Author Topic: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 29/04/21...  (Read 572 times)

Offline whitejc

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Thursday Fulham Stuff - 29/04/21...
« on: April 29, 2021, 08:25:38 AM »
Chelsea team news: Injury, suspension list vs. Fulham

Chelsea switch focus back to the Premier League on Saturday evening with a London derby showdown with Championship-bound Fulham.

The Blues claimed a 1-1 away-goal draw with Real Madrid in Tuesday's Champions League semi-final first leg to make it just two defeats in their last 23 games.

That includes a run of two wins and a draw in their last three top-flight outings, which has Thomas Tuchel's men in possession of fourth place.

Here, Sports Mole rounds up all of Chelsea's latest injury and suspension news ahead of Fulham's visit to Stamford Bridge.

Mateo Kovacic
Status: Minor doubt
Type of injury: Thigh
Possible return date: May 1 (vs. Fulham)

Mateo Kovacic has been absent for Chelsea's last five matches with a troublesome thigh problem. However, Tuchel revealed ahead of the Madrid match that he was hopeful of having the Croatian back for this showdown with Fulham.

CHELSEA'S SUSPENSION LIST

Chelsea have no players suspended for this weekend's game.



https://www.sportsmole.co.uk/football/chelsea/top-four-race/injuries-and-suspensions/chelsea-injury-suspension-list-vs-fulham_445130.html?newsnow

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 29/04/21...
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2021, 08:27:07 AM »
Ola: Special Game For Me

Ola Aina would like nothing more than to put one over his former employers on Saturday.

The versatile defender spent more than a decade at Chelsea and so understandably holds the club in high esteem, but his full focus is on bringing the points home to the black and white half of SW6.

“It’s going to be a tough game, a very tough game,” Aina admitted. “I came through the ranks there so I know a lot of people, a lot of coaches.

“It’s going to be a special game for me, but nevertheless the team’s going there to do a job, and hopefully we can.

“I had great memories at Chelsea because I was there from when I was a kid to a young man, some good memories with the first team as well, being with that Premier League winning squad in 2016/17.

“I get excited for every fixture, but to play against your boyhood club is always one that you relish, and I’m looking forward to it.”

The weekend marks the 52nd competitive fixture of what could be a highly successful campaign for Chelsea.

They secured an impressive 1-1 draw away to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, but Aina knows whichever side Thomas Tuchel names will provide a stern test.

“It will be difficult, even though they’ve got a lot of games,” he said. “They’ve got good rotation in their squad. I think whoever plays for Chelsea against us, it will still be a difficult game as they’ve got quality players.

“That’s just how it is, but with how the Premier League is, anything can happen. Anyone can beat anyone.

“At the end of the day it’s 11 against 11, so I’m looking forward to it and we’ll see what happens.”

Fulham currently sit seven points from safety but, with 15 more still to play for, Aina refuses to let attentions slip.

“To the outside world, it’s looking like a massive mountain, but to us, the staff here, the boys, we just take every game as it comes,” he explained.

“We have to focus on the games one by one, and the next game’s Chelsea so we just have to focus on that, do our best, try and get a result, and that’s how we’ll be pushing on for the rest of the season.

“We have five more games to go, these are five massive finals for us, so we have to hit them head on.”



https://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2021/april/Ola-Special-Game-For-Me/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 29/04/21...
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2021, 08:29:04 AM »
West Brom and Fulham enter race to sign in-demand Sheffield Wednesday man

West Brom and Fulham have entered the race to sign Sheffield Wednesday forward Josh Windass according to The Star.

Windass has caught the eye with some impressive performances for the Owls this term, even though they’ve struggled for momentum in this year’s campaign.

The 27-year-old has scored ten goals and been on hand to provide six assists for his Sheffield Wednesday team-mates in all competitions this term, although his efforts look as though they’re not going to be enough as the Owls battle to stay in the Championship this term.

Darren Moore’s side are currently sat 23rd in the Championship table, and find themselves four points adrift of safety with just two matches remaining of their 2020/21 season.

It has previously been reported by Football Insider that the likes of Middlesbrough, Cardiff City and Stoke City were keen on reaching an agreement to land Windass’ signature in the summer transfer window, but they now face tough competition to strike a deal with the Owls.

Fulham and West Brom are both currently playing their football in the Premier League, but look as though they could be fighting a losing battle in their efforts to stay in the top-flight.

They could potentially be preparing for life back in the Championship in the near future, and it appears as though both clubs are keen on signing Windass ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

Windass and his Sheffield Wednesday team-mates are set to return to action this weekend, when they take on Nottingham Forest, in what is likely to be a closely-fought battle at Hillsborough.

The Verdict:

You can understand Fulham and West Brom’s thinking with this one.

Windass has caught the eye with some impressive showings with Sheffield Wednesday, and it looks as though they’re going to be relegated into League One this term.

Therefore, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Windass leave the club in favour of sticking around in the Championship, and he’s evidently not short of offers at this stage.

West Brom and Fulham are likely to be playing their football in the second-tier next term, and Windass could play a key role in firing either side back up into the Premier League. He’s got a tough decision to make on which team he heads to in the summer.



https://footballleagueworld.co.uk/west-brom-and-fulham-enter-race-to-sign-in-demand-sheffield-wednesday-man/


Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 29/04/21...
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2021, 08:30:55 AM »
How Fulham failed to sign goalkeeper after multiple offers and were left ‘disappointed and furious’

Mexican newspaper Record today features a very interesting piece on the career of Guillermo Ochoa.

With the debate about whether he is or not the best goalkeeper in the country’s history, journalist Ignacio Suárez shares some little known facts about the player.

One of these stories is about Fulham’s efforts to sign him, which started with the arrival of Carlos Salcido at Craven Cottage in 2010.

Following his good start with the Whites, director Alistair Mackintosh started wondering if the defender had any compatriots of the same quality.

Fulham were looking for a replacement for Mark Schwarzer, and then contacted Mexican agent Juan Carlos Padilla, who recommended the signing of Ochoa.

Mackintosh then asked Sven-Goran-Eriksson, who managed the Mexican national team, and he confirmed that it would be a good signing.

According to Suarez, chief scout Barry Simmonds was sent to Mexico to watch the goalkeeper and one game was enough to approve the signing, which led to Fulham sending an offer of £1.5m, carrying a letter signed by Mackinstosh.

Even though Ochoa’s club America said they wanted £1.5m, the Mexican side never accepted the offer.

They started demanding £4m, and that made both Mackintosh and Padilla ‘disappointed and furious’.

Padilla then went back to London for a last attempt, when America and Fulham officials met at Langan’s restaurant.

The Whites had doubts about Ochoa’s height, and then made an offer of £500k for a loan plus a buying option of £4m.

That wasn’t accepted, since it was considered ‘offensive’ by the Mexican club.

Suarez says Fulham never insisted on the signing, and six months later, Ochoa left America for free at the end of his contract, signing for French side Ajaccio.



http://sportwitness.co.uk/fulham-failed-sign-goalkeeper-multiple-offers-left-disappointed-furious/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Thursday Fulham Stuff - 29/04/21...
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2021, 08:32:41 AM »
Fulham’s Last Chance?

Fulham’s trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday night presents possibly their last chance at mounting an improbable escape from the drop zone. Relegation isn’t mathematically confirmed, but survival from this position feels as though it would be miraculous. Any scenario that sees Scott Parker’s side vaulting out of the bottom three almost has to include a surprise win in the blue half of SW6. So, how can Fulham defeat Chelsea – something that has only happened eleven times in 86 meetings since 1910 – to extend their survival hopes?

You have to go back to 2006 for the last time a Fulham were victorious in the local derby. Chris Coleman’s tactical masterclass, which saw Steed Malbranque memorably nullifying Claude Makele, and Luis Boa Morte grabbing the iconic winner in the first half was all the more notable for the fact that it was just one of only five defeats Chelsea suffered on their way to lifting the Premier League title at a canter. Coleman’s side ended an eighteen game, 27 year barren run in the local derby to joyous and chaotic scenes on the pitch after the final whistle – creating memories that are still fondly recalled by all of the Fulham faithful.

A win at the weekend feels imperative as Parker’s side have lost form at precisely the wrong time of the season, sitting seven points behind Brighton and Hove Albion with five games to go. Eddie Nketiah’s last-gasp – and controversial – equaliser for Arsenal was a real kick in the teeth and Parker must now plot another surprise victory to go with the ones at Leicester, Everton and Liverpool. Doing so against a Chelsea side reenergised by the arrival of Thomas Tuchel is a serious task.

Since Tuchel took charge in late January, Chelsea have seen an upturn in form, drawing 1-1 in the Champions League semi-finals with fellow Super League villains Real Madrid on Wednesday night. The German likes to line his men up in variations of the 3-4-3 formation, with Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Christensen forming a solid base at the back. This trio, which swaps Zouma for Silva if the ageing Brazillian is unfit, has conceded just 9 games in 22 games under Tuchel, in all competitions. This is even more impressive when considering that five of these goals came in a bizarre 5-2 loss against fellow strugglers West Brom, in what can only be described as a surreal Sam Allardyce special.

Therefore, to understand how to break down and beat Chelsea’s high defensive line, we must use the loss against the Baggies as a case study. From re-watching the goals, and other significant moments, from the highlights, it is clear what Allardyce sent his side out to do. West Bromwich Albion didn’t give the centre backs any space, latching onto their mistakes as they utilised short passing. Their wingers, Pereira and Phillips, pressed high into the space left behind Tuchel’s flying wing backs, allowing the midlands men to outnumber the defenders when on the attack whilst simultaneously helping to silence Chelsea’s attack as Alonso and James were pinned back. Big Sam also exploited the Blue’s high defensive line, which left them incredibly exposed to long balls over the top – an astonishing oversight as this and set pieces are the Bionic Man’s signature moves.

Despite the early red card for Silva, which forced Tuchel to substitute Ziyech for Christensen to maintain the three at the back system, it is clear what Parker must do to exploit the opposition’s systematic frailties. Therefore, I propose that Parker once again deploys the 5-2-3 formation, to which we have now become accustomed. With Ruben Loftus-Cheek unavailable against his parent club, to which many will breath a sigh of relief, and Tom Cairney still recovering from injury, it seems as though there is little option but to drop the number 10 role anyway. Therefore, here is my proposed line-up:

Perhaps controversially, I would suggest dropping Mitrovic. Many have criticised Parker for the Serb’s lack of involvement this season, something which I partly agree with, however, he is very much a player whose performance is dependant on his opposition. His lack of pace may hinder Fulham’s counterattacking ways against such a solid defence, therefore I propose that he should be introduced in the second half, once the front three has worked the opposition’s tired legs.

However, without Mitrovic, who brings some creativity to the line-up, Anguissa should once again be selected after his Arsenal comeback. This may be a risk as Chelsea’s pressing could catch the Cameroonian international off guard – especially should he expose his trait of taking too many touches – but, as stated in my previous article, he adds a creativity from deep (when the system is suitable) which is unrivalled from the players which are currently available. This may be especially important if Parker does look to utilise a counterattacking system. Although, if Anguissa shows that he is more of a liability than an asset, he too should be swapped, with Lemina and Reed offering a robust midfield, if lacking a spark.

The wing backs may prove to be the most crucial component of this system, with West Brom’s own confidently disrupting Chelsea’s system. Therefore, Tete and Robinson would look to remain high up the pitch to limit Chelsea’s numbers going forward. Robinson’s pace also offers an outlet down the left hand side through which Fulham can burst up the pitch, even if his crossing leaves a lot to be desired. Lookman’s crossing, however, is impressive and should be exploited to try and score from set pieces – a long time weakness of Fulham’s – although Andersen, Tosin and Anguissa offer an aerial threat, as does Mitrovic.

Little can be said about Fulham’s defence, other than hopefully Tosin can regain his form, which has been uncharacteristically dodgy as of klate. However, Chelsea pose a large attacking threat, even with Werner not in the rich goal scoring form that he showed at Leipzig. Werner, like Bamford, appears to be a volume striker, taking multiple opportunities to score. Therefore, Scott should look to deploy a low block, stifling the pace advantage that the German possesses and limiting through balls, cutting his threat. This would also force Chelsea to attempt long shots, something that their other attacking talents possess the ability to do but is still much more unlikely to yield rewards from – especially with Anguissa and Reed hunting them down.

How do you feel about the match and this line-up? Can the Whites break the Chelsea curse at the Bridge and prove that there is only one team in Fulham?



https://hammyend.com/index.php/2021/04/fulhams-last-chance/