Author Topic: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)  (Read 3393 times)

Offline whitejc

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Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« on: April 04, 2010, 07:26:53 AM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1263393/Mohamed-Al-Fayed-I-dont-care-West-Ham-think.html?ITO=1490
Mohamed Al Fayed: I don't care what West Ham think

Mohamed Al Fayed says he sticks two fingers up to West Ham's complaint about the Fulham team which lost 2-0 last week to Hull.

And the Premier League are set to back the Fulham chairman by rejecting the claim from West Ham that the six changes made by manager Roy Hodgson for the Hull game broke rules about fielding weakened teams.

Fayed said: 'I stick two fingers up to West Ham. If they don't like the team we had in this match, then I don't care.'

'Only our manager chooses the players. We can pick whoever we want and it's nothing to do with them.'



The Premier League gave Wolves a suspended fine of £25,000 after manager Mick McCarthy selected an understrength team for a game at Manchester United which most people expected them to lose.

But it is understood that they will not take similar action against Fulham, who are currently suing West Ham for half a million pounds in lost prize money from the 2006-07 season, in the continuing fallout from the Carlos Tevez affair.

Fulham forward Clint Dempsey believes the Premier League would be right to reject West Ham's complaint.

'I was in the side that lost at Hull and I don't feel like a weak player,' said Fulham forward Clint Dempsey.

'I felt strong and confident during that game and tried to get the job done. What West Ham are saying is disrespectful to me.

'When we play them it could be a very interesting game.'

That meeting will come at Craven Cottage on May 1 on the penultimate weekend of the season.

Meanwhile West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola admits he has asked for divine intervention in his side's battle against relegation.

He takes his team to Everton today on their worst run for 43 years, just a week after he admitted he was prepared to resign if it would save the club from the drop and the dire financial consequences.

'Yes, I am religious in my own way,' said Zola. 'I pray all the time. For me, for my players, and for my family.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1263393/Mohamed-Al-Fayed-I-dont-care-West-Ham-think.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0k6tGaqRD

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2010, 07:28:30 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=6739
Dempsey targets league points
by Dan on April 3, 2010

At the bottom of this article which sees Roy Hodgson defending himself against West Ham’s absurd claims, we find Clint Dempsey denying that Fulham have given up on the league.

We want to get as many points as we can and finish as high up the table as possible. We’ve got to continue the positive home form we’ve had this season so hopefully we can do that and get the points we need.

We’ve still got a few games left and we want to get as many points as possible to finish as high as possible, it’s as simple as that.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2010, 07:30:59 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/matchprere.asp?a=194060
Fulham v Wigan Preview
After the glory of the Europa League and playing Wolfsburg, on Thursday evening, it`s back to the bread and butter of the Premier League this Sunday with a home fixture against Wigan Athletic.

Vital Quotes:Still the furore over (Sir) Roy`s team selection at the KC Stadium, last weekend, creates waves. (Sir) Roy himself doesn`t seem too bothered and in his pre-match press interview couldn`t resist a crafty dig remarking,

"I will pick a team this weekend best capable of winning the match - as I did when we went to Hull."


Fulham Team News:Roy Hodgson, mindful of what lies ahead on Thursday evening, of next week, may well decide to shuffle his pack this weekend and rest a few key individuals, just like he did at Hull last Saturday.

Definitely missing though will be long term injury victims Andrew Johnson and John Pantsil. Stephen Kelly, who missed the Wolfsburg fixture is fit again and could come into consideration.


Player to watch: Bobby Zamora18 goals for the season is testament to the progress Bobby has made and the clamour for his inclusion in the England squad, for 2010, increases. A brace against Wigan could just see it upped a few decibels.

Wigan Team News:Roberto Martinez brings his Wigan squad to West London without the suspended Gary Coldwell. Rated as doubtful is Henry Thomas so Ben Watson, who recently returned from a loan spell at West Brom could well feature.

Wigan players to look out for include Charles N`Zogbia, Hugo Rodallega and James McCarthy and that is straight from the horses mouth over at Vital Wigan.


Player to watch: James McCarthyApparently this youngster is tipped t be the next Steven Gerrard by those who watch him week in and week out. It`ll be interesting to see how well he does against us.

Match Facts & StatsAlready this season the two sides have played out a 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium, in a fixture where a Dempsey penalty was enough to cancel out a Boyce opening goal.

The above result is indicative of how fixtures between the two sides go with five of the last six games having finished all square.

But, London hasn`t been a happy hunting ground for Wigan this season with the worst nightmare being the 9-1 thrashing they suffered at White Hart Lane.


Ref Watch:Mark Clattenburg is the man in charge with John Flynn and Trevor Massey running the lines. The fourth official is James Linington

Match Prediction:I`d hazard a guess that (Sir) Roy will be resting a few players ahead of the important Europa League quarter-final tie with Wolfsburg. But, our squad fringe players will rise to the occasion at Craven Cottage and I expect Fulham to pick up three Premier League points, probably by the odd goal in three.

Next Fixtures:Next up for Fulham is the return leg of the Europa League clash with Wolfsburg, on Thursday evening, followed by a Premier League clash with Liverpool, at Anfield. Both mouth-watering prospects!


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2010, 07:31:56 AM »
http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=194068
Fulham - Your Wolfsburg MOTM Was?
With the focus now back on the Premier League and the Europa League quarter-final second leg put back on the back-burner until Wigan have been dealt with, we`ve a loose end to tie up.

After taking the honours, in the first leg, with a 2-1 victory, who did you select as your man-of-the-match?

Well as it turned out, there were two players who shared the award, both picking up 41% of the vote.

So step forward Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff, two heroes from a wonderful evening.



Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2010, 07:33:20 AM »
http://www.sportingpreview.com/matches/09104807.php
FULHAM v WIGAN ATHLETIC
BIG MATCH FACTS

SportingPreview.com, 3 Apr 2010

Wigan Athletic will be aiming to extend their lead on the teams in the relegation zone when they travel to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham this weekend.

The Latics are 16th in the Premier League table and are four points clear of the bottom three with six games left to go.

Fulham will look to climb back into the top half of the table when they take on Roberto Martinez's men on Sunday.

The Cottagers are just three points behind 10th-placed Blackburn Rovers with a game in hand.

MATCH FACTS

Head To Head

There have been 35 previous meetings between these two clubs with Fulham winning 13 matches and Wigan winning 10 while there have also been 12 draws.

Fulham are unbeaten in their last six Premier League encounters with Wigan.

Five of the last six clashes between the clubs have ended in a draw.

Just 11 goals have been scored in the nine Premier League meetings between these two clubs.

Fulham

Fulham are without a win in four league outings, losing the last three.

The Cottagers have won just three of their last 14 Premier League matches.

Roy Hodgson's men have collected two less points this season than they had at this stage last term.

Wigan

Wigan are hoping to avoid a third successive Premier League away loss.

The Latics have won just one of their last nine away league games, losing six in the process.

Roberto Martinez's men have collected just two wins from their last 12 top-flight outings.

LEADING GOALSCORERS

Fulham

Zamora: 18 goals

Wigan

Rodallega: 9 goals

MOST RECENT CLASH

Wigan 1-1 Fulham (8 November 2009)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2010, 07:34:27 AM »
http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/36398/Zola_places_doubt_on_Hammers_complaint.aspx
Zola places doubt on Hammers complaint
West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola has risked the wrath of his club's owners by questioning the decision to lodge an official complaint over Fulham's team selection at Hull City last weekend.

The Hammers are unhappy that Cottagers boss Roy Hodgson opted to rest some players ahead of an important Europa League fixture, but Zola has backed the Fulham boss' right to select whichever team he thinks necessary.

The Italian told reporters: "I just heard about that. I didn't know it was happening. As far as I'm concerned a manager can play his best team.

"I have no doubts that Roy Hodgson is doing the best for his team. He's a person I respect for his loyalty and I have no complaints with that.

"He decided to do that and I'm sure he has done the right thing for his club.

"Plus from what I read in the reports Fulham weren't that bad, so I have no problems with that."


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2010, 07:36:18 AM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1263235/Fulham-case-answer-Roy-Hodgson-scoffs-West-Hams-Premier-League-complaint.html?ITO=1490
Fulham have no case to answer! Roy Hodgson scoffs at West Ham's Premier League complaint

Fulham will decide this weekend how to respond to West Ham's claims that they broke Premier League rules by resting five key players for last week's defeat at Hull.   

Manager Roy Hodgson insists he did nothing wrong when he chose to rest Damien Duff, Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora, Aaron Hughes and Dickson Etuhu for the match, which brought Iain Dowie his first win as Tigers boss.   

Premier League rules state that teams must field their strongest available XI in every game and Hodgson will argue that he was merely rotating a squad that has had to play 52 matches in a gruelling campaign. 

The Cottagers could be hit with a similar punishment to that handed out to Wolves, who were handed a suspended £25,000 fine for resting nine players in September's defeat at Old Trafford.   

After hearing about the complaint, Hodgson said: 'If there is a complaint my conscience is perfectly clear on the subject and as far as I'm concerned we don't have a case to answer.   


'I can't understand why, if you have a large squad, it's not allowed for you to change things around. I can't imagine anyone questioning Liverpool, Manchester United or Chelsea for using all the players in their squad.'
Clint Dempsey was one of the five players who came in for the game against Hull and he should start against Wigan tomorrow after impressing in the 2-1 Europa League win over Wolfsburg. 

The American denies that Fulham, who are without a league win since February, have given up on the league to concentrate on fulfilling their ambitions in Europe. 

'We want to get as many points as we can and finish as high up the table as possible,' said the 27-year-old. 'We've got to continue the positive home form we've had this season so hopefully we can do that and get the points we need. 

'We've still got a few games left and we want to get as many points as possible to finish as high as possible, it's as simple as that.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1263235/Fulham-case-answer-Roy-Hodgson-scoffs-West-Hams-Premier-League-complaint.html?ITO=1490#ixzz0k6vmB7LX


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2010, 07:37:32 AM »
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/04/03/fulham-v-wigan-preview-all-eyes-on-roy-hodgsons-team-selection/
Fulham v Wigan Preview: All Eyes on Roy Hodgson's Team Selection
FULHAM:
Fulham's focus is firmly fixed on the Europa League and Thursday's 2-1 victory over Vfl Wolfsburg has ensured the meeting with Wigan will be seen by many at Craven Cottage as simply a potboiler ahead of the second leg in Germany.

Attention, therefore, will be trained on Roy Hodgson's team selection following the complaint made by West Ham that the manager broke Premier League rules by not fielding a full strength side at Hull City last weekend.

Hull claimed an invaluable victory at the KC Stadium that increased the pressure on the struggling Hammers, as indeed, would a victory for relegation threatened Wigan here.

Fulham will consider their response to the complaint this weekend, but Hodgson insists his selection was fully justified.

"If there is a complaint my conscience is perfectly clear on the subject and as far as I'm concerned we don't have a case to answer," he said.

"I can't understand why, if you have a large squad, it's not allowed for you to change things around. I can't imagine anyone questioning Liverpool, Manchester United or Chelsea for using all the players in their squad."

Whatever team he picks, Hodgson is not the kind of manager willing to accept a drop in standards and sees the attainment of a top half finish as a priority for his side. Victory will take Fulham past the 40-point mark and while any thoughts of a relegation battle have long since disappeared, confirming safety will provide a welcome lift ahead of Thursday's European fixture.

"Wigan changed their manager in the summer and now their style is more about getting the ball down, so it will be a different proposition to what Wigan used to be about," says midfielder Simon Davies.

"But it's a game to look forward to, and it's another quick turnaround so we'll have to try and recover as quickly as possible and work hard to get a win that will take the pressure off in the league and allow us to really look forward to the second leg in Germany."

Strategy: Hodgson is again likely to rest Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff and Danny Murphy but Fulham haven't done so well over the last two seasons by simply having a decent starting eleven and the changes will not affect the Cottagers playing style. The key components of solid defensive work, a sound midfield base and a willingness to attack down either flank will remain in place and Wigan's more open style should suit Hodgson's side.

Injury Update: Andrew Johnson remains sidelined with a long term knee injury while full back John Pantsil will be out for another week. Hodgson's main priority, therefore, is manage the level of fatigue within his squad after a 52-game campaing; which is exactly the problem, as far as West Ham are concerned.

WIGAN ATHLETIC:
London, in recent seasons, has not proved a particularly happy hunting ground for Wigan.

But Roberto Martinez's strugglers must hope their fortunes in the capital changes between now and the end of the season.

The trip to Fulham represents the first of three visits to London in a short space of time. Games at West Ham on April 24 and Chelsea on May 9 are on the horizon, but their first visit to the city in the space of five weeks takes them to a venue where they have triumphed just twice in 20 years.

With four points separating Wigan and the relegation zone, Martinez knows his side cannot afford to sink at Craven Cottage.

But the Spaniard does not believe Fulham's Europa Cup heroics against Wolfsburg on Thursday will help his side's cause - even though Wigan arrive refreshed after almost a week without a game.

"Fulham have been able to adapt themselves to the demands of a busy season playing many games," said Wigan manager Martinez.

"They've coped very well to those demands and will be ready. Craven Cottage is going to be a tough place to visit because they have been very strong there this season both domestically and in European competition.

"We'll have to be ready for what will be a very challenging game. We need to show the same intensity in our play that we've shown lately."

Strategy: Make no mistake, the absence of Gary Caldwell at the heart of the defence is as big a blow to Wigan as Manchester United losing Wayne Rooney. At least the probable return of Chris Kirkland is a positive, the keeper can expect another overworked 90 minutes.

Wigan have conceded seven times in their last two away games without reply. This is their last game before a 10-day mini-break. And Martinez knows another negative away result will drag his side closer to the relegation zone and mean an uncomfortable few days before his side return to action at home to doomed Portsmouth on April 14.

Injury Update: Caldwell starts a three-match ban after being sent off at Manchester City on Monday. That is likely to pave the way for Ivory Coast defender Steve Gohouri to make his first Premier League start. Kirkland is set to return after illness but Hendry Thomas is a major doubt with a thigh strain.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2010, 07:38:57 AM »
http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/striker-eyes-wigan-start-1046285.html
Striker eyes Wigan start

Fulham forward Bobby Zamora says he does not wanted to be rested for the game against Wigan as he looks to bag more goals.

The Cottagers top scorer is expected to be on the bench against the Latics on Sunday, as Roy Hodgson rotates his squad again with the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Wolfsburg to come on Thursday.

While Fulham have little to play for on the domestic front, Zamora has said he wants to play, despite admitting that the European campaign is starting to take its toll on him and the rest of the squad.

"I'll have to ask the gaffer whether I'm playing but the way I look at it, it's another game, another chance for me to score," said Zamora.

"I want to play, I want to score goals. Our long season is beginning to take its toll and I suppose our league form is fading a bit but if we win the Europa League and finish on 42 points we'll take that all day long.

"If we lose a few and win one or two in the league, we will be happy."


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2010, 07:40:11 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_6072196,00.html
Schwarzer - Results have dipped
Shot-stopper targets three points against Latics

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer admits results in the Premier League have dipped in the midst of their Europa League run.

The Cottagers famously dumped Italian giants Juventus out of Europe last month and go into next week's quarter-final second leg against Wolfsburg 2-1 up after the first game at home.

But Roy Hodgson's men have not won in their last four league outings and although Schwarzer says the performances have been good, he concedes the results have not followed.

"I don't think our performances have dropped since Juventus," said the 37-year-old, who reached the Uefa Cup final with Middlesbrough in 2006.

"The results have dropped and we have had drops in concentration in parts of games but generally overall we are pleased with how we have been playing.

"We played well against the German champions on Thursday but we'll take each round as it comes now and for us and Sunday is the priority.

"We can't think about the second leg until we have Wigan out of the way."

Fulham take on the Latics on Sunday at Craven Cottage and they might have one eye on the game with Wolfsburg in Germany on Thursday.

Wigan themselves are still not completely out of the woods and will be hoping for a win on the banks of The Thames to give them breathing space above the relegation zone.

"Wigan will be very tough for us," Schwarzer added.

"They're in the mix down there so they need the points to get over that infamous 40-point mark and we still need a couple of points to do that as well so it's a big game for us."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2010, 07:41:19 AM »
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/03042010/63/cottagers-consider-options.html
Cottagers consider options

Fulham will decide this weekend how to respond to West Ham's claims that they broke Premier League rules by resting five key players for last week's defeat at Hull.

Manager Roy Hodgson insists he did nothing wrong when he chose to rest Damien Duff, Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora, Aaron Hughes and Dickson Etuhu for the match, which brought Iain Dowie his first win as Tigers boss.

Premier League rules state that teams must field their strongest available XI in every game and Hodgson will argue that he was merely rotating a squad that has had to play 52 matches in a gruelling campaign. The Cottagers could be hit with a similar punishment to that handed out to Wolves, who were handed a suspended £25,000 fine for resting nine players in September's defeat at Old Trafford.

After hearing about the complaint, Hodgson said: "If there is a complaint my conscience is perfectly clear on the subject and as far as I'm concerned we don't have a case to answer.

"I can't understand why, if you have a large squad, it's not allowed for you to change things around. I can't imagine anyone questioning Liverpool, Manchester United or Chelsea for using all the players in their squad."

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2010, 07:43:40 AM »
http://www.goal.com/en/news/1715/match-preview/2010/04/03/1861888/premier-league-preview-fulham-wigan-athletic
Premier League Preview: Fulham – Wigan Athletic
Inconsistent Latics aim to end capital hoodoo at Fulham...
Sunday, April 04, Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Craven Cottage, Stevenage Road, London, SW6

Although Wigan Athletic's track-record in the capital this season has been horrendous, losing twice and conceding 13, their visit to Fulham could have fallen at the perfect time.

Having dispatched Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League, it's no surprise the Cottagers are prioritising their continental campaign above their final Premier League position.

Settling for a place in the division's 'no-man's land' was brought under the full media spotlight by West Ham United's top-brass recently, when they openly criticised Roy Hodgson's understrength selection at Hull City.

Despite allowing the Tigers to cruise to a 2-0 win, the gamble of resting six first team players proved worthwhile for Fulham, who saw off the reigning Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg in midweek.

The semi-final of the Europa League is now within touching distance, so the Latics could come toe-to-toe with another weakened outfit on Sunday afternoon.

Resting key personnel is Hodgson's prerogative though, having seen his side endure 16 fixtures since the start of February, stretching his meagre resources to the limit. It has proved the catalyst for their downturn in league form with only the Hammers more out of sorts in March.

Waving the white flag during their last three league outings, and not winning in their previous five, sees them settling for mid-table mediocrity. Although relegation is out of the question, with excursions to Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal still on their agenda, picking up results on home soil is imperative.

Craven Cottage has become a formidable place to visit this season though, with Fulham conceding just 11 goals there, a feat bettered by only Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. A well organised and disciplined back line has been instrumental, marshalled by Mark Schwarzer with 10 clean-sheets.

The Cottagers also have Bobby Zamora to thank for their success on all fronts. His goalscoring prowess has proved unquenchable at times, orchestrated by Damien Duff and Danny Murphy pulling the strings in the middle.

Their contribution will again be key if they are to beat a Wigan side nervously looking over their shoulders. The spectre of a return to the Championship, after five seasons back in the top-flight, has loomed too close for Wigan's faithful, who have often been left peering at games through their fingers this season.

Inconsistency has seen the Latics fail to gain any upward momentum. A 1-0 victory at the DW Stadium over Liverpool was followed by a 4-0 humbling at Bolton Wanderers, providing a salient example of their tendency to linger at football's polar extremes.

Regardless of March defeats to Aston Villa and Manchester City, a priceless victory over Burnley eased fears, although its been five games since they last won on the road.

While on course to salvage their Premier League status under fledgling boss Roberto Martinez, the club have failed to score in 11 games this season and have a rear-guard that is anything but impervious.

The North West side have conceded 42 times on the road, shipping more than three goals per game on nine occasions, and will have to shore up their back line to assure survival.

FORM GUIDE

Fulham

01 Apr (Europa League) v Wolfsburg (H) WON 2-1
27 Mar (Premier League) v Hull City (A) LOST 2-0
24 Mar (FA Cup) v Tottenham Hotspur (A) LOST 3-1
21 Mar (Premier League) v Manchester City (H) LOST 2-1
18 Mar (Europa League) v Juventus (H) WON 4-1

Wigan Athletic

29 Mar (Premier League) v Manchester City (A) LOST 3-0
20 Mar (Premier League) v Burnley (H) WON 1-0
16 Mar (Premier League) v Aston Villa (H) LOST 2-1
13 Mar (Premier League) v Bolton Wanderers (A) LOST 4-0
08 Mar (Premier League) v Liverpool (H) WON 1-0

TEAM NEWS

Fulham

Having come under fire for his weakened team selection against Hull, all eyes will again be on Roy Hodgson's starting XI on Sunday.

Defender Stephen Kelly could return to action after missing the midweek Europa League clash because of a knock sustained in training, while John Pantsil is closing in on a return following his three-month lay-off with knee problems.

Striker Andy Johnson is a long term casualty with a knee injury, but other star performers could miss out as Hodgson again prioritises their forthcoming Europa League fixture.

Last starting XI (v Wolfsburg): Schwarzer; Konchesky, Hangeland, Hughes; Gera, Murphy (Baird), Duff, Etuhu, Dempsey Davies; Zamora.

Wigan Athletic

Latics ball-winning midfielder Hendry Thomas has a thigh injury and is doubtful for the clash, while Emerson Boyce still has back problems.

Central midfielder Ben Watson was recalled from loan at Championship promotion hopefuls West Bromwich Albion last week, and could replace Thomas in the middle.

First choice goalkeeper Chris Kirkland is available for selection after overcoming a virus in midweek, although centre-back Gary Caldwell is not in contention, serving the first game of a three match suspension.

Last starting XI (v Manchester City): Stojkovic; Caldwell, Scharner, Bramble, Melchiot; Figueroa, Thomas (N'Zogbia), McCarthy, Diame; Moreno (Gohouri), Rodallega (Scotland).

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Fulham – Bobby Zamora

Instinctive striker Bobby Zamora has been showcasing his goal scoring pedigree on a European playing field this season, something which has led to his name being linked with a late call-up for Fabio Capello's England squad.

Currently enjoying his most productive campaign since 2001-02, the powerful forward has placed himself firmly among the division's elite marksmen with 17 strikes from 41 appearances, in addition to six assists.

His industrious performances have helped fire Fulham on an unexpected European run, with the former Brighton striker registering in each of the previous three rounds.

It has made Fulham an unexpected quantity in Europe but having not scored a Premier League goal since February, he'll be keen to boost his haul on the domestic front.

Wigan Athletic – Hugo Rodallega

The powerful target-man has shown his calibre in fits and starts this season, weighing in with priceless strikes against Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as a late bullet header against fellow relegation strugglers Burnley more recently.

A handful for defenders with his rapid turn of pace and adhesive touch, the strapping Columbian international has been the Latics best source of goals all season with nine strikes.

Although the 24-year-old has tested goalkeepers relentlessly, with 72 of his 112 shots being on target, Rodallega has not scored away from the DW Stadium since October.

PREDICTION

With one eye on their Europa League quarter-final second-leg in Germany next week, it would be no surprise to see Hodgson rest his key men again and face a slap on the wrist from the Premier League.

Despite only one goal in their last four games, Fulham still have enough quality to brush aside an inconsistent Wigan, who will be keen to leave London with something to ease their relegation concerns.

The Latics have only scored three times in their last eight outings, and with stalemates the norm between these two sides in previous encounters, another could well be on the cards. 

Fulham 1- 1 Wigan Athletic


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2010, 07:45:18 AM »
http://www.itv.com/sport/football/news/premierleague/previews/fulham-v-wigan-130883062.html
Fulham v Wigan
Hodgson looks to change

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is likely to make several changes for Sunday's Barclays Premier League game against Wigan at Craven Cottage.

Hodgson will want to rest some of his key players ahead of Thursday's Europa League quarter-final second leg in Wolfsburg, which means Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff and Aaron Hughes could all miss out.

Andrew Johnson and John Pantsil (both knee) are sidelined and Stephen Kelly faces a fitness test after picking up a knock against Tottenham Hotspur.

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has warned his team-mates that they will have to work hard to pass the all important 40-point barrier with a win over Wigan.

Fulham's 2-1 win over Wolfsburg in midweek was the latest in an extraordinary series of European results which has put the Cottagers within touching distance of the semi-finals of the Europa League.

While recent wins over Shakhtar Donetsk and European heavyweights Juventus represent a remarkable achievement for the small west London club, their domestic form has taken a worrying slump of late.

The Cottagers are 12th in the Barclays Premier League on 38 points after last week's defeat against Hull - their third loss in a row.

They are without a league win since February and take on a Wigan side just four points outside the relegation zone.

Schwarzer believes Roberto Martinez's will provide a stern test at Craven Cottage as Hodgson's men look to guarantee their top flight status with a win.

"Wigan will be very tough for us," said Schwarzer.

"They're in the mix down there so they need the points to get over that infamous 40 point mark and we still need a couple of points to do that as well so it's a big game for us."

Schwarzer believes that Fulham have been unlucky not to take anything from their last three league games, and insists his side are not getting carried away with dreams of European glory.

"I don't think our performances have dropped since Juventus," said the 37-year-old, who reached the UEFA Cup final with Middlesbrough in 2006.

"The results have dropped and we have had drops in concentration in parts of games but generally overall we are pleased with how we have been playing.

"We played well against the German champions on Thursday but we'll take each round as it comes now and for us and Sunday is the priority.

"We can't think about the second leg until we have Wigan out of the way."

Wigan defender Gary Caldwell will miss out as he begins a three-match ban.

Caldwell was sent off in his side's 3-0 defeat at Manchester City on Monday and the club have decided not to appeal.

Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland is back in contention after a virus but midfielder Hendry Thomas is unlikely to feature due to a quad injury.

Defender Emmerson Boyce hopes to prove his fitness after back and groin problems and Charles N'Zogbia came through his return from a hip injury unscathed.

Wigan's forgotten man Steve Gohouri is determined to make up for lost time to keep his World Cup dream alive.

The Ivory Coast defender has endured almost three months of frustration since joining the Latics on a short-term deal in January.

The 29-year-old has been hampered by two separate back injuries and did not make his league debut until appearing as a late substitute in Monday's defeat at Manchester City.

He now hopes to win a regular place and could get an opportunity at Fulham in the absence of Caldwell.

With just six games of the season remaining, Gohouri realises time is running out to impress the two managers that could reshape his life this summer - Martinez and Sven-Goran Eriksson - but will not give up trying.

Gohouri is only with Martinez's Wigan until June after being released by Borussia Monchengladbach, while new Ivory Coast coach Eriksson holds the key to an international recall after African Nations Cup omission.

Gohouri said: "I haven't played as much as I would have liked over the past six months but I have the chance at Wigan to play some football and we will see what happens.

"My first target is to play as many games as I can for Wigan, but my ambition after that is to play for my country at the World Cup.

"That would be a real dream for me - for sure. Every footballer wants to play at the World Cup and I am no different.

"Coming to Wigan is a big step for me. I always wanted to come to play in the Premier League, and I am grateful to Wigan for giving me this chance."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2010, 07:46:38 AM »
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/4/3/1403404/my-5-keys-to-victory-for-fulham
My 5 Keys to Victory for Fulham against Wigan
Fulham play tomorrow against Wigan at Craven Cottage. The game takes place at 3PM UK Time and 10AM EST. The game will be shown on Fox Soccer Plus in the U.S. on taped Delay at 2PM EST. In November, Fulham played on the road at Wigan and the game was a 1 - 1 tie. Wigan are currently 16th in the league. This is really a game that Fulham need to win. They should be able to beat teams that are lower than them in the table. However, Roberto Martinez's team will give Fulham a tough game. Fulham better not be going into the game overconfident. If they do they might get beat. Below are"my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Wigan."   

1. Fuham need to be up by at least a goal or maybe more by the half. This key is important for a few reasons for Roy Hogdson's club. If Fulham are up at the half, it can really hurt the confidence of Wigan in the second half. If you take care of them early you could be in full control of the match. Wigan do not have a great road record. Second reason is it can give you an opportunity to rest a few players in the second half. With the match coming up in Germany on Thursday some key players could probably use the rest.

 2. I am looking for Stefano Okaka to start and make an impact on the match. I was disappointed he did not start last week at Hull. In my opinion, he needs to play an entire game. I have seen glimpses of skill from Okaka. Tomorrow is a perfect opportunity to see what he can really do. If Roy does want him on the squad for next year as well you would think he would play him in a full match.

3.  What kind of lineup changes will there be tomorrow? This is a very important key to the match. Will Roy rest many players so they will be ready for Wolfsburg on Thursday? I am hoping he rests just a few players. To make wholesale changes like he did at Hull I think is a mistake. The team needs the win. A win at home will give you some momentum going into Thursday. Players like Zamora, Duff, Hangeland, Hughes and Murphy could possibly be rested. I am hopeful it will not be all those players.   

4. Fulham need to take advantage of the Wigan defense with Gary Caldwell out. With a key member of Wigan's defense not playing it is imperative that the Fulham strikers take advantage of his replacement. Wigan will have back their goalkeeper Chris Kirkland. Whether it is Bobby Zamora or Stefano Okaka, the strikers need to put a great deal of pressure on there defense.

5. If Chris Smalling is playing tomorrow on defense he needs to be solid.  I have a feeling you might see him in central defense. That means he would be replacing either Hughes or Hangeland. He has been shaky in his last 2 matches with Fulham. He needs to be solid for Fulham to win.   

In concluding this is a match that Fulham need to win. We will find out tomorrow if Fulham come away with 3 points.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2010, 07:48:19 AM »
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/4/3/1403487/10-things-i-think-about-fulham
10 Things I Think About Fulham Football Club This Week April 3rd



Every week I like to write about subjects that are on my mind regarding Fulham Football Club. This was an interesting week for the team. They lost to Hull City last weekend, and last Thursday they beat Wolfsburg 2 - 1 in the Europa League Quarterfinals first leg. There were also some other interesting events during the week. Below are my "10 Things I Think About Fulham Football Club This Week April 3rd."

1. I think resting so many players against Hull was a mistake.  I do understand why Roy Hogdson rested many key players. I just don't agree with it. Hull is a team that Fulham should beat on the road.  Hogdson rested players like Bobby Zamora, Aaron Hughes, Danny Murphy and Damien Duff. The players who did play in there place should have gotten the job done. Regardless, I am one who thinks you should always put your best club out there.


2. I think West Ham filing a complaint against Fulham regarding resting players against Hull is ridiculous.
 Roy Hogdson should be able to do whatever he thinks is best for his club. They weren't throwing the match. Fulham have played many matches this season, and Hogdson was giving certain players a break.  I don't agree with Hogdson resting players, but he has the right to do it. This to me sounds like "bad blood" between West Ham and Fulham. 
 
3. I think Jozy Altidore of Hull showed why I wanted him to come to Fulham last summer. Altidore was a menace against Fulham. He is young and only going to get better. At the time Hull probably looked like a better fit for Altidore. Over time though I think Jozy is going to wish he came to Fulham. In the future I hope Fulham make a transfer bid for him. I think he is going to be a quality player.
 
 4. I think Stefano Okaka needs to play a few complete matches. I have mentioned prior that I think Roy needs to let Okaka play more. He has come on several times as a substitute. If you really want to see if he has the skill he needs to play more consistently.
 

5. I think Fulham should let Kamara stay at Celtic. Kamara is currently on loan at Celtic. This could become a permanent move. Kamara has voiced his desire to stay at Celtic. At this point I don't think it makes sense to bring him back to Fulham. If Kamara stays at Celtic, Hogdson can concentrate this summer at trying to find other strikers. It is time to move on.
 

  6. I think Chris Smalling making mistakes now will only benefit him when he goes to Manchester United.  For Smalling, playing recently is a good chance to learn from his mistakes. Unfortunately for Fulham, once he learns and gets his experience he will be at Manchester United. Smalling will be playing at Old Trafford this summer. I think he will be a good player. I am hoping he learns from his mistakes quickly while he is still at Fulham.


7. I think Damien Duff turned out to be a great signing for Fulham. When Fulham picked him up in the transfer window this summer I was unsure how he would work out. He has been tremendous, and I think he still has a good amount left in his tank. He might not be as fast, but he still makes some great runs and passes. Also, his shots are still rockets to the goal. 

8. I think a win against Wigan should be a high priority. Several teams in the table have caught up to Fulham and passed them in the league. Moving forward to next season I think it is very important to be in the top half of the table. They need to win the rest of there home games, and maybe get one win on the road to end the season strong.   





9. I think Edin Dzeko is the real deal for Wolfsburg. This player is very strong and has so much skill for a striker. I see why so many teams are interested in him. If Fulham want to move forward in the Europa League they need to contain Edin Dzeko. He had a few very good scoring chances last Thursday against Fulham. I am sure he will have several more this Thursday in Germany.

10. I think Fulham can  go ahead to the semifinals of the Europa League. If Fulham can hold off Shakhtar Donetsk on the road, I think they can do it again at Wolfsburg. I wish they didn't give up that away goal. It definitely makes it tougher for Fulham. After watching the game on Thursday I am convinced that Fulham's strikers can give Wolfsburg plenty of trouble.  It is not crazy that Fulham could tie or win this match. If they can do either, they will move on to the Semifinals of the Europa League.   

Again, these are just 10 things I think about Fulham Football Club as of this week April 3rd.  It should be another fun week for the team.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2010, 07:49:55 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=6749
How to beat Wigan Athletic
by Dan on April 3, 2010

Wigan’s form has been a bit Jekyll and Hyde this season. Brilliant at times, extremely ordinary at others: patchy might be the best way to describe Roberto Martinez’s first season in charge. The Spaniard might have been a bit more pragmatic than Tony Mowbray, as he was prepared to add a brawn at the expense of a bit of beauty in the heat of a relegation battle, and that in itself suggests that he’s a promising young manager.

Despite being just above the drop zone, Wigan have a few dangers that Hodgson will have primed his players to be alive to tomorrow afternoon. Undoubtedly, the first of those, should he be fit to play, is the former Newcastle winger Charles N’Zogbia. So gifted is the Frenchman that it’s possible to become infuriated with his inconsistency, but on his day he’s virtually unstoppable. These two diagrams, not including the excellent goals he scored in both games, shows just how few balls he wastes during the course of ninety minutes, no mean feat for such a creative player.


by Guardian Chalkboards

Paul Scharner was tipped as a Roy Hodgson target during the summer but the Austrian stayed at the DW Stadium. His tigerish tackling is well-known, largely because he can do a good job at centre back, but what’s just as his impressive is how he makes the midfield tick.

Again, look at how well distributes the ball, just as impressive as N’Zogbia from a deeper position in his combative midfield, and how rarely the Austrian international gives it away.



Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2010, 07:51:19 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=6751
Fulham’s run-in
by Dan on April 3, 2010

By Mitchell Stream


Earlier I was looking through our remaining league fixtures (yes, despite our European adventure we still play in a league!), and I was wondering how much we could push on in the league. Of course, last year we achieved our highest league finish in our history with a seventh place. This is extremely unlikely this season (considering we would have to displace two teams from Tottenham, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Everton), but many may feel our current position of 12th is something of an underachievement given last season’s league position. An evaluation of our remaining games may show how high up the league we could finish, and whether we are actually achieving.

The length of our European tour remains to be seen so I will make two predictions for each game, one where we still compete in Europe, and one where we do not compete in Europe. I will start us on the 38 points we are on.

Wigan (H): This game is tomorrow, and Wigan are extremely temperamental and difficult to predict. This is a hard result to predict, so I’m going to remain on the fence and predict a draw. Maybe a 0-0, in both cases. (39 points)

Liverpool (A): This obviously won’t be easy, but the positive is that they will also have had a difficult European tie against Benfica, much like us against Wolfsburg. Again difficult to predict, but recent form suggests a Liverpool win, despite Fulham being something of a bogey team for Liverpool. In both connotations, I predict a loss in this game. (39 points)

Stoke (H): Stoke are a difficult team to play against, but I see no reason why we could not win this game. They are a team built around a solid defence and efficient teamwork, much like us. A draw would be a smart bet, but I have a feeling this will be a win if we were without European participation (42 points). With Europe, this may be a draw, as Stoke are difficult to play against (40 points).

Wolves (H): They could very well have ensured their safety by this point in the season, as they have good form at the moment, and were unfortunate at the Emirates. However I think we would like revenge for the defeat earlier on in the season at the Molineux. I had high hopes of an away win earlier in the season, an away win to add to the victory at Fratton Park on the opening day. I also have high hopes of a home win here, and see no reason why we can not win this game (45 points) Even with European competition I see no reason as to why we can not win this game. (43 points)

Everton (A): Everton are in great form, and we dont have the best record at Goodison Park, recent memories include a Yakubu hat-trick. Also Saha just loves scoring against us. The smart money says we will lose this game, with or without European competition. (45 points; 43 points).

West Ham (H): Huge game for the Hammers. Especially given the recent difficulties (or West Ham’s petulant owners). Likely to be a difficult game, against a team that we dont have the best of records against recently (draw earlier in the season, but last season they did the double against us). This looks like a draw to me. I see a tense game, a cluttered midfield (Etuhu vs Parker, Murphy vs Kovac), few chances created and many fouls. Some games have 0-0 written all over them. I also see this being a draw even with the Europa League. (46 points; 44 points).

Arsenal (A): I can’t help the feeling I have got that the title race might go to the last day, and that we may prove to be a thorn in Arsenal’s side. Season ending injuries to Fabregas and Gallas may restrict Arsenal, and with a young and inexperienced squad, they may just let the occasion get to them. Of course the game could also be one of those last day games that mean relatively little, what with the dark side leading the title race for now, with many suggesting it may be beyond Arsenal’s grasp. And the Europa League final is on the 12th May, and this fixture is on the 9th May, so we may have to rest players (God forbid our weakened team leading to an Arsenal victory and title win, Man Utd or the dark side complaining to the Premier League about Fulham seems like David vs Goliath). Either way, with 46 points before this game, a win, a loss or a draw will not matter too much to our league position. My brain says we will suffer a loss, but my heart says a draw, so lets go for a draw (47 points). With a potential final 3 days later, this game is a loss (44 points)

With a total of 47 points, I imagine that would leave us finishing in 11th place. This positions would have been accepted by the majority of Fulham fans before the season started, especially with quarter final appearances in the FA Cup and Europa League.

With a total of 44 points, I imagine a finishing position of 13th place. Again, if a Europa League final is reached, then 13th place is still satisfactory.

This article suggests that either way our season may turn, whether it be the continuation of our European season or a comfortable end to the league season, both results are satisfactory.

Of course one last effort from the team could see us push into the top half again. Four home games against Wigan, Stoke, Wolves and West Ham could see 12 points, giving us 50 points, which is a points total that suggest a top-half finish. And then who is to say we can not win these games even with European involvement. In reality, Fulham could finish anywhere from 9th to 14th still. I, and many of my fellow fans, are already satisfied with the season’s results and progress, and anything from this moment onwards can only be considered a bonus.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2010, 07:53:54 AM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/gossip_and_transfers/8602373.stm

Fulham are in talks with Fenerbahce's Turkey international striker Semih Senturk, who is available on a free transfer in the summer. (News of the World)


Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2010, 07:55:24 AM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8599455.stm
Fulham    v    Wigan
TEAM NEWS
All eyes will be on Fulham's teamsheet after boss Roy Hodgson controversially rested players at Hull last weekend.

Defender Stephen Kelly could return after a knock in training ruled him out of Thursday's Europa League win over Wolfsburg.

Wigan midfielder Hendry Thomas has a thigh injury so Ben Watson, who has been recalled from his loan at West Brom, could feature for the Latics.

Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland returns after a virus but Gary Caldwell is suspended.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fulham

Doubtful: Kelly (unspecified)

Injured: A Johnson & Pantsil (both knee)

Wigan

Suspended: Caldwell (3 matches)

Doubtful: Boyce (back), Thomas (thigh)




MATCH PREVIEW
Wigan have not enjoyed recent trips to London - their two visits to the capital this season have seen them concede 13 goals, including a 9-1 thrashing at Tottenham Hotspur last time they ventured inside the M25.

 I will pick a team this weekend best capable of winning the match - as I did when we went to Hull

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson
Sunday's game at Fulham is one of three away games in London in their final six fixtures so they need to improve that record fast - or they will be sucked deeper into the relegation fight.

Perhaps luckily for them they are facing a Fulham side who, despite going well in Europe, were the most out-of-form club in the Premier League in March with the exception of West Ham.

But don't mention the word West Ham to Roy Hodgson - the relegation-threatened Hammers have complained to the Premier League after the Fulham manager rested players in the defeat to Wigan last weekend ahead of last Thursday's Europa League win over Wolfsburg.

Hodgson, whose side play the second leg of that quarter-final tie next Thursday, is unrepentant, saying: "My conscience is perfectly clear on the subject and as far as I'm concerned we don't have a case to answer."


MATCH FACTS
Head-to-head

• Five of the last six meetings between the teams have ended in draws.

• There have not been more than two goals in any of the last 12 league meetings between the teams.


 606: DEBATE
Have your say on Sunday's match 
Fulham

• Fulham have lost their last three league matches.

• The Cottagers' only goal in the last four league games has come from the penalty spot.

• Fulham earned more league points in February than any other top-flight side but only West Ham had a worse record in March.

Wigan

• Wigan have only won two of their last 12 league games (W2, D3, L7), scoring just six goals in the process.

• The Latics have lost their last three away matches.

• Wigan have failed to score more than once in any of their last 12 league games.


LEADING GOALSCORERS

 
Fulham

Zamora: 18 goals (8 league); Duff: 10 goals (7 league - one for Newcastle)


 
Wigan

Rodallega: 9 goals (9 league); N'Zogbia: 6 goals (4 league)


MATCH OFFICIALS
Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Assistant referees: John Flynn & Trevor Massey

Fourth official: James Linington


LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS
Fulham (L0-2 v Hull, a): Schwarzer, Shorey, Hangeland, Baird, Konchesky, Riise (Okaka 53), Smalling, Dikgacoi (Greening 59), Davies, Gera, Dempsey.

Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Nevland, Hughes, Etuhu, Stoor.

Wigan (L0-3 v Man City, a): Stojkovic, Bramble, Caldwell (sent off 56), Scharner, Melchiot, Figueroa, Diame, McCarthy, Thomas (N'Zogbia, 52), Rodallega (Gohouri, 82), Moreno (Scotland, 82)

Subs not used: Sinclair, Pollitt, Moses, Gomez.


MOST RECENT MEETING

Wigan 1-1 Fulham (8 November 2009)

Wigan scorer: Boyce 13

Fulham scorer: Dempsey 39 pen

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (04/04/2010)
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2010, 08:06:30 AM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-midfielder-davies-impressed-martinez-work-wigan-745841
Fulham midfielder Davies impressed by Martinez work at Wigan
Fulham midfielder Simon Davies believes Roberto Martinez will improve Wigan Athletic.

Martinez was a surprise candidate to succeed Steve Bruce as manager at the DW Stadium and the Latics looked among the favourites for relegation after a poor start to the season.

The Spaniard had been criticised for bringing in a creative mentality at the north-west side, but Davies is an admirer of Wigan's style.

"Wigan changed their manager in the summer and now their style is more about getting the ball down, so it will be a different proposition to what Wigan used to be about," said the Welshman.