Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...  (Read 4678 times)

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2010, 01:04:34 PM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/9154634.stm?

BBC: Fulham    v    Aston Villa

TEAM NEWS
Aston Villa striker John Carew looks set to replace the injured Emile Heskey, with England under-19 striker Nathan Delfouneso also in contention.
Marc Albrighton is available after his one-match ban, while Steve Sidwell has overcome a stomach bug and Habib Beye has recovered from an ankle problem.

Fulham boss Mark Hughes has no fresh injury concerns.
Striker Andy Johnson came off the bench against West Brom and Wigan and will be hoping for a first start since January.

Fulham
Injured: Duff, Kelly & Senderos (all calf), Etuhu (ankle), Zamora (leg)

Aston Villa
Injured: Agbonlahor (groin), Delph, Heskey & Petrov (all knee), Weimann (ankle)

MATCH PREVIEW
Fulham aim to register back-to-back league victories for the first time since February against an Aston Villa side low on confidence and goals.

Despite a promising start, Gerard Houllier's methods are yet to bare fruit at Villa and they are without a victory since September's 2-1 defeat of Wolves. The former Liverpool boss has inherited a squad limited in number and quality, and it will take time for him to shape Villa in his own image.

A lack of firepower remains Villa's primary concern. It is now 344 minutes since their last Premier League goal, and the news Emile Heskey has been ruled out for up to a month with a medial knee ligament injury is another setback for Houllier, who was already without Gabriel Agbonlahor. John Carew, who has struggled to make an impact so far this season, is the club's only fit senior striker.

How Houllier and Villa could do with a player in the kind of form Fulham's Clint Dempsey is enjoying. The US international has excelled in a more advanced role this season, and took his season tally to five with a brace against Wigan last weekend.

That victory catapulted Mark Hughes's men from 16th to eighth in the Premier League, easing the pressure at Craven Cottage. Their next challenge is to register back-to-back victories for the first time under Hughes.

MATCH FACTS
Head-to-head
• Fulham have only won three of their 18 Premier League meetings with Aston Villa.
• Gabriel Agbonlahor scored three goals in two Premier League games against Fulham last season, but is unavailable on Saturday.

Fulham
• Fulham have won only four of their last 21 Premier League fixtures.
• And Mark Hughes has also won only four of his last 21 Premier League matches as manager of Manchester City and Fulham.
• The London club have not won back-to-back league matches since February.

Aston Villa
• Aston Villa have managed just nine goals in the league so far this season. No team has scored fewer goals than them in the second half of matches (two).
• They have gone 344 minutes without scoring a league goal.
• Villa have lost five of their last six league matches on the road.

LEADING GOALSCORERS
Fulham
Dempsey: 5 goals (4 league);
Dembele: 3 goals (2 league);
Zamora: 3 goals (1 league)

Aston Villa
Downing: 4 goals (3 league);
Heskey: 4 goals (1 league)

MATCH OFFICIALS
Referee: Peter Walton
Assistant referees: Mike Cairns & Martin Yerby
Fourth official: Keith Hill

LAST LEAGUE MATCH LINE-UPS
Fulham (W2-0 v Wigan, h): Schwarzer, Baird, Hangeland, Hughes, Salcido, Davies (Andrew Johnson 80), Murphy (Dikgacoi 86), Greening, Dempsey, Gera, Dembele. Subs not used: Stockdale, Kelly, Pantsil, Kamara, Riise.

Aston Villa (D0-0 v Birmingham, h): Friedel, Luke Young, Dunne, Collins, Clark, Downing, Reo-Coker (Carew 82), Sidwell (Bannan 58), Warnock, Ashley Young, Heskey. Subs not used: Guzan, Ireland, Delfouneso, Cuellar, Lichaj.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2010, 01:13:52 PM »
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/05112010/63/carew-steps-heskey-shoes.html

Carew steps into Heskey's shoes

Aston Villa striker John Carew has been recalled to the starting line-up for the Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Norway international will replace Emile Heskey, who is facing a month out after undergoing knee surgery.

Fellow striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is still not ready to return after a groin operation, although he has started light training.

But winger Marc Albrighton is available after serving a one-match ban against Birmingham for his sending-off against Burnley in the Carling Cup.

Midfielder Steve Sidwell has recovered from a stomach bug and full-back Habib Beye is also in contention after overcoming an ankle problem.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2010, 01:15:42 PM »
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/match/46111/fulham-vs-aston-villa/preview

Fulham - Aston Villa Preview: Emile Heskey ruled out as visitors suffer striker crisis

TEAM NEWS

Fulham

Bobby Zamora (knee) and Philippe Senderos (calf) remain long-term absentees, while Dickson Etuhu (ankle) is also sidelined for this encounter.

Damien Duff (calf) has been struggling with an injury for some time now, and is a doubt to feature in this game.

Andy Johnson is back from a long lay-off – making substitute appearances against West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic – but manager Mark Hughes is unlikely to hand him a start just yet.

Possible starting XI: Schwarzer; Baird, Hangeland, Hughes, Salcido; Gera, Murphy, Greening, Davies; Dempsey, Dembele.

Aston Villa

Gerard Houllier has been handed a blow ahead of this fixture, as Emile Heskey (knee) has been ruled out for up to a month. With Gabriel Agbonlahor (groin) still recovering from surgery, it leaves John Carew as the only recognised striker at the manager’s disposal other than unproven youngster Nathan Delfouneso.

Stilian Petrov (knee) remains on the sidelines and isn't expected back until next month, while Steve Sidwell will have to overcome an illness in order to feature in the game at Craven Cottage.

Possible starting XI: Friedel; L Young, Dunne, Collins, Warnock; Reo-Coker, Sidwell; Downing, Albrighton, A Young; Carew.

Home comfort for Hughes

Fulham have been doing well at home again this season, and their five games at Craven Cottage have resulted in two victories and two draws with just one defeat against their name. That was against a high-flying Tottenham side that had just beaten Dutch champions FC Twente and Villa, and would not have had too many home fans worried.

However, Fulham's unbeaten record which was relinquished that day, was swiftly followed by another defeat to West Bromwich Albion. But just as his brow began to look furrowed, Mark Hughes managed to guide his side to a well-deserved victory over Wigan Athletic to prevent a bad spell turning into mini-crisis.

The Cottagers will be looking to build on that victory to give themselves confidence before their derby match against league-leaders Chelsea in a week's time.

Given Villa’s recent form, the hosts should feel comfortable ahead of this fixture.

Heskey blow for Houllier

Aston Villa have hit a barren patch in terms of scoring goals, and have gone 344 minutes without putting the ball into the back of the net in the Premier League.

Just as worrying is the fact that the Birmingham-based men have gone four games without a victory in the league. Another failure to pick up three points would begin to pose the question of whether the club has taken a step backwards since Martin O’Neill’s exit just before the start of the season.

If this wasn’t enough, Houllier now has to deal with a striker crisis, as Emile Heskey has been ruled out for up to a month due to a knee ligament injury.

This puts the manager in a precarious position with regards to team selection, as his only experienced striker is John Carew - who has not had much of an impact this term. Young stiker Nathan Delfouneso is not yet the finished product, which does not alleviate any of his worries.

Ashley Young has been used up front in the past, but as Villa are away from home the gaffer might resist the temptation to play a makeshift forward.

The pressure is on Houllier to get his side performing to their potential, with reports that owner Randy Lerner will decide on his transfer budget this week. An away win would add weight to any potential request for a sizeable transfer kitty.


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2010, 01:17:27 PM »
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/05112010/58/premier-league-matchpack-fulham-v-aston-villa.html

Premier League - Matchpack: Fulham v Aston Villa

Kick-off 15:00 UK time, Saturday November 6

TEAM NEWS
Fulham to follow.

Aston Villa striker John Carew has been recalled to the starting line-up replacing Emile Heskey, who is facing a month out of action after undergoing knee surgery yesterday. Fellow striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is still not ready to return after a groin operation, although he has started light training. But winger Marc Albrighton is available after serving a one-match ban against Birmingham for his sending-off against Burnley in the Carling Cup. Midfielder Steve Sidwell has recovered from a stomach bug and full-back Habib Beye is also in contention after overcoming an ankle problem.

KEY STATS
Gabriel Agbonlahor scored three goals in two Premier League games against Fulham last season.

Fulham have only won three of the 18 Premier League meetings with Aston Villa.

Villa have scored only two second half goals this season, fewer than any other side in the division.

The Birmingham side have gone 344 minutes without a Premier League goal.

Clint Dempsey has been involved in five of Fulham’s last six league goals (four goals, one assist).

Stephen Warnock has been booked in six of his last seven league appearances.

Fulham have not won back-to-back league matches since February.

The Villans have lost five of their last six away matches in the Premier League.

Villa have had the lowest shooting accuracy from inside the box in the Premier League this season (37.9%).

Fulham have been the most accurate crossers in the division this season, with 25.5% finding their target.

MATCH ODDS
Fulham 5/4, Draw 9/4, Aston Villa 23/10

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2010, 01:18:55 PM »
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Fulham-v-Aston-Villa-team-news-Villa-striker-John-Carew-recalled-because-of-injury-Emile-Heskey-Marc-Albrighton-return-from-suspension-article621953.html

Carew starts as Villa face Fulham

Aston Villa striker John Carew has been recalled to the starting line-up for the Barclays Premier League clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Norway international will replace Emile Heskey, who is facing a month out of action after undergoing knee surgery yesterday.

Fellow striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is still not ready to return after a groin operation, although he has started light training.

But winger Marc Albrighton is available after serving a one-match ban against Birmingham for his sending-off against Burnley in the Carling Cup.

Midfielder Steve Sidwell has recovered from a stomach bug and full-back Habib Beye is also in contention after overcoming an ankle problem.

Provisional squad: Friedel, Luke Young, Beye, Collins, Dunne, Cuellar, Clark, Warnock, Albrighton, Sidwell, Reo-Coker, Ireland, Downing, Ashley Young, Carew, Delfouneso, Bannan, Lichaj.



Read more: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Fulham-v-Aston-Villa-team-news-Villa-striker-John-Carew-recalled-because-of-injury-Emile-Heskey-Marc-Albrighton-return-from-suspension-article621953.html#ixzz14PiGRmQP
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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2010, 03:38:48 PM »
http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/46349/Carew_injury_adds_to_Villas_striker_woes.aspx?

Carew injury adds to Villa's striker woes

Aston Villa's striker shortage has become even more acute after John Carew was ruled out for around three weeks by a torn calf muscle.

The 31-year-old Norway international had been expected to lead the line against Fulham this weekend in the absence of both Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor, but Carew has now joined his colleagues on the sidelines.

Manager Gerard Houllier had earlier challenged Carew to show that he is worth a new contract, with the striker's current deal set to run out at the end of the season.

The Frenchman had said: "John is a centre-forward. What you expect from a centre-forward is goals. He can do that.

"On his day he can be absolutely awesome - practically impossible to stop. We want the top John Carew that I know.

"John is at the end of his contract. It is an opportunity to express what he wants - whether he wants to stay at the club or whether he wants to go somewhere else.

"But in both cases I would say he has got to be at his best to be in the shop window."


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2010, 03:40:16 PM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/aston-villa/8112909/Aston-Villa-without-senior-striker-for-Fulham-match-as-John-Carew-injured-in-training.html?

Aston Villa without senior striker for Fulham match as John Carew injured in training
Gerard Houllier has been left without a senior striker ahead of Aston Villa’s visit to Fulham, John Carew the latest member of his squad to succumb to injury after picking up a calf strain in training which will sidelined him for a minimum of three weeks.

The Norwegian’s injury, which occurred when he collided with Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel in a practice match on Thursday, came as Emile Heskey underwent successful surgery to a hamstring injury.

The 32 year-old will be out for a month, meaning Nathan Delfouneso, who still plays regularly for the reserves and who only recently has a request to go out on loan denied, must step up and lead the line.

“It is a big blow,” Houllier said. “This is why we need a big squad. We’ll cope. I’m not down. I’m not devastated. In fact I’m confident.

"Sometimes I relish the opportunity to throw a young player in.”

Although there was better news that Steve Sidwell has recovered from a stomach bug, and that Gabby Agbonlahor is showing promising signs of recovering from groin surgery by returning to ball work in training yesterday, Houllier admitted that he is only satisfied with one section of his squad.

“There is only one area at the moment where we are not short in quality and quantity, and that is the defence.”

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2010, 03:41:25 PM »
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/November/VillaPreview.aspx?

Top Table

Mark Hughes will welcome Damien Duff and Dickson Etuhu back into his squad for Saturday’s match against Aston Villa at the Cottage as Fulham look to establish their place in the top half of the table.

Hughes revealed the latest team news on Friday afternoon and stated that Andrew Johnson will play some part on Saturday, offering Fulham a lethal striking option from the bench.

“It’s been a good week and we’re in good shape – Damien Duff has trained most of the week so he’s available for selection,” Hughes told fulhamfc.com. “Dickson Etuhu has been involved over the past few days so he’s also an option. Every day AJ [Andrew Johnson] gets stronger and more ready for 90 minutes. He won’t start this weekend but we’ll look to introduce him at some point in the game.

“I think he’s [Johnson] really pleased with where he’s at and the way he feels. With strikers it’s more a timing issue than actually being physically tired in games. It’s about getting your timing right, arriving at the right time in the box and creating chances in the box when you get the opportunity.”

Hughes has challenged his Team to maintain the standards they set against Wigan last weekend against Villa on Saturday, knowing that another home win will fire Fulham into the top tier of the Barclays Premier League.

“Performance wise we’ve been fine but results wise we want more points on the board. We’ve been playing well this season, although with a bit of frustration with a few draws initially. We had a couple of defeats but last weekend I thought we were excellent.

“The level we reached against Wigan was what I am looking for and I want to make sure the standard we achieved last weekend is maintained against Aston Villa on Saturday.

“We want to build on that result against Wigan and achieve back-to-back wins. If we can pick up six points in two games we will very much establish ourselves in the top half of the table - and that’s where we want to be for the remainder of the season.”

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/November/VillaPreview.aspx?#ixzz14QIAkzZD

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2010, 03:42:52 PM »
http://sport.virginmedia.com/football/article/2010/11/05/duff_returns_for_fulham?

Duff returns for Fulham
Damien Duff and Dickson Etuhu return for Fulham's Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

Duff and Etuhu have recovered from their respective calf and ankle injuries.

Andy Johnson is set to continue making his comeback from the bench.


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/11/10)...
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2010, 03:44:42 PM »
http://www.cottagersconfidential.com/2010/11/5/1795708/know-your-opponent-aston-villa?

Know Your Opponent: Aston Villa

I had the pleasure of asking Aaron Campeau of 7500 To Holte, several questions about the upcoming match between Aston Villa and Fulham. I think it is great to get the opposition's perspective from a writer who knows that club very well.

I also answered Aaron's questions on Fulham which should be up on his site soon. Please feel free to check out below my Q and A with Aaron Campeau of 7500 To Holte.


What are your thoughts on your manager Gerard Houllier and the style he has brought to Aston Villa?
 
I've been mostly happy with Houllier so far. He's still getting his feet wet and trying a lot of different things. Some have worked, some haven't. At times I've joked that he seems to be a bit on the insane side, but he's not afraid of trying something new and I think that's commendable. I applauded his willingness to keep playing Ashley Young in a more central, withdrawn forward type of role, but as time has gone on I've found myself less enthralled with the experiment and I think he's more well suited to playing on the wing. He seems pretty set in the idea though, so I doubt it changes any time in the near future. In the end Houllier inherited a solid squad with a couple of glaring holes at the worst possible time. I'm certainly going to withhold judgment until we see what types of moves he makes on the transfer market, but to this point I think he's done fairly well.



 
Have Aston Villa been able to overcome the loss of James Milner and has the addition of Stephen Ireland helped?


Emphatically no, on both counts. I think everyone realized that losing Milner would hurt, but I don't think most people had any idea just how much. With him went all of Villa's creativity from the midfield and the high-motor, seemingly indefatigable box-to-box player that is essential to the style of football Villa are most well suited to playing. Ireland has ranged from invisible to disgraceful, and Villa have generally been better with him on the bench than in XI. He's hopeless in defense and hasn't shown the vision necessary to excel as a playmaker. He's been occasionally positive in the attack as a threat from long-range but he's also made an absolute mess of a lot of balls in key areas and has been a detriment to more dangerous passages of play than he's helped to create. If I were given the option of going back in time and being allowed to choose between Ireland and half of the money he was valued at I'd take the money every time. He's been a poor player going on two years now, and at a certain part a lack of confidence is no longer anywhere close to being a reasonable excuse.
 
Who has been the most stand out player so far this season for Aston Villa?


In my mind it has to be Nigel Reo-Coker. He didn't get a lot of opportunities under Martin O'Neill but he's been given another crack at things by Gerard Houllier and Kevin MacDonald before him and he's taken full advantage of them. Reo-Coker has been an absolute pest in the attack and Villa's only real defensive presence in midfield and he's been the best player in claret and blue on at least four occasions this season. A lot of people are only familiar with his season on the basis of a few missed sitters, and that's unfortunate because he's been absolutely brilliant the majority of the time.

 
 What are the current strengths for Aston Villa?


The defense got off to a less than encouraging start, but they look to be back to their old selves here lately. Their depth at center back is quite special, with Richard Dunne, Carlos Cuellar and James Collins all capable of starting for almost any team in the Premier League and Ciaran Clark beginning to make his way into the rotation based on some very strong performances early in the season when injuries forced him into the lineup. Villa are still quite dangerous on the counter if things break right; Ashley Young, Marc Albrighton and Stewart Downing are all capable of getting behind defenders and finding a trailing man from the wing if the opening on goal isn't there. Brad Friedel does not play like a man that is nearly 40 years of age.

 
 What are the current weaknesses for Aston Villa?
 
 The central midfield is the big one. Reo-Coker aside no one has been impressive and with Stilyan Petrov injured things have gotten quite a bit more dire in recent weeks. How Steve Sidwell still has a job as a professional footballer is beyond me; he seldom does anything noteworthy aside from make terrible challenges and give the ball away. Stephen Ireland we've talked about, but I'll take this time to mention once again how awful he has been. There's just no creativity, no threat of attack coming through the middle unless it's one of the wings cutting in or Reo-Coker breaking up the opposition's attack and storming in on goal.

Stephen Warnock has played well if unspectacularly, but he's also been a walking yellow card and has given away some very stupid free-kicks. And of course the injury problems up front have created some pretty massive problems at the moment.


With Emile Heskey out for this game who will be stepping up in his place?


At this point Villa have two healthy strikers in John Carew and Nathan Delfouneso. Carew has looked a shadow of his former self this season; he's given nothing in terms of hold up play, he's missed some absolute sitters and he hasn't worked his way into dangerous positions very often at all. Nathan Delfouneso is a player that I think a lot of Villa supporters would like to see get a chance to start and I include myself in that, but if I am being honest I have to point out that as much promise as Delfouneso has he's still a largely unknown quantity. He's certainly quite talented and he shows all the signs of being someone that can develop into a special player, but there's no real reason to think he can step in against Fulham and make a huge impact on the game.

There's also the distinct possibility that Houllier decides to start Ashley Young alone up top, which is something that I'm not much a fan of, given what I know. Gerard Houllier is a smart man that knows more about the game than I could ever hope to and he sees Ashley Young every day in training, so perhaps there is something I'm missing. But while Young has tremendous speed and is a respectable finisher, his greatest strength is in his delivery and if he's alone up top that's largely going to waste.

So, to answer your question: I really have no idea. I've tried to figure out what Gerard Houllier was going to do before every match and he's done at least two things to surprise me each time. If I wake up on Saturday to see that Richard Dunne was in the XI as a center forward I probably wouldn't even bat an eyelash.

 
 On the upcoming match what do you think is the key match-up for Aston Villa  against Fulham?

It's really all about whether Fulham are able to take control of the midfield from early on and establish some dominance. Villa have made a habit of coming out strong and dominating the beginning of the game without being able to find a goal, and a great deal of that is down to their inability to do much in the attack that's not centered around the wings. If Fulham can withstand an early onslaught, they've got the talent to win against the Aston Villa side that we've seen to this point in the year. Clint Dempsey's ability to play all over the attacking zone and confuse defenses make him the kind of player that can give Villa fits. For Aston Villa the key will be to come out strong as they've done so often and actually take advantage of their early chances.
 
What is your prediction for the match and why?


1-1. Let's be honest, while both of these clubs have talented attacking players neither one are ever going to be confused for Chelsea. If this match were being played at Villa Park I might expect Villa to win, but I really think a point is about the best they can expect at Craven Cottage and really, it's a result I'd be more than happy with. Fulham winning would not surprise me in the least. Villa probably aren't as poor as they've looked this year, but at the moment they're not especially good either.

 

I want to thank Aaron for his time sharing his thoughts on Aston Villa and this match-up. Please do check out 7500 To Holte.