whopping total goals aggregate of 21-5.

And who do Everton play on Saturday, at tea-time? Fulham of course. If Everton don’t make it a perfect 10, then truly that’s a sign of their most mediocre campaign in some time.

Everton’s home record against every club in the Premier League era is detailed below. The only other 100 per cent Goodison record against a current Premier League clubs is over Blackpool, from one match.

Fulham should not despair. For the first seven seasons of Fulham-Everton Premier League meetings, Fulham always retaliated with Craven Cottage victories. But two seasons ago that remarkable sequence was broken when Everton won 2-0 on the banks of the Thames.  Then last September that same location saw a 0-0 draw … the first drawn game in 19 Premier League games between the clubs.

With both clubs racking-up a lot of draws so far this season (Everton 13 Fulham 14), what are the chances of a double draw being played out at Goodison on Saturday and ending Everton’s worthy 100 per cent sequence over the Londoners?

In the Premier League, Everton have played 362 Goodison games to date, winning 159, drawing 104 and losing 99, gaining 581 home points.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2011, 02:12:36 PM »

Everton v Fulham - LIVE ON ESPN

Form: Since beating Chelsea in the FA Cup last month, Everton have enjoyed an unbeaten run in the league, winning twice and drawing once. The Toffees sit ninth in the table, though they are only six points above West Ham in 18th, so they are not out of the woods yet in terms of relegation. Fulham, meanwhile, are in the middle of a purple patch themselves, stringing together an unbeaten run in the league lasting five games.
Key battle: Jack Rodwell has been in the headlines recently, with Everton boss David Moyes insisting the England youngster won't be going anywhere in the summer. If he gets the better of Danny Murphy in midfield, Rodwell's admirers will only increase.
Player to watch: With Tim Cahill missing, the onus will be on Jermaine Beckford to lead both the line and Everton's goal threat. He's shown he is capable on occasions, bagging six in the league in an encouraging season for the front man.
Talking point: Everton's home record against Fulham in the Premier League is remarkable. In nine games at Goodison Park, they've been victorious on every occasion. An undoubted bogey team for the Cottagers.
Bet of the day: Beckford to score first and Everton to win 2-1: 45/1 with bet365
Prediction: 2-1

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (18.03.11)
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2011, 02:14:02 PM »

Cottagers midfielder targeted

Wolverhampton Wanderers, 11:39, March 18, 2011

Wolves are believed to be eyeing Fulham midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi after a series of impressive displays on loan at Crystal Palace.

The South Africa international has started six games for Palace in the fight to avoid relegation from the Championship and his efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed.

QPR and West Brom are also thought to be considering a summer bid for the player, who Baggies boss Roy Hodgson signed for the Cottagers during his time there.

His opportunities at Fulham have been limited though since his 2009 move from Golden Arrows, and since then Dikgacoi has played only 13 times for their first team.