Author Topic: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...  (Read 1937 times)

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Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« on: September 27, 2021, 12:57:52 PM »

West Brom
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« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 12:01:35 AM by whitejc »

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2021, 03:29:22 PM »
Kiwi midfielder Matt Dibley-Dias signs pro football contract for English club Fulham

New Zealand-born midfielder Matt Dibley-Dias, 17, has signed a professional football contract for English Championship club Fulham.

New Zealand-born midfielder Matt Dibley-Dias has signed his first professional football contract for leading English second tier club Fulham.

The 17-year-old –described by a Fulham official has having “the skill of a Brazilian and the strength of a New Zealand rugby player’’ – has secured a three-year deal with the west London club.

Lower Hutt-born Dibley-Dias is eligible to represent four countries – New Zealand, Brazil, Portugal and England.

His profile on Fulham’s website says the central midfielder “chose his international allegiance as Brazil at the start of the 2021-22 season’’.

His grandfather Manoel José Dias (dubbed Manoelzinho) averaged a goal every two games for leading Brazilian clubs Flamengo and Corinthians in the 1960s.

While Dibley-Dias has said “the dream is to play for the Brazilian national team’’ is his ultimate goal, his immediate future is with Fulham.

 "I'm really pleased to extend my stay at the club,’’ he told Fulham’s website. “I've enjoyed my time here so far and have worked hard so I'm grateful to continue this journey.

"I think this is the best place for me to improve as a player and further my career as a footballer."

He scored four goals in 19 games for Fulham’s under-18 team last season and earned a reputation for pinpoint freekicks, scoring three times from the set piece.

Fulham’s development manager Huw Jennings said on the club website last April that Dibley-Dias “has the skill of a Brazilian and the strength of a New Zealand rugby player’’.

He said the Kiwi could “play in all positions along that [midfield] line’’.

“When he came to us as an attacking midfielder, he was adept as creating and scoring goals. What he's added to his game is the defensive side."

 After Dibley-Dias’ signing this week, Jennings said the teen was “an intelligent midfielder who has had his challenges with injury, but he's got great potential and will hopefully be back soon supporting our 18s and 23s.’’

Fulham were relegated from the English Premier League last season and are currently fourth in the Championship and one of the favourites for promotion.

The Craven Cottage club already has an antipodean midfielder on its books. Australia's Tyrese Francois, 21, made his EPL debut for Fulham last season.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2021, 03:30:42 PM »
Where 2020/21 Plymouth Argyle loan trio Woods, Opoku and Watts are now

Sam Woods spent the final three months of last season with the Pilgrims from Crystal Palace

Former Plymouth Argyle loan signing Sam Woods is on trial with League One club Sheffield Wednesday.

The 23-year-old joined the Pilgrims from Crystal Palace at the end of January and went on to make a total of five starts and four substitute appearances.

He scored once, in the 1-0 Good Friday victory over AFC Wimbledon at Home Park in April.

Woods played his last game for Argyle in the 3-1 defeat at Oxford United later that month, missing the last two matches of the season due to a hamstring injury.

The defender was released by Palace in the summer and had been without a club until going to Wednesday on trial.

He played for the Owls' under-23s in their 1-1 draw away to Coventry City in the Professional Development League on Monday.

Woods lined up in central defence for Argyle against Oxford at the Kassam Stadium with Jerome Opoku, who was on loan from Fulham.

Opoku is now at bottom-of-the-table Danish Superliga club Vejle on a season-long loan from Fulham.

The 22-year-old has started six of their 10 league games, including the 4-2 home defeat by Silkeborg, leaving them on two points for the campaign.

Another defender on loan to Argyle last season was Newcastle United academy product Kell Watts.

He is now on a season-long loan to League One leaders Wigan Athletic and has started seven of their eight games, including the 2-0 home victory over Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2021, 03:32:07 PM »
Meet the opposition | Fulham

As Swansea City get set to head to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham, we take a closer look at the Cottagers.

What's their story?

London’s oldest club, Fulham spent 13 consecutive seasons in the Premier League from 2001 until 2014, which saw them become an established top-flight team.

Under the guidance of Roy Hodgson, they reached their highest-ever league placing with seventh during the 2008-09 season, and reached the Europa League final in 2010 only to be defeated 2-1 by Atletico Madrid in Hamburg.

A turbulent campaign saw Fulham relegated at the end of the 2013-14 season; and their two returns to the top-flight since have ended in immediate relegation with them now once again back in the Championship.

How's their form?

Inconsistent after a superb start. Fulham hit the ground running on their return to the second tier, dropping just two points from the first 15 available.

They secured convincing wins over Huddersfield, Birmingham and Stoke, but have since suffered defeat to Blackpool and Reading.

They played out a draw against Bristol City at the weekend, with a failure to convert chances proving costly at Ashton Gate.

Who's the boss?

Marco Silva. The Portuguese is back in football having taken a break following his departure from Everton in December of 2019.

A defender during his playing days, the now 44-year-old started his managerial career by guiding second-tier Estoril to the title and a top-flight return after a seven-year absensce.

Stints with Sporting Lisbon - where he won the Portuguese Cup - and Olympiacos - where the league title was secured - followed before he made the move to English football with Hull in January 2017.

Their impressive home form nearly saw him guide the Tigers to safety, but they were relegated and he departed to take over at Watford.

He made a fine start to life at Vicarage Road before an alarming loss of form saw him depart and he subsequently joined Everton in the summer of 2018.

Who's the captain?

Tim Ream. Tom Cairney has been Fulham's club captain over recent seasons, but the midfielder is currently sidelined by a knee injury.

That has seen American defender Ream take the armband, with the 33-year-old having been with the Cottagers since 2015.

He has made over 200 appearances since and was a key part of their promotion campaigns in 2018 and 2020.

He started his career in his homeland with Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls, before joining Bolton in 2012.

Who are the key men?

Aleksandar Mitrovic has been a devastating goalscorer at Championship level during his time with the Cottagers.

The Serbian has scored 45 goals in 66 appearances for them in the second tier, and already has seven goals in nine league outings this term.

Summer signing Harry Wilson has enjoyed a fine start to life in Fulham colours with three goals to his name already.

Elsewhere, they have the experience of Ream and Dennis Odoi to call on at the back, while Harrison Reed, Nathaniel Chalobah and Josh Onomah offer no shortage of quality or work-rate in the middle of the park.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2021, 03:34:04 PM »
EFL pundit outlines clear prediction ahead of Fulham’s clash with Swansea City

Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has suggested that Fulham will be able to get back on track and should prove too strong for Swansea City at Craven Cottage.

Fulham head into the game aiming to get back to winning ways after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Bristol City on Saturday. That result came after Marco Silva’s side suffered a 2-1 loss against Reading in their last outing at Craven Cottage.

Those results have seen Fulham drop out of top two places in the Championship. They need to rediscover the sort of form in the attacking third that allowed them to put four past Birmingham City side a few weeks ago.

These are the types of games that Fulham will need to be securing all three points from if they are going to be able to clinch automatic promotion from the Championship this season.

Swansea City, meanwhile, have been boosted by them achieving a vital 1-0 win against Huddersfield Town on Saturday to end a four-match winless run in the Championship.

Russell Martin’s side need to start picking up three points more consistently now with that win against Huddersfield just their second of the season in the league.

The Swans have managed to keep clean sheets in three of their last four Championship games and that is providing a solid foundation for them to try and build on over the coming weeks.

Making his latest round of Championship predictions for Sky Sports, Prutton suggested that Fulham should be too strong for Swansea here despite having suffered a loss in form and a dip in performances recently.

He wrote: “Fulham have just slipped a little in recent games in terms of results, and have at times looked a little less than the sum of their parts. It just proves how tough this league is, considering there was early talk of how they may well have run away with it.

“Swansea got back to winning ways on Saturday with a narrow victory over Huddersfield. It will have done Russell Martin the world of good in what is surely a season of consolidation for them, but I think Fulham will have too much at Craven Cottage.”

The verdict

This is a crucial match in the context of Fulham’s campaign. They have to start picking up wins again.

A meeting against a side that have not started the campaign in excellent form represents a real chance for them to get back on track.

Silva is going to come under pressure if Fulham continue to struggle against teams that they should be beating given the quality that is within their squad this season.

Therefore, they need to deliver an improved performance to ensure that they do not slip up as they have against Bristol City and Reading.

Swansea are starting to become a difficult side to beat under Martin and clean sheets are a real foundation for them to build from.

You get the sense that more is to come from them in terms of being an attacking threat, but for this game the Swans will have to focus more on frustrating Fulham.

The longer that Swansea stay in the game, the more chances that they will have of taking something back to Wales with them.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2021, 03:35:31 PM »
2 tweaks Marco Silva could make to the Fulham XI to face Swansea City tomorrow

Fulham will be determined to get back to winning ways in the Championship tomorrow when they host Swansea City at Craven Cottage.

Marco Silva’s side were forced to settle for a point in their clash with Bristol City last weekend as Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header was cancelled out by Kasey Palmer’s late strike.

As a result of this draw, Fulham lost ground on league leaders AFC Bournemouth.

Currently four points behind the Cherries, the Cottagers will determined to close this particular gap by sealing victory in-front of their own supporters on Wednesday.

Whilst Fulham did show glimpses of promise against the Robins, Silva may decide to make some alterations to his team for tomorrow’s showdown.

Here, we take a look at TWO tweaks that the Fulham manager could make to his starting eleven…

Ivan Cavaleiro is given the chance to impress
After being utilised as a substitute by Silva in last Saturday’s meeting with the Robins, Ivan Cavaleiro may be given the opportunity to showcase his talent tomorrow.

Certainly no stranger to life in the Championship, the winger knows exactly what it takes to thrive at this level as he has provided 46 direct goal contributions in 126 games in this division.

Particularly impressive during Fulham’s 5-1 victory over Huddersfield Town last month, Cavaleiro managed to net a brace at the John Smith’s Stadium as he registered a WhoScored match rating of 8.11.

If the winger is able to replicate this display against Swansea, he could help his side get back on track in the second-tier.

Harrison Reed returns to Fulham’s starting eleven
After missing Fulham’s defeat to Reading earlier this month due to a minor injury, Harrison Reed made his return to league action against the Robins as he was introduced as a substitute in the second-half of this fixture.

If Silva is looking to freshen up his options in the heart of midfield, Reed may be handed the opportunity to make his second Championship start of the season.

Particularly impressive against Birmingham City last month, the midfielder completed 29 passes and provided two accurate crosses as he registered a WhoScored match rating of 6.80.

By producing an encouraging display against Swansea, Reed may potentially force the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah and Jean Michael Seri to step up their performance levels which could have a positive impact on Fulham’s fortunes in the Championship.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2021, 03:36:31 PM »
Olivier Ntcham starts: The predicted Swansea City XI to face Fulham tomorrow night

Swansea City earned an impressive 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town last time out, the Swans limited the Terriers to precious little in front of goal and will be looking to build on that result at Craven Cottage on Wednesday evening.

Russell Martin’s methods seem to be getting through and with Joel Piroe hitting the ground running in English football the way he has, Swansea will have lofty ambitions for the project in the next year or two.

The central midfield partnership of Flynn Downes and Matt Grimes is growing with every game and they hold the key for the Swans with their possession based style of play.

We are predicting an unchanged side to take on Fulham on Wednesday evening.

Olivier Ntcham is the main concern on whether he can handle the quick turnaround physically but outside of the Frenchman all involved at the weekend should keep their place.

The backline restricted Huddersfield to just 0.17 expected goals at the weekend and Martin will likely stick with them.

The ball playing ability of Ryan Manning and specialist full back Kyle Naughton in the centre pf the three means the Swans will be very comfortable in possession irrespective of the area of the pitch they are in.

Fulham will be a huge test but Swans supporters have reasons to be feeling optimistic.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 03:38:08 PM »
Pay on the day at Fulham

Swansea City supporters will be able to pay on the day for Wednesday’s Championship clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Advance tickets will be available until 3pm today, but any fans who do not purchase a ticket by that time will need to buy a ticket on matchday.

Advance tickets can be purchased online HERE.

Matchday tickets can be purchased from the Craven Cottage ticket office, but supporters are advised that only cash will be accepted.

There is also a £5 increase in matchday prices, which means they will be as follows:

Adults - £30

65 & Over – £25

18-21 Years – £25

17 Years & Under – £20                                     

Please note any under-14 tickets must be sold with an accompanying adult.

Jack Army members will be awarded three points for this fixture.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2021, 03:39:02 PM »
Russell Martin | We will look to be bold

Russell Martin says Swansea City will be ready to be on the front foot and be bold when they take on Fulham on Wednesday night.

The Swans travel to Craven Cottage off the back of their 1-0 victory over Huddersfield, a win which marked their first at home in the league this season.

The high-flying Cottagers have gotten off to a strong start in their first campaign back in the Championship; they currently sit fourth in the table, scoring a league-leading 19 goals in the process.

But Martin, whose men have put together a joint-best five clean sheets this season, insists his side will not be looking to shut up shop against Fulham's attacking talents.

“It will be an interesting match,” said the head coach. “Hopefully we can continue our defensive record, limit them to as little as possible.

“But we’re not going there to just do that, we’re going there to impose our own game, and try to play the way we want to play.

“That’s the next test for this group, trying to do that wherever we go.

“It’s going to be interesting.”

Wednesday's game will be see over a thousand Swans fans in attendance at Craven Cottage, and Martin hopes his side can put on a good show for those making the journey.

“It’s a good stadium, great atmosphere,” admitted Martin. “So bringing that many away fans doesn’t surprise me. The people travelling with us have been incredible.

“It’ll be interesting; there's a new stand there, as well, I haven’t played there since that’s been done, so it should be a really good atmosphere.

“It’ll be on TV, as well, which should energise the boys for sure. They’ll really be looking forward to that.

“Hopefully we can go out there and show everyone how good we can be.”

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2021, 03:40:12 PM »
Kebano starts: The predicted Fulham XI to face Swansea tomorrow night

Fulham take on Swansea City tomorrow evening in the Sky Bet Championship as they aim to get back to winning ways after a brief dip in form.

The Cottagers have seen frustration grow in their last two games with them having nearly 50 shots at goal over the two matches against Reading and Bristol City but showing just one point for their efforts.

Fulham fans will be eager for that to change this midweek round of fixtures, then, and here we’re taking a look at the potential XI Silva could name against the Swans at the Cottage:

Silva may look to freshen the side up where he can with the games coming thick and fast before October’s international break.

The only injury he really has remains Fabio Carvalho’s and so he has a good squad to pick from to try and get back to winning ways.

Indeed, we might therefore see the likes of Harrison Reed and Neeskens Kebano come back into the fold, in a bid to help put the Swans away.

Of course, Fulham aren’t necessarily playing badly, they just need to be more clinical, and so Silva will also want to avoid going the other way and making too many changes.

Whatever side he names will be a strong one, though, and we’ll just have to see how his charges get on.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2021, 12:07:06 AM »
England 1966 team now: Where are World Cup winners who beat West Germany?

Following the tragic news of Roger Hunt’s death, we reflect on the heroes who brought football home in 1966.

Liverpool announced on Tuesday that the former striker, who was key to both their success and that of England in the Sixties, had passed away at the age of 83.

Hunt scored three goals in helping England get out of their group at the 1966 finals, and played in every game such was his importance to Sir Alf Ramsey's team.

England's 1966 World Cup Final win against West Germany remains the pinnacle of footballing achievement in the country.

Here's what happened to England's 1966 World Cup heroes after the final...

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1 Gordon Banks | 1937 - 2019

Went on to win 73 England caps and make 628 club appearances in a 15-year career. Still famed for his stunning save from Pele's header in England's 1970 World Cup clash with Brazil. Helped Stoke to the 1972 League Cup though lost the sight in one eye in a car crash in October later that same year, that ultimately ended his professional career. Enjoyed a brief managerial stint with Telford United.

2 George Cohen | 1939 - present

Fulham defender Cohen was forced to retire through injury aged 29, having amassed 459 appearances for the Craven Cottage club. Cohen struggled with bowel cancer for 14 years in the 1980s. He later opted to sell his World Cup winner's medal, though Fulham purchased the item to display it at Craven Cottage. Nephew Ben Cohen helped England win the Rugby World Cup in 2003. Awarded the MBE in 2000.

3 Ray Wilson | 1934 - 2018

England's left-back kept the lowest profile of the 1966 winners. Wilson built a successful undertaker's business in Huddersfield after his football career, but retired from his second career in 1997.

4 Nobby Stiles | 1942 - 2020

Midfielder Stiles ended up with 28 England caps but went on to rack up 392 appearances for Manchester United before a move to Middlesbrough in 1971. A career in coaching followed, with two stints at Preston, before a short-lived tenure at West Brom. Stiles worked as a youth team coach at Manchester United between 1989 and 1993, helping oversee the development of the renowned class of '92 that included the likes of David Beckham and the Neville brothers. His family have revealed he has been suffering from dementia for several years and in October 2020 passed away.

5 Jack Charlton | 1935 - 2020

Made 629 appearances for Leeds and collected 35 England caps, before turning attention to a successful managerial career. After stints with Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle, Charlton stepped up to lead the Republic of Ireland. Against the odds, he led them to the Euros in 1988, the last eight of Italia 90 and then last 16 of the 1994 World. Appointed an OBE in 1974 and awarded honorary Irish citizenship in 1996, being made a freeman of the city of Dublin in 1994. He died in July 2020 after battling lymphoma and later dementia.

6 Bobby Moore | 1941 - 1993

Widely accepted as England's greatest centre-half and one of the best anywhere of all time, the World Cup-winning captain died from bowel and liver cancer in February 1993, aged 51. Won 108 caps for England, representing West Ham with distinction, before enjoying spells at Fulham and in America. Moore's widow Stephanie founded the Bobby Moore Fund in 1993, to raise money for research into bowel cancer and raise public awareness of the disease. His statue stands outside the new Wembley to commemorate England's greatest ever day.

7 Alan Ball | 1945 - 2007

Ball - the youngest of the World Cup winners - died of a heart attack in April 2007, aged 61. The combative midfielder excelled in stints with Blackpool, Everton and Arsenal, while also winning 72 England caps. After more than 800 club appearances Ball then moved into management, twice taking charge at Portsmouth along with stints at Southampton and Manchester City.

9 Sir Bobby Charlton | 1937 - present

'Jack's younger brother Bobby continues to sit on Manchester United's board of directors, remaining a fixture at Old Trafford matches, and is a true global icon. The 81-year-old Ashington native racked up 106 England caps between 1958 and 1970 and was for decades England's leading goalscorer. He had an unsuccessful managerial stint at Preston before becoming a director at United in 1984. He was knighted in 1994. In November 2020, Sir Bobby’s dementia diagnosis was confirmed by his wife.

16 Martin Peters | 1943 - 2019

Moved into the insurance business after retiring from professional football in 1981, following 67 England caps and lengthy stints with West Ham, Tottenham and Norwich. He was briefly manager of Sheffield United. Sat on Tottenham's board of directors in the late 1990s. Peters battled Alzheimer's disease in his later years.

10 Sir Geoff Hurst | 1941 - present

Still the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, Hurst made more than 400 appearances for West Ham and won 49 England caps. Short-lived managerial stints with Telford United, Chelsea and even a foray into club management in Kuwait punctuated work in the insurance trade after his playing career. He was knighted in 1998 and lives in Cheltenham.

21 Roger Hunt | 1938 - 2021

Liverpool stalwart Hunt made more than 400 appearances for the Anfield club, along with winning 34 caps for England. Held Liverpool's all-time scoring record until overhauled by Ian Rush, although he remains the leading League scorer. Joined his family's haulage business after retiring from football. The man, known as ‘Sir Roger’ by the adoring Reds fans, passed away on September 27, 2021 following a long illness.

Sir Alf Ramsey (Head Coach) | 1920 - 1999

The former Southampton and Tottenham full-back continued at the England helm until 1974, when failure to qualify for the finals in West Germany cost him his job. Stints at Birmingham and Panathinaikos (plus a caretaker stint at Melchester after Roy of the Rovers was shot in the best-selling comic) followed, before he spent his retirement in Ipswich. Ramsey died in April 1999 aged 79, less than a year after suffering a stroke, and after battling Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer.

Les Cocker (trainer) | 1924 - 1979

Cocker represented Stockport County and Accrington Stanley as a striker during a 12-year playing career. After his retirement in 1958 he turned his hand to coaching with both Luton Town and Leeds United before being offered a role with England. He was Team Trainer in 1966 but was not awarded a medal - like the majority of the non-playing staff and reserves - until June 2009, posthumously.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2021, 12:08:31 AM »
Fulham youngster Carvalho still out injured

Fulham will be without Fabio Carvalho for the fifth match in a row when they face Swansea at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.

The talented teenager is still struggling with a toe injury, while Tom Cairney and Terence Kongolo’s long-term injuries rule them out.

Boss Marco Silva explained: “Tom is running outside on the pitch and improving his physical condition, but not involved in the training sessions, and we hope to integrate him better after the international break.

“If I can have Tom and Fabio available for this position (central midfield) we will be stronger, that’s for sure.”

The manager expects an open game against the Swans, as he bids to put the frustration of a 1-1 draw at Bristol City behind him.

Fulham should have scored at least one from three gilt-edged chances late in the game.

Silva said: “We need to be more ruthless, create chances and the goals will come.

“Swansea like to take risks, so it will be an open game and because they like to attack – we have plans of our own.”

Meanwhile, Silva has demanded all players arrive for training despite the current fuel crisis.

“If they can’t come in their own car they should find other solutions to arrive at the right time,” he insisted.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2021, 12:10:54 AM »
Russell Martin issues clear Swansea City message to Fulham ahead of clash at Craven Cottage

Russell Martin will not be backtracking on his side’s bold style of play when they visit promotion favourites Fulham on Wednesday evening.

The former Scotland international was keen to point out the Swans’ strong defence of late when he spoke to the club’s website.

He said: “It will be an interesting match. Hopefully we can continue our defensive record, limit them to as little as possible.

“But we’re not going there to just do that, we’re going there to impose our own game, and try to play the way we want to play.”

Wednesday will be the biggest test of the Martin era to date and should they come away with a positive result, the fan base will be whole-heartedly onside with the manager’s progressive methods.

Swansea limited free-scoring Huddersfield Town to just 0.17 expected goals at the weekend, clearly a performance Martin wants them to emulate. It will be interesting to see how the back three of Ben Cabango, Kyle Naughton and Ryan Manning deal with the challenge of Aleksandar Mitrovic and company.

Many expected a tricky acclimatisation period for the players under Martin and the Swans seem to be coming out the other side of that knowing that a memorable win on Wednesday could lift them into the top half.

The Verdict

It was an excellent professional job on Saturday and Swansea are now firmly looking up the table rather than over their shoulders.

It cannot be overstated how crucial it was to keep Matt Grimes at the club beyond the transfer deadline and his relationship with summer signing Flynn Downes in central midfield could be where they build a surprise top six push.

With their passing style the Swans have been susceptible to a high press from their opponents at times this season and that might be something Marco Silva leans on at Craven Cottage. It is a mouth-watering encounter from a neutral perspective.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2021, 12:13:23 AM »
Talking Tactics | Fulham v Swansea City

After the morale boost of a 1-0 win over Huddersfield, attention turns to Swansea City's midweek trip to Fulham in a huge game in the Championship.

The Swans have a decent record at Craven Cottage, but know the scale of the challenge they face against big-spending promotion favourites.

Ahead of this clash, preview the midweek action, including what to expect from Fulham, the key battle and a key stat.

What to expect from Fulham

Fulham head into the midweek round of games four points off top spot after being held to a 1-1 draw at Bristol City, this despite peppering the Robins' goal across the 90 minutes.

Nevertheless, the stalemate means the Cottagers have won just one of their last four league outings and have lost ground to some of their rivals.

However, we're unlikely to see a change in tactics from Marco Silva as his side look to get another three points on the board.

Fulham have earned a better rating (6.92) than any other Championship team this season. The west London side will seek to dominate the ball, with their possession average of 61.1% the third best in the division and a pass success rate of 84.1% second only to the Swans (84.8%) in England's second tier.

Silva has favoured a 4-2-3-1 setup this term, with the duo of Jean Michael Seri and Josh Onomah shielding the backline and allowing for Fabio Carvalho to impress behind striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

However, part of the reason for Fulham's recent downturn in form has been the absence of Carvalho, with the teenager set to miss the welcome of Swansea through injury.

Of the five games he has started, Fulham have won four but, in his absence, the west London side have won just one of four, with their goals scored per game dropping from 2.6 to 1.5, and goals conceded per game rising from 0.6 to 1.25.

That doesn't mean a guaranteed three points for the Swans at Craven Cottage, where they have, to be fair, won three of their last four games, but Carvalho's absence is a boost for Russell Martin's side.

Fulham rank top for key passes per game (14) in the Championship this season and with Carvalho among their chief creators, Silva will be hoping to see some key players step up and find a way through a Swansea rearguard that has kept five clean sheets this season.

Nevertheless, Fulham will seek to dominate possession on home turf and wait for their moment to strike as they seek to get their promotion push back on track.

Key battle

Winning the midfield battle at Craven Cottage will be key for Swansea in midweek.

Fortunately, Flynn Downes heads into the clash on the back of his best rated performance for the south Wales side. Indeed, Downes earned a rating of 7.53 in Swansea's hard-fought 1-0 win over Huddersfield on Saturday and, with 55% of the vote, was named the fans' man of the match from the narrow victory having dominated in the middle of the park.

Dominating on the ball is a key trait to the 22-year-old's game and is a major reason why Swansea rank so high for possession and pass success rate in the Championship this season.

Indeed, Downes has developed a statistically calculated strength of 'passing' and for good reason, too, as he ranks sixth for passes per game (70.7) and second for pass accuracy (92.7%) in the Championship at the time of writing.

Downes also boasts strengths of 'ball interception' and 'tackling', so is as capable a performer off the ball as he is on it, and these additional qualities to his game need to be on show in order to ensure Fulham pass machine Jean Michael Seri is unable to dictate the tempo for Silva's side.

The Ivorian was a surprise signing back in 2018 yet, after loan stints with Galatasaray and Bordeaux, returned to Craven Cottage to become a mainstay.

Seri ranks third for passes per game (65.5) and first for pass success rate (89.9%) of all Fulham players in the Championship this season, and fourth in the division overall, to reinforce a strength of 'passing', while an additional strength of 'dribbling' means he is able to carry the ball upfield to help shake off opposition pressure and open up angles for the attack to exploit.

Shutting him down is of the utmost importance if Swansea are to secure all the spoils this week.

Key stat

While Fulham were unable to get the better of Bristol City over the weekend, it wasn't for want of trying.

The Cottagers mustered 22 shots in the stalemate, nine of which were through Aleksandar Mitrovic, that a record in a Championship match at the time of writing.

To go with his goal, the Serb struck the woodwork twice in an unlucky afternoon for the striker.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2021, 12:14:23 AM »
Marco Silva issues Fulham team news update ahead of Swansea City clash

Fulham return to Craven Cottage tomorrow evening to face Russell Martin’s Swansea City.

The hosts, who have now picked up a mere four points from their last four games, started the season tremendously, accumulating 13 points from a possible 15.

Marco Silva’s side now sit in fourth place and are four points from Bournemouth at the Championship summit, however, they are still the division’s top scorers with 19 goals to their name.

The Cottagers face a Swansea side on Wednesday night who will travel with confidence.

The Swans are now unbeaten in their last four, coming back spectacularly to share with the points on their last away trip, before defeating Huddersfield Town by one goal to nil, in what was a relatively dominant display from the South Wales outfit.

Speaking to the media, and as reported by Peter Rutzler of the Athletic, Silva addressed the injuries of Tom Cairney and Fabio Carvalho: “Cairney still out.

“I’m seeing some progress, he’s running on the pitch, but not involved with the team yet. Carvalho started with the team again this week. “But not fully fit to be involved yet.”

The verdict

Cairney has proven to be such an influential player for The Cottagers across the years, whilst Carvalho has perhaps been the standout young player in the division thus far.

Both players bring something completely different back into the side, and the sooner that they are back fit, the better for Silva and his Fulham side.

The young attacker is exceptionally gifted, and prior to this setback, he was on course for enjoying an excellent campaign with goals and assists. This is something that is not likely to change and they will be hopeful of keeping him beyond January, with interest mounting for Carvalho.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2021, 12:16:07 AM »
Carvalho to miss Swansea clash

Teenage playmaker Fabio Carvalho will miss Fulham’s midweek meeting with Swansea City as he is still recovering from a fractured toe.

The England youth international, who has three goals and an assist in his five Championship appearances so far this season, hasn’t featured since being substituted against Stoke in August. Fulham head coach Marco Silva revealed that Carvalho has resumed training but will not be ready for the visit of the Swans to Craven Cottage tomorrow night.

The Portuguese head coach has had to adjust his formation slightly in Carvalho’s absence, with captain Tom Cairney also sidelined with a long-term knee injury. Silva told FFC TV this afternoon:

“We have two situations with Tom Cairney and Fabio Carvalho. Tom has started running on the pitch. I am seeing him every single day and, even if he is not involved with the team, he is already progressing. Fabio started this week with the team. He is getting fitter every day and, of course, soon we can see him in the squad.”

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2021, 12:16:40 AM »
Pre-Swansea Press Conference

Wednesday night will see Fulham host a Swansea City side who are beginning to build some momentum, according to Marco Silva.

After a tough start, the Swans are now unbeaten in four games, keeping clean sheets in three of them.

“They’re a good side and are getting better,” Silva said in his pre-match press conference. “They’re playing with a lot of confidence now and are getting the results as well.

“A team that likes to play good football, like to take some risks with their style of play, I’m sure they’ll come here and it will be, in my opinion, an open game.

“They like to attack, they like to start from the back, it’s clear the way they want to play.

“They try to press the opponent as well, and I think we will see a good game, with both teams trying to win the match.

“It will have to be a Fulham team playing at its best level to win the football match. That’s what we want, and we want to achieve a different result to our last game at home.”

Swansea too had a managerial change this summer, and Silva believes they are now starting to buy into Russell Martin’s philosophy.

“It will be the first time we’ve faced each other,” he stated. “They started a little bit later as well, he arrived late before the season, but now you start to see some of his ideas there, what he’s tried to do, what he’s trying to build.

“It will be a tough game for sure, [but] we’re playing at home with our fans behind us, we have to be stronger than them and we have to achieve the result we want.”

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2021, 12:17:57 AM »
Marco Silva identifies key area that Fulham need to address ahead of Swansea City clash

Fulham manager Marco Silva has admitted that his players will need to improve their finishing if the club are to return to winning ways in their clash with Swansea City tomorrow.

The Cottagers were denied by the woodwork during their clash with Bristol City last weekend as they were forced to settle for a draw at Ashton Gate.

Whilst Fulham have scored the most goals in the Championship this season (19), they are currently four points adrift of league leaders AFC Bournemouth.

Aleksandar Mitrovic has been one of the club’s stand-out performers during the current term as he has managed to find the back of the net on seven occasions.

The Serbian will be keen to add to this particular tally in the club’s showdown with Swansea at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.

Fulham will move above Coventry City in the Championship standings if they beat the Jacks and Mark Robins’ side slip-up against Luton Town.

Making reference to his side ahead of tomorrow’s clash, Silva has insisted that his players need to be more ruthless in-front of goal.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference for the Swansea game (as cited by The Athletic journalist Peter Rutzler), the Fulham boss said: “When you are dominating and creating, you have to be more ruthless.

“We’ve hit the bar six times in 180 minutes.

“We need to keep working and keep creating chances.

“It’s up to us to finish better.

“With more composure and calm.”

The Verdict

When you consider that Fulham currently have the likes of Mitrovic and Harry Wilson at their disposal, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if they end up setting the Championship alight in the coming months if they can improve their finishing.

Set to face a Swansea side who have managed to keep three clean-sheets in their last four league games, the Cottagers cannot afford to be wasteful tomorrow.

If Fulham are able to seal victory in-front of their own supporters, they could use the confidence gained from this result to push on in the Championship.

However, a failure to deliver the goods could result in the club losing ground on Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2021, 12:20:33 AM »
‘It’s a tough one to call’ – Tom Cairney’s first-team chances on his Fulham return: The verdict

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney is making progress on his long-term knee injury despite not yet being able to join in with first-team sessions, according to Marco Silva who spoke to The Athletic’s Peter Rutzler during his pre-match press conference.

The Scottish international has been suffering from this recurring injury that has kept him out for a total of over nine months now, not featuring for the Cottagers since their away tie against Newcastle United way back in December.

Because of this, he hasn’t had a chance to stake his claim for a starting spot this term, with promotion back to the Premier League the prize on offer if they can regain their consistency and show why they were heavily fancied as title contenders at the start of the campaign.

As club captain, his absence has been a big blow for him individually and for the club as a whole, although they have had a selection of very capable players to call upon in the middle of the park including new signing Nathaniel Chalobah, Jean Michael Seri, Josh Onomah and Harrison Reed available, even with Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s loan departure to Napoli.

He may be the skipper of the club, but does Cairney get straight back into the starting lineup after returning from such a long-term injury? He may not be fit yet – but his progress will give Marco Silva a huge selection dilemma.

Ahead of the 30-year-old’s return, we have asked three of our writers at Football League World whether they think he will be a guaranteed starter at Craven Cottage.

Billy Mulley
Tom Cairney is an excellent player at Championship level, whose experience and technical ability making him a player who The Cottagers have sorely missed.

He is someone who can create opportunities out of nowhere, with his vision and range of passing allowing him to split defences.

He is also a player who works tirelessly out of possession and has a desire to keep his team in control of the ball.

Fulham do have exciting midfield talents operating in his place, but for Marco Silva, having him back at his disposal can only be a good thing.

If you combine that with the fact that Fabio Carvalho is also nearing a return, then it sure is exciting for Fulham fans.

George Harbey
It’s a tough one to call really.

No player has a defying right to come in and play after being out for a while based purely on their name, but Cairney is a proven performer at this level.

He scored 8 goals the last time Fulham promotion from this level, and his game has matured which means he isn’t just a natural number 10 anymore.

Harry Wilson is a guaranteed starter, as is Fabio Carvalho, but Cairney could provide Bobby Reid and Josh Onomah with some real competition in midfield.

I think it will be a massive boost to have him back.

Toby Wilding
It could be hard for Cairney to immediately force his way back into the side once he is available again.

The midfielder will still need to get back to match fitness once he is available, and having not played since last December, he may not be completely match sharp when he returns to the side.

Given the importance of winning promotion back to the Premier League for Fulham this season, you wonder Marco Silva will be willing to take something of a risk on relying on Cairney, who will surely be rusty at first-team level after so long out.

Indeed, with the other options Fulham have in their attacking midfield, such as Harry Wilson and Fabio Carvahlo, it will be hard for Silva to justify dropping them with the form they are in, just to make room for Cairney in the starting XI.

As a result, it does feel like it could still be some time yet before we see Cairney playing regularly for Fulham again, which is a shame given both his ability, and the service he has given the club.

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Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/21...
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2021, 12:24:10 AM »
Roger Hunt's death leaves three surviving members of England's 1966 World Cup winners

The sad death of the Liverpool great at the age of 83 means that just three of the XI that beat West Germany in the 1966 final at Wembley are still alive

 England World Cup winner and Liverpool goalscoring legend Roger Hunt has died at the age of 83, the Reds announced on Tuesday.

Hunt, who was also part of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning line-up, scored an unrivalled 244 league goals for the Reds.

The club said in a statement posted on their official Twitter account: “We are mourning the passing of legendary former player Roger Hunt.

“The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool Football Club are with Roger’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time. Rest in peace, Sir Roger Hunt 1938 – 2021.”

The class of 1966 still remain the only England side to lift a trophy at a major tournament, but now sadly just three of the starting XI adored by fans are still alive.

Full-back George Cohen, who spent all of his professional career with Fulham, Manchester United great Sir Bobby Charlton - who was sadly diagnosed with dementia in November last year - and hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst are the three players, and here we take a closer look at their lives post that incredible victory 55 years ago.

George Cohen (right-back)

 George Cohen at the London Football Awards in 2017 ( Image:Getty Images Europe)

Fulham defender Cohen was forced to retire through injury aged 29, having amassed 459 appearances for the Craven Cottage club.

Cohen struggled with bowel cancer for 14 years in the 1980s.

He later opted to sell his World Cup winner’s medal, although Fulham purchased the item to display at Craven Cottage.

Nephew Ben Cohen helped England win the Rugby World Cup in 2003, and George was awarded the MBE in 2000.

He is one of few footballers in the world whose only ever senior trophy was the World Cup.

Sir Bobby Charlton (attacking midfield)

 Sir Bobby Charlton at the funeral of former Manchester United teammate Harry Gregg last uear ( Image:Getty Images)

Jack Charlton’s younger brother Bobby made his career at Manchester United, where he would later sit on the board of directors.

Bobby won 106 international caps between 1958 and 1970, and was England’s record goalscorer until overtaken by Wayne Rooney, who also eventually bettered Charlton’s club tally.

A survivor of the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, Charlton, who had claimed the Ballon d’Or in 1966, helped to rebuild the club in the wake of the tragedy – and scored two goals as United beat Benfica to win the 1968 European Cup.

After retiring, he had short managerial stints with Preston and Wigan. I

In early November 2020, his wife, Lady Norma, confirmed Charlton, 83, had been diagnosed with dementia, the news coming just two days after the death of fellow World Cup winner Nobby Stiles.

Sir Geoff Hurst (striker)

 Sir Geoff Hurst at an interview with the Sunday Mirror before England's Euros final with Italy this year ( Image:Adam Gerrard / Sunday Mirror)

Still the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final, Hurst made more than 400 appearances for West Ham, joining Stoke in 1972 and later playing in the USA.

After retirement, Hurst, who also worked in the insurance trade like his close friend Peters, had managerial spells with Telford, Chelsea and in Kuwait.

Knighted in 2004, the 79-year-old now lives near Cheltenham.

Hurst , who won 49 England caps, continues to raise awareness for charity work into the fight against diseases which have afflicted several of his 1966 team-mates.

The eight members of the team who have sadly passed away are:

Gordon Banks (goalkeeper) : Revered as one of the world’s greatest goalkeepers, Banks died in February 2019, aged 81, after a long battle with cancer.

Jack Charlton (centre-half) : The Leeds legend enjoyed great success as Republic of Ireland manager and died in July 2020, aged 85, of lymphoma and dementia.

Bobby Moore (centre-half) : One of England’s finest defenders, the Three Lions captain died tragically young at just 51 in February 1993 from liver and bowel cancer.

Ray Wilson (left-back) : The Huddersfield great also triumphed at Wembley in 1966 in the FA Cup Final and died in May 2018, aged 83, from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alan Ball (right midfield) : The youngest member of the team was always a ball of energy and tragically died in April 2007, aged 61, from a heart attack.

Nobby Stiles (central midfield) : The gap-tooted Stiles was England’s midfield terrier and died in October 2020, aged 78, from cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Martin Peters (left midfield) : Scored the second goal in the final and died in December 2019, aged 76, following a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Roger Hunt (striker) : The Liverpool legend scored three goals at the 1966 World Cup and has died aged 83 after a long illness.