Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...  (Read 1700 times)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2021, 12:16:34 PM »
Leeds United heading to third-bottom Fulham as 'underdogs' with Cottagers predicted to stay up
FULHAM are marginal favourites to condemn Leeds United to more misery in London in tonight's Premier League clash at Craven Cottage (kick-off 8pm).

Scott Parker's third-bottom Cottagers are ten points and six places below the Whites who also have a game in hand yet Fulham are a best priced 31-20 to beat Marcelo Bielsa's side.

There is not much in it as Leeds are only a best priced 43-20 and freely available at 2s whereas the draw is on offer at 12-5.

United's no 9 Patrick Bamford is also joint favourite to score first at 11-2 and only 39-20 as an any time scorer.

But the next five players in the first scorer market all represent an improving Fulham side in the shape of Bobby Decordova-Reid (11-2), Josh Maja (23-4), Aleksandar Mitrovic (13-2), Ivan Cavaleiro (15-2) and Ademola Lookman (8s).

Young Whites duo Sam Greenwood and Joe Gelhardt are both 8-1 and next, followed by injury doubt Rodrigo at 9s and then star winger Raphinha at 10s.

No goalscorer is also 10s and thereafter Pablo Hernandez is 11s and Jack Harrison 12s, before Fulham duo Fabio Carvalho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (both 12s).

United's Tyler Roberts is also 12s, the same price as Fulham's former Whites youngster Tom Cairney who is out with a knee injury.

Josh Onomah is then 13s, the same odds as United's Helder Costa, and lower down the order Ian Poveda is 14s, Mateusz Klich 16s and Stuart Dallas 20s.

Mario Lemina (22s) and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (25s) are next from a Fulham point of view whilst United duo Gjanni Alioski and Jamie Shackleton are both 25s.

A 1-1 draw is favourite in the correct score market at 33-5 and a 1-0 win for Fulham is next at 9s, just ahead of a 1-0 Whites triumph at 10s.

The bookies also think that third-bottom Fulham will stay up as Parker's side are fourth-favourites to go down at 6-4, bigger odds than Newcastle United who are evens.

West Brom (1-100) and Sheffield United (1-200) are considered already gone and Leeds are essentially seen as safe in being 250-1 for the drop.

It's seen as one of Newcastle and Fulham plus the Blades and Baggies as Brighton are 14s, Burnley 20s, Southampton 40s, Palace 100s and Wolves 275s, just bigger than Leeds.

That, though, has not changed the viewpoint of seeing Bielsa's Whites as marginal 'underdogs' at third-bottom Fulham.



https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/sport/football/leeds-united/leeds-united-heading-to-third-bottom-fulham-as-underdogs-with-cottagers-predicted-to-stay-up-3171613

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2021, 12:17:23 PM »
‘Get it done’, ‘Love his energy’ – Many Nottingham Forest fans react as club weigh up transfer decision

Football League World understand that Fulham are open to selling Anthony Knockaert this summer, with Nottingham Forest holding an interest in the winger.

Knockaert – whose loan move from Brighton to Fulham was turned into a permanent £10million move at the end of last season – joined Forest on loan in October.

The loan deal would initially run until January with Forest including an option to make the move permanent, but as 2021 arrived, they chose to extend it until the end of the season instead.

Knockaert has been a key player for Forest this season, making 28 Championship appearances and scoring twice whilst registering one assist.

Sources have told Football League World that Fulham are open to letting Knockaert leave on a permanent basis this summer, though, with Forest interested in bringing him to the City Ground for good.

Knockaert’s wages could prove to be a stumbling block, though, with Forest set to review their finances over the next couple of months before making any sort of decision.

What do the fans think, then? Knockaert is a player who frustrates at times, but is undoubtedly Forest’s best creative outlet when it is his day.



https://footballleagueworld.co.uk/get-it-done-love-his-energy-many-nottingham-forest-fans-react-as-club-weigh-up-transfer-decision/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2021, 01:05:35 PM »
Leeds: Patrick Bamford absent from training

Patrick Bamford was seemingly absent from Leeds United’s pre-Fulham training session on Thursday, suggesting he could miss out against the Cottagers.

The 27-year-old has been a revelation so far this season, arguably proving to be the Whites’ star man in their first year back in the Premier League.

Bamford has scored 13 goals in 28 league appearances in 2020/21, while five assists are also proof that he is more than just a goalscorer.

Unfortunately, the striker limped out of last weekend’s 0-0 draw at home to Chelsea, immediately throwing his involvement against Fulham on Friday night in doubt.

Bamford absent from training footage

Although the injury has been played down, with a potential dead leg cited, MOT Leeds News report that Bamford was missing from a training video released by the club on the eve of the game.

It is worth stressing that there is no confirmation that the Englishman will miss the Fulham match through injury, but not seeing him alongside his teammates does raise suspicions.

Transfer Tavern take

Bamford has been such an integral player for Leeds this season, so having him unavailable for the trip to Craven Cottage would be a massive blow.

Not only would his potency in front of goal be a big loss, but his link-up play and work ethic, too, bringing the best out of his teammates.



https://www.footballtransfertavern.com/leeds-united-news/leeds-patrick-bamford-absent-from-training/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2021, 01:15:26 PM »
Drive: Fulham vs Leeds, 7th December 2002

Terry Venables always had friends. But they weren’t always useful, or easy to find in Yorkshire.

George Graham had thought he was doing Venables a favour when he told him to take the job he’d previously held and become manager of Leeds United. From outside Elland Road, it looked like the years since Graham left his former assistant David O’Leary in charge had made a big club better, but within six months, Graham was calling Venables to apologise for leading him into trouble. “I had no idea how bad things had become,” he said.

After the collapse of the ITV Digital television contract, Leeds weren’t the only club in trouble. Their neighbours Bradford City had just convinced their players to defer their wages until the end of the season, and were struggling with the aftermath of a mad summer when chairman Geoffrey Richmond and managing director Shaun Harvey spent millions on transfers using the same company, Registered European Football Finance, that was causing cashflow problems behind the scenes at Leeds.

The scene out front at Leeds wasn’t yet reflecting that turmoil. Selling Rio Ferdinand and Robbie Keane had brought in around £40m to offset failure to qualify for the Champions League, and deputy chairman Alan Leighton could still present a plausible voice of reason when discussing the future financial health of the game. He felt that replacing enormous basic wages with performance related contracts and big cuts in case of relegation would help clubs in the future. Clubs like Bradford, that is.

As for Leeds, the PLC could see no reason why Terry Venables shouldn’t have them higher up the Premier League table than 16th. Opening a new £5m building at the club’s state of the art Thorp Arch Academy, chairman Peter Ridsdale said it was an example of the advantages the club was giving its playing staff.

“This is now no-excuse time because when you see the facilities the players have, there aren’t any excuses,” he said. “Apart from the fact they are all very well-paid individuals, they are all now very well looked after, too. If any of them is listening, on Saturday I would like three points, please. Let’s get back to putting our season together.”

Were any of them listening? Olivier Dacourt was talking, to France Football magazine, saying the team’s slump was a “disgrace,” that the squad “ought to be in the top four,” that he only had a distant relationship with Venables. “I do my work conscientiously, hoping it will pay off, but it’s fair to say that I’m starting to wonder,” he said.

Dacourt, though, had been injured for several weeks, and Venables said injuries were the cause of most of his immediate problems. Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell and Lee Bowyer were all out for the weekend’s trip to Fulham, while Danny Mills, Lucas Radebe and Michael Bridges were only just coming back to fitness, plus Robbie Fowler, after surgery on a career threatening hip injury. Venables said he’d never known a situation like it, and blamed the UEFA Cup for overstraining the players and taking away time to work on tactics.

“We have had three games in eight days nearly all the time, which doesn’t give you much chance to do anything apart from say who’s fit and let’s go again,” he said.

Fulham’s toothpick chewing manager Jean Tigana was under pressure too: he had fallen out with chairman Mohamed Al Fayed, who had brought in then swiftly taken away Franco Baresi as director of football, without consulting his manager. Tigana was now hesitating over signing a new contract and Al Fayed, unhappy in 14th place, was withdrawing the offer. “It is not up to him any more, it is up to me,” he said. “It is whether I still want him or not.” Tigana just wanted a fit striker to face Leeds; Louis Saha, Facundo Sava and Barry Hayles were injured, Steve Marlet suspended.

Leeds had only won one of ten Premier League games since a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in September, and this felt like a chance. Loftus Road, where Fulham were playing now Craven Cottage fell short of Premier League requirements, might have been more homely surroundings for a former QPR player and manager, but Venables’ problem was that a lot of people from Leeds were there too, and United were failing to perform.

Fulham had several chances to score before defender Martin Djetou rose above a static Jonathan Woodgate to head in from a corner, and that was only the tenth minute. Woodgate was believed not to be speaking to his centre-back partner Michael Duberry, after events during Woodgate and Bowyer’s infamous trial, and their method for dealing with Steed Malbranque and Luis Boa Morte was to stand aside, leaving the woodwork and goalkeeper Paul Robinson to do all the work. England manager Sven Goran Eriksson was watching him, and saw plenty.

United’s midfield of Eirik Bakke, Stephen McPhail, Jason Wilcox and Paul Okon — injured since signing in the summer, this was his first start — could hardly put two passes together during a first half of constant pressure from Fulham, but it was striker Alan Smith making way at half-time, for Robbie Fowler. Smith was said to be ‘unwell’, while Fowler was playing his second game since injury, and with him up front was Michael Bridges, starting his first game since October 2000. Leeds did cross halfway in the second half, but only the introduction on the hour of sixteen-year-old James Milner sparked them into anything like life. The net result of Leeds looking livelier going forward, though, was greater exposure at the back, and had Saha been fit for Fulham, there was no saying how many of their twenty shots might have found the net.

With Venables next to him in the directors’ seats for the first fifteen minutes, Ridsdale watched in silence. After his worried manager went to the dugout, he watched with his head in his hands. Before the game, Venables had been talking about the transfer window opening in January. “I have asked about what freedom I will have to bring in new players,” he said, “but I don’t know what the answer is yet.” Perhaps Ridsdale was trying to think of a way to tell him.

The lack of answers continued after the game. The fans had sounded certain: ‘Terry, time to go’ and ‘Bye bye Terry’ were sung from the away end in the second half. “I’ve no idea how long I have to put things right,” Venables said, “but I’m going to keep working hard.”

He sounded realistic about the chants, and the risk to his job. “I haven’t seen the chairman, so I don’t know what he’s saying,” he said. “It’s not going on in someone’s house. It’s there for everyone to see.” Someone asked, where do Leeds go from here? “To Elland Road to play Malaga on Thursday,” quipped Venables.

There was more the next day, when Venables answered Olivier Dacourt, in a column in the News of The World. He accused Dacourt of using his injury as an excuse, that he’d been allowed to visit France for personal reasons but was more interested in lining up a transfer. If Dacourt wanted to know what Venables thought of him, he could knock on his door and ask him, rather than talking through the French press.

But if the conversation was to take place in the media, said Venables, “Well, I’d like to say here and now that he knows exactly what I think of him. I can’t believe he has the nerve to say those things and I think he should take a long hard look at himself. If he wants to go to Italy — and if someone is interested — I will personally drive him there.”

Until Dacourt took up that offer, and until Ridsdale advised otherwise, Venables had only one route ahead: back to work on Monday morning in the friendless north. Boxing promoter Frank Warren offered words of support elsewhere in the News of the World — “He took the Leeds job just three weeks before the start of the season and has been dogged by injuries and debts” — while Jeff Powell was more fulsome in the Daily Mail.

When did it become, “a crime to be witty, charming, amusing and an intelligent advocate”? asked Powell. “If friends, like myself, choose to speak up in his defence, then so be it.” He reckoned Venables’ experience of the dark side of the football business at Spurs in the 1990s gave him a resume fit for the task now facing him at Leeds, and there was some credence to the idea that he would have better ideas about what to do next than Ridsdale. But the north was a bitter place, and while Powell knew Venables wouldn’t quit, Yorkshire was working against him. It was only a matter of time until, “the modern-day equivalents of the local mill-owners banish him from the doorstep of Leeds United one of these cold winter nights.”



https://www.thesquareball.net/leeds-united/drive-fulham-vs-leeds-7th-december-2002/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2021, 01:17:30 PM »
Very Speedy, Technically Gifted – Leeds United Legend Warns On Fulham Danger Man

Tony Dorigo has picked out Fulham winger Ademola Lookman as one player Leeds United should be wary of in their upcoming Premier League clash.

The Whites are on the road again in the top flight and are set to face relegation threatened Fulham at Craven Cottage tonight.

Fulham have only lost twice in their last eight league outings, finding some form, with boss Scott Parker leading the charge and Leeds legend Dorigo has given insight into who from the Cottagers squad should the Whites be extra wary of.

Leeds legend Dorigo has picked out Fulham winger Lookman as one player that the Whites need to keep an eye on as he has speed and technical ability to match.

Dorigo explained that Lookman poses a new set of challenges compared to Fulham hitman Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has had some good battles with Leeds all the way back from their Championship days.

Asked whether he is impressed with Lookman, Dorigo told LUTV: Yes, I think if you remember when he obviously was a youngster went up to Everton then had to go to the Bundesliga, he has come back and he has got quality.

“He is a good clever player, not scoring any goals, but is one we will have to watch out for, absolutely, and a different proposition to Mitrovic.

"Mitrovic against us, remember seeing him many times, he causes a few problems, he should have got sent off straight away in one of the games, absolutely ridiculous [foul on Ben White].

"But yes, this is a completely different proposition in that he is very speedy, wants to come off and turn and technically very gifted as well.

“So yes, another danger man.”


Lookman, who is currently on loan from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig, only arrived at Fulham after they lost 4-3 against Leeds earlier this season.



https://insidefutbol.com/2021/03/19/very-speedy-technically-gifted-leeds-united-legend-warns-on-fulham-danger-man/499356/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2021, 01:19:27 PM »
At Our Best, We Beat Fulham – Leeds United Legend Confident

Tony Dorigo is of the view that Fulham boss Scott Parker has got his team believing in themselves again, despite relegation fears, but thinks Leeds United will beat them, provided they play at their best.

Leeds earned their first win of the Premier League season against Fulham at Elland Road, coming out on top in a 4-3 thriller and they are set to play again tonight, this time at Craven Cottage.

Now in the business end of the top flight campaign, both teams have strung together contrasting runs in the league, with Leeds looking upwards at a potential spot in the top ten, while Fulham are locked in a relegation battle.

However, Leeds legend Dorigo feels Fulham boss Parker has got his side believing in themselves, and are finding form which will pose the Whites a difficult challenge in London.

The ex-Whites star issued advice to Leeds to be wary of Fulham as they have quality players in their ranks, but believes the Yorkshire giants at their best will beat the Londoners.

“They [Fulham] have got some good players so we have to be very wary”, Dorigo told LUTV.

“They are clearly going in the right direction; Scott Parker has got them believing as well.

“So, it is going to be a difficult outfit to beat.

"Yes, it is as simple as that, it is not going to be easy.

“But I think us at our best beats this lot.”

Leeds’ striker Patrick Bamford is likely to play against Fulham despite being forced off against Chelsea in the weekend’s 0-0 draw with a hip issue.



https://insidefutbol.com/2021/03/19/at-our-best-we-beat-fulham-leeds-united-legend-confident/499338/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2021, 01:28:57 PM »
Why Scott Parker Is Emerging As One Of The Most Talented English Managers

If Parker keeps this Fulham squad in the Premier League against all the odds, it will be a magnificent achievement

“Fulham are going down. I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life and they need to buy two, maybe three or four defenders. I’m more certain of Fulham going down than Liverpool winning the league.”

Jamie Carragher’s assessment of Fulham three games into the season seems like it could come back to haunt him. Tonight, with three points against Leeds, Fulham could move out of the relegation zone and go ahead of Newcastle and level on points with Brighton. The side that was written off earlier in the season has come back fighting and Scott Parker deserves every credit for this turnaround. 

We’ve all seen his brilliant post-match interviews with backing tracks from The Streets, but when it comes to the serious work, the Englishman has improved every aspect of this side. Fulham’s defence, which was the target of Carra’s abuse earlier in the season, is now reformed and despite their expected heavy defeat against champions elect Manchester City, they have now got a platform in place to pick up points with regularity. Before that loss, they’d kept three clean sheets in four games, including a win at Anfield and a must-win game at home to basement club Sheffield United.

In Alphonse Areola, Joachim Anderson and Tosin Adarabioyo, the Cottagers now have a strong spine in their back-line who know they will be playing, if fit, every single week. You simply cannot underestimate the importance of consistency and confidence to a central defensive pairing, something Fulham were severely lacking in the early months of this campaign. 

Perhaps the energetic full-backs, often rotated have been the stars of the show in this Fulham back-line. Ola Aina’s flexibility to play anywhere across the backline has allowed Parker to switch between a back three and a back four, while his ability to play at left-back strengthened them when Antonee Robinson was banned for three games. Kenny Tete has shown his ability as a wing-back while Robinson himself has provided both width and an attacking threat in the final third when playing in that same position on the opposite side. 

Parker has managed to concoct a reasonably solid defence, something that looked an impossibility as Tony Khan tweeted his frustration in late September. Ahead of them, the ineffectiveness of last season’s top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic has been replaced by the clever movement of Josh Maja, a January signing which could keep them in the top flight along with the attacking talents of Ademola Lookman. 

Unlike two seasons ago, these signings have improved Fulham and that’s because they have a steady, sensible figure in charge. Parker was handed a mess of a squad, packed full of big signings on large wages who were destined for the Championship. Once relegation was confirmed, he trimmed the fat of his squad and returned them to the top flight at the first time of asking, something that shouldn’t be underestimated given his lack of managerial experience at the time. 

This season was always going to be his biggest challenge, but as it has progressed, he and this Fulham side have improved alongside one another. He may not have the attraction or playing style of his opposite number tonight in Marcelo Bielsa, but Parker, if he keeps this squad in the Premier League against the odds this term, can assert himself as one of the most talented English managers in the country. 




https://www.thesportsman.com/articles/why-scott-parker-is-emerging-as-one-of-the-most-talented-english-managers

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2021, 01:30:30 PM »
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Newcastle United: 20/03/2021 – match preview and predicted starting XIs

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Newcastle United

Date: 20/03/2021

K/O: 20:00

Venue: Amex Stadium

Referee: Anthony Taylor

TV: Sky Sports

Saturday night sees Brighton & Hove Albion take on Newcastle United in a relegation six-pointer. Fulham’s return to form, coupled with Brighton’s perpetual xG woes, has seen the fight for the much-dreaded 18th spot become quite a tussle, contrary to expectations that most fans had at the infancy of the season.

Steve Bruce presently is, and has been walking a tightrope for what seems like half a season now, and latest reports speculate the former Manchester United man could be shown the door should his side succumb at the hands of Graham Potter’s on Saturday. Chris Wilder – who himself parted ways with Sheffield United very recently over his lack of control over ground facilities and transfers – is said to be the man Mike Ashley is most keen on signing for the Magpies’ dugout.

Newcastle United never seemed to have fully recovered from the departure of Rafael Benitez in 2019, and signs of his influence and management seem to shadow over St. James’ even today; Steve Bruce will be hoping for survival this season, some fresh funds and a post-COVID-19 world will help him provide the desired background to mould Newcastle to his will. For that, beating Brighton over the weekend will be essential.

The Seagulls have been the definition of unlucky (or inefficiency, depending on your take on things) this season; based purely on xG alone, Graham Potter’s side should be 9th in the table, a mammoth 21 points higher than they’ve managed to collect in reality – the highest differential in the Premier League. A victory over Southampton in their most recent outing will no doubt have settled some of the anxiety in the camp, but they will know that the job isn’t yet done by any means.

Fulham, having played a game extra, take to the pitch first over the weekend, with Leeds standing in their way and levelling with Brighton on points. We can be sure that both sides will be watching the match with bated breath, and both managers will be spurring their sides to dig deep and capture all three points, regardless of Fulham’s result.

Team News

Brighton

Adam Webster has been ruled out until at least the international break with a foot injury, with Graham Potter mentioning earlier this month that “we won’t see him this side of [international break]”. Aaron Connolly has a cracked rib, and he too will only be back after the break.

Tariq Lamptey’s hamstring hasn’t responded “as well as we’d like” to initial treatments, with surgery being the fallback option; one which would rule him out for the rest of the season. Dan Burn was taken off at half-time against Southampton with a hamstring injury, and the gaffer “didn’t want to take the chance” with him with such a crucial period of the season coming up.

Newcastle

Miguel Almiron is getting along “very, very nicely”, and so there’s hope yet that he may be ready to feature on Saturday. However, I personally feel Steve Bruce will opt against putting him into the lineup right away, and we should see the Paraguayan in action a little bit later on.

Allan Saint-Maximin should optimistically be back after the international break. Callum Wilson is working with the physios and in light training, but seems a little bit further away from a full recovery. He too should likely be back after the international break.

Predicted Starting XIs

Brighton (4-4-2): Sanchez; Veltman, White, Dunk, Zeqiri; Gross, Lallana, Bissouma, Trossard; Welbeck, Maupay

Newcastle (4-3-3): Dubravka; Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Willock, Shelvey, Hayden; Joelinton, Fraser, Gayle

Predicted Scoreline: Brighton 1-0 Newcastle

I believe Newcastle’s injuries in attack may hamper them going forward, and expect Brighton to extend their gap over both Fulham and Newcastle with a victory on Saturday.



https://90maat.com/brighton-hove-albion-vs-newcastle-united-20-03-2021-match-preview-and-predicted-starting-xis/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2021, 02:12:24 PM »
Mitrovic ‘banging down the door’ for Fulham recall

Aleksandar Mitrovic is “banging down the door” to get a first Fulham start in six games against Leeds.

The Serb striker has been limited to making appearances off the bench since the 2-0 home defeat by Leicester on February 3.

But Scott Parker insists last season’s leading Championship scorer has done everything he could to get in the team from the start.

“I’ve seen someone who is banging down the door to get in this team,” Whites boss Parker said.

“I’ve seen that over the last three weeks. His performances off the bench have been very, very good. He’s come on, helped the team, showed his quality. His training consistently has been very good as well.

“I fully recognise that and I’m pleased where Aleks is at the moment.”

Even so, loanee Josh Maja is set to be recalled to the starting line-up to face Leeds, with Parker reverting to one out-and-out forward supported from midfield and the flanks.

“Of course, a decision for me is I have two strikers now and who do I pick? Parker said.

“Aleks needs to keep maintaining where he is. If that’s 15 minutes or that’s a start, keep performing the way I see him at this present moment.

“The way he’s performing on a daily basis in training and the way he’s performing at the moment for the minutes on the pitch, he helps us 10-fold.

“It’s good for me that I have two strikers that are fighting each other to get in this team and help us.”



https://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/mitrovic-banging-down-the-door-for-fulham-recall


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2021, 03:36:14 PM »
Jerome's International Recognition


Fulham loanee Jerome Opoku’s excellent performances during his spell at Home Park have not gone unnoticed by his national side, Ghana.

The Black Stars made contact with the towering central defender about the possibility of joining the squad for their upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tomé and Príncipe next week.

However, COVID-19-related challenges meant that a call-up would not be possible on this occasion, as is the case with many other Europe-based players during the pandemic.

With Ghana playing in red listed South Africa in the first of their two matches, Jerome would have been required to undergo a 10-day quarantine upon his return to the UK, and this was one of many hurdles standing between the defender and his first international cap.

Jerome said: “I am very proud. For me and my family it was a big thing, to be recognised by my country.

“It’s a difficult thing, not being able to go, but I think it is for the best. I have spoken to a lot of people, family, and friends in football, and the whole COVID situation is challenging – for everyone’s safety it’s the right option not to travel at this time.

“I think the call-up reflects my performances, and the progress I’ve made at Argyle. I am grateful to the club, the manager, and everyone around the team for helping me improve my game and gain national recognition.

“I would like to thank Ghana for presenting me with the opportunity, and hopefully there will be more to come.”

Argyle manager Ryan Lowe said: “Obviously, we’re very proud of Jerome, getting a first international call-up is an incredible achievement.

“Unfortunately, the circumstances have stopped him going because of the COVID situation, but we just want to congratulate him for his hard work while on-loan at Argyle.

“It is obviously a bittersweet moment for him, to be recognised by his country, but he should be very proud. I’m certain he’ll get the opportunity again in the near future.”

Jerome has made 27 appearances in Sky Bet League One this season, netting once – the equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Portsmouth at Home Park in November.



https://www.pafc.co.uk/news/2021/march/jeromes-international-recognition/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2021, 03:37:19 PM »
Bruce Accepts That Newcastle’s Predicament Means He Has Not Been Good Enough

Over the past month, Newcastle have been perilously perched on the edge of the drop zone within three points of falling down into it. In the week of our defeat at Chelsea last month, Newcastle enjoyed a comfortable 10 point cushion over 18th placed Fulham.

By the end of that week, that cushion was crushed to just 3 points. There’s been minimal wrangling position-wise in the table since then. Newcastle did momentarily jump to 16th place and Fulham briefly cut the lead to just 1 point.

However, the battle for 17th has primarily been between the Magpies and the Cottagers over the past month. That’s again the case the weekend as Newcastle have a two-point edge over Fulham, who invite Leeds to Craven Cottage this evening.

Results will once again have to go our way to avoid dropping into the bottom three by kickoff tomorrow. Though, it could be a short stint if Newcastle can find a way to pick up a win at the Amex on Saturday.

Wins have been very hard to come by for Newcastle, who haven’t been dreadful over the past month, but just fail to put in performances that are good enough for three points. After going winless in nine straight league matches in late December through January, Newcastle haven’t tasted victory in the last five matches.

While we are unbeaten in the last three, many see those draws as points lost rather than points gained. Those points have kept Fulham at bay for the time being, however, an opportunity to put some distance between them has passed unfulfilled.

During his press conference for Brighton this morning, Steve Bruce was again asked about his future at Newcastle United. He still sticks to his proverbial ‘that decision is above me’. Though this time he did accept that he has not been good enough to keep Newcastle out of a relegation fight.

Here is some of what Bruce had to say as published in The Northern Echo:

    “That decision will always be taken out of my hands. I only want what’s best for the club. Over the last few months, in particular, I haven’t been good enough to get the results this club demands.

    “I understand the way it is. I will do my utmost to make sure this club stays in the Premier League. I will never walk away from the challenge.

    “We had a horrific December and January. Over the last nine games we have started to pick up points again and now with a quarter of the season to go can we finish by winning four or five.

    “There is always anxiety at Newcastle, it wouldn’t be Newcastle without anxiety. We have to be positive and get the points to see off this battle ahead.

    “We won a couple four or five weeks ago. But there is no disputing we had an awful ten-game stretch, they came thick and fast. In the last seven or eight weeks, we have improved, gone three unbeaten. We have to find a way to get the points we need.”




https://www.nufcblog.com/2021/03/19/377543/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2021, 03:38:45 PM »
‘Major blow’ – Exclusive: Pundit reacts to early Leeds team news ahead of clash v Fulham

We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United

Paul Robinson has said that it’s a major blow for Leeds after Liam Cooper was ruled out of the game against Fulham through illness, thought to be Covid-related.

Leeds won’t comment on Covid-related issues but Athletic journalist Phil Hay said, “Liam Cooper’s still ill, our understanding is that it’s Covid although the club aren’t talking about that and Bielsa never comments on it either.” [The Phil Hay Show podcast]

That’s seen Cooper left out of the final Scotland squad ahead of the delayed Euros this summer, too.

Robinson said Leeds will have an even bigger problem if Patrick Bamford doesn’t make the game tonight.

He said that with Rodrigo likely missing as well it would mean Tyler Roberts starting up top.

Bamford is expected to be fit to play but was missing from the latest Leeds training video and limped out of the Chelsea game last weekend.

Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds News Robinson said, “You’ve got to hope that Bamford is fit.

“It highlights this age-old problem Leeds have got around two players, Patrick Bamford and Kalvin Phillips.

“When either one of these players are out they just don’t have a replacement and it’s a case of square pegs in round holes.

“If Bamford does miss out it would be a huge blow to Leeds – he’s as important to Leeds as Harry Kane is to Tottenham. But, just because he wasn’t in training doesn’t mean he’s not playing.

“With Rodrigo out, it’s even more of an issue. If he’s not fit then you’d be looking at Tyler Roberts up top.

“As for Cooper, it’s not been confirmed he’s got Covid but it doesn’t look like a foolproof plan to not say anything.

“If he’s injured they say so. You can see through it. It’s a major blow for him and for Leeds, and you hope that he recovers from it quickly.”

Bamford missed out on the England squad but was in contention and that makes us think he will be fit for tonight’s game.

If he is, Tyler Roberts will likely start in the number 10 position, with Rodrigo an injury doubt.

With Cooper out, Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk will be tasked with stopping Fulham from scoring – they bagged three in a thrilling 4-3 win for Leeds in the reverse fixture.



https://motleedsnews.com/exclusives/major-blow-exclusive-pundit-reacts-to-early-leeds-team-news-ahead-of-clash-v-fulham/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2021, 03:39:26 PM »
Big win for under-23s at Fulham

The under-23s recorded a biggest ever win in Premier League two this afternoon with a 4-1 victory against Fulham at the  London School of Economics.

With the game goalless at half time, we were quickly in our stride in the second half. We took the lead seven minutes into the half and ten minutes later were 3-0 up with the game won.

Rob Harker, who returned with a goal last week after a long spell out with injury, scored from close range after being set up by Lewis Richardson. Six minutes later we doubled the lead when central defender Richard Nartey turned the ball in from a corner.

And two became three after a handball in the box by a Fulham defender, allowing the reliable Max Thompson to step up and score from the spot, just what he’d done a week ago when he scored the stoppage time winner against Aston Villa.

Fulham did pull one back through substitute Sylvester Jasper but it was our substitute Joel Mumbongo who had the final word with Richardson once again the provider.

The win has taken us up to third in the table for now although Wolves will have the opportunity to go back above us when they face Middlesbrough in three days time.

The teams were;

Fulham: Taye Ashby-Hammond, Ziyad Larkeche, Connor McAvoy, Ibane Bowat, Luciano D’Auria-Henry, Fabio Carvalho, Oliver O’Neill, Adrion Pajaziti (Sylvester Jasper 59), Tyrese Francois, Jay Stansfield, Mika Biereth (Jean-Pierre Tiehi 59). Subs not used: Alexander Borto, Luca Murphy, Sonny Hilton.

Burnley: Marc Richter, Jordan Cropper, Richard Nartey, Anthony Glennon, Matty Rain, Max Thompson, Anthony Gomez Mancini (Dara Costelloe 73), Kade Ratchford, Ne-Jai Tucker, Lewis Richardson, Rob Harker (Joel Mumbongo 66). Subs not used: Lewis Thomas, Calen Gallagher-Allison, Sam Unwin.



https://www.uptheclarets.com/big-win-for-under-23s-at-fulham

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2021, 04:41:51 PM »
Fulham's forgotten £20 million man has the tools to dismantle Leeds United's London rebellion

Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored twice for Fulham this season - both goals coming in the 4-3 defeat at Elland Road in September


Scott Parker awaits to send on Aleksandar Mitrovic against Arsenal (Image: CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Fulham's recent upturn in form has coincided with the routine omission of target man Aleksandar Mitrovic from Scott Parker's starting XI.

While the abrasive Serbian was prolific for the Cottagers in the Championship, the Premier League appears to be a nut the 26-year-old has seemingly always struggled to crack.

His debut campaign in England's top flight at Newcastle United ended with relegation, despite netting nine times for the doomed side.

He was tipped to score bagfuls for the Magpies in the second tier, but manager Rafael Benitez felt he could not trust the flammable Serb to lead his line without incurring too many suspensions or the attention of referees.

It's true that Mitrovic has a hot streak in him, but over the past few years since securing a £20 million move to Fulham, he has turned himself from the petulant young forward lacking focus, into a honed, refined, brick wall of a striker.

Unfortunately for him, this season has been stop-start for many reasons.

Mitrovic featured in each of Fulham's opening nine games, making seven starts, but the west Londoners notched just a single win.

Parker ditched his focal point, for a more varied tactical approach, which it took some time for his team to gel into. Now, they are functioning well as a unit, effective in both defence and attack.

Since the turn of 2021, Mitrovic has started just twice in the league, missing games for a variety of reasons, from coronavirus issues, to an Achilles' tendon problem.

He has played just over an hour of football across his last four Fulham outings - each one being from the bench.

However, with Leeds United struggling in the air, most notably at set-pieces, Parker may be tempted to call on his top-heavy centre-forward.

The Serbian international has made a career of bullying opposition defenders and it is something he appears to revel in.

Watching Diego Llorente's attempts to mark Craig Dawson at the London Stadium would have had the ex-Newcastle striker licking his lips.

Despite his woes at set-plays, Llorente did a relatively good job against West Ham United, keeping quiet Michail Antonio, another burly forward who very much enjoys riling opposition defenders.

Another crack at a difficult Premier League customer is something Llorente would surely relish, but without the often-underrated assuredness of Liam Cooper beside him, it is unclear how Leeds would fare against the hardly insignificant presence of Serbia's 36-goal man.



https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leeds-united/leeds-united-fulham-forgotten-mitrovic-20215499

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2021, 04:43:52 PM »
We Can Get Monkey Off Our Back At Fulham – Leeds United Legend

Tony Dorigo is of view that Leeds United’s upcoming Premier League clash against Fulham is a great opportunity for the Whites to set their poor record in London straight.

The Yorkshire giants are yet to win a single game in the capital under Marcelo Bielsa, but will have an opportunity to set it right tonight.

Leeds are set to lock horns with relegation threatened Fulham at Craven Cottage in the top flight and Whites legend Dorigo has urged them to give their best to register a first win in the capital since December 2017.

Dorigo feels the Fulham clash is a great opportunity for Leeds to get the monkey off their back and put any doubts regarding their inability to win in London to bed once and for all.

The ex-defender explained that Leeds has good spells against West Ham United when they played in London earlier in the season which now they need to reproduce for the 90 minutes against Fulham to get over the line.

“It is an another very good opportunity to sort this [record in London] out and get the monkey off our back for once and for all”, Dorigo told LUTV.

"It does not make any sense; I keep saying it does not make any sense at all.

"And if you look at the last time, I look at the performance in London against West Ham, I thought for one hour we were really, really, really good.

“So, let us stretch that out to 90 [minutes] and we get the job done.”

Leeds are winless in their last three top flight outings and will be desperate to get back in the win column tonight while Fulham will be determined to add a huge three points to their bid for survival in the top flight.



https://insidefutbol.com/2021/03/19/we-can-get-monkey-off-our-back-at-fulham-leeds-united-legend/499332/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2021, 05:58:33 PM »
Les Ferdinand sends Newcastle United urgent message amid relegation battle

Steve Bruce's Newcastle side are just two points clear of the drop zone going into a crucial 24 hours in their Premier League season

Les Ferdinand has urged the Newcastle United players to treat every single one of their remaining matches this season as if it was a "cup final" as they battle to preserve their Premier League status.

Newcastle are locked in a relegation battle going into their final 10 games of the 2020-21 campaign.

Steve Bruce 's side are languishing in 17th place in the table, with 28 points from their 28 fixtures so far.

They are only two points ahead of third-from-bottom Fulham, albeit with a game in hand.

Fulham take on Leeds United at Craven Cottage this evening (Friday, 8pm kick-off), and victory for Scott Parker's side would put Newcastle into the drop zone.

The Magpies, meanwhile, have a crucial match of their own on Saturday (8pm kick-off) as they take on fellow strugglers Brighton at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton are just one place and one point ahead of Newcastle as things stand.

Former Newcastle ace Ferdinand told the Premier League : "They've got 10 games - and they're 10 cup finals, because that's what it's going to need now.

"It's going to need every single one of those games to be played like a cup final, to keep themselves in the division."

Asked if Newcastle would survive, former Tottenham and Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood said: "I think it will be determined on what they do, Brighton and Fulham.

At the moment, positive vibes certainly from Fulham. Brighton need to start scoring a lot more goals - or a few goals would help.

"The big game is the next one - Newcastle v Brighton. What a fixture. Six-pointer. Loads could be changing on that one.

"That could balance it, that one."



https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-ferdinand-sherwood-brighton-fulham-20216814

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2021, 05:59:50 PM »
Plymouth Argyle defender Jerome Opoku 'proud' to get Ghana international recognition

However, Covid-related challenges have meant a first Ghana call up for Opoku has not been possible this time

Jerome Opoku has spoken of his pride at being invited to join up with the Ghana international squad for the first time.

The on-loan Plymouth Argyle defender will not, however, be taking up the opportunity on this occasion.

That is due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and the issues surrounding international travel at the moment.

Opoku was born in Lambeth, south-east London, but is of Ghanian descent.

After playing regularly for Argyle this season on loan from Premier League club Fulham, he was contacted about the possibility of a first call-up for Ghana.

They are playing their final two qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations later this month.

Ghana will be away to South Africa in Johannesburg on Tuesday, March 25 before hosting Sao Tome and Principe in Accra four days later.

Had Opoku taken up the chance to join up with the Ghana squad for the game in South Africa he would have had to quarantine for 10 days on his return to the UK.

That was one of the issues which were taken into consideration before it was decided Opoku would not make the trip.

Opoku told Argyle’s official club website: “I am very proud. For me and my family it was a big thing, to be recognised by my country.

“It’s a difficult thing, not being able to go, but I think it is for the best.

“I have spoken to a lot of people, family, and friends in football, and the whole Covid situation is challenging. For everyone’s safety it’s the right option not to travel at this time.

“I think the call-up reflects my performances, and the progress I have made at Argyle.

“I am grateful to the club, the manager, and everyone around the team for helping me improve my game and gain national recognition.

“I would like to thank Ghana for presenting me with the opportunity, and hopefully there will be more to come.”

Opoku has made 27 starts and five substitute appearances for Argyle since arriving on loan from Fulham in September.

Manager Ryan Lowe said: “Obviously, we are very proud of Jerome, getting a first international call-up is an incredible achievement.

“Unfortunately, the circumstances have stopped him going because of the Covid situation, but we just want to congratulate him for his hard work while on loan at Argyle.

“It is obviously a bittersweet moment for him, to be recognised by his country, but he should be very proud. I’m certain he’ll get the opportunity again in the near future.”

Ghana are top of Group C in qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the finals of which have been delayed until January 2022 due to Covid-19.

They are level on points with South Africa, with both of those countries set to secure the two qualification places.

Ghana coach CK Akonnor has named a squad of 29 players for the games against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe.

It includes one player from an English club, Colchester United midfielder Kwame Poku.



https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/sport/football/plymouth-argyle-defender-jerome-opoku-5204770

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 19/03/21...
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2021, 06:00:42 PM »
Match Preview: Fulham vs Leeds United

Leeds travel to London for the last time this season and go there hoping Fulham’s Craven Cottage is the place they get their first win since 2017 when the beat QPR 3-1 with all three goals from Kemar Roofe.

Last weekends 0-0 draw brought back a little confidence to the fans who were a little concerned with Fulham’s upturn in form meaning the sizable lead from third from bottom is decreasing. The gap is still ten points but a win for the hosts will bring it down to seven with Leeds facing Manchester City A, Liverpool and manu at home in a tough looking April after the international break.

Marcelo Bielsa will have Robin Koch back in the squad that travels to London but they will be without captain Liam Cooper and Rodrigo, both are out with illness(Cooper)and injury.

It is expected that Patrick Bamford will recover from a hip injury that forced him off against Chelsea. Pascal Struijk and Diego Llorente are expected to keep their partnership in centre of the defence. Either Helder Costa or Jack Harrison will play on the wing.

Fulham have won at Everton and Liverpool and have dragged Brighton and Newcastle United into the relegation scramble after some impressive recent results. That saying they have lost their last two home games to Manchester City and Spurs.

Earlier in the season Leeds won a thriller at Elland Road 4-3. It was their first game back in the Premier League for sixteen years at Elland Road. Costa(2), Klich and Bamford were United’s scorers back in September.

With Fulham needing the points to get to safety it could be a very close game with the odd goal the margin of victory. Heart always says Leeds and I think they will finally get a win in London. Leeds 2-1.



http://www.weallloveleeds.co.uk/latest/match-preview-fulham-vs-leeds-united