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Premier League

  • 25 September 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 25598
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Premier League Preview: Fulham - Everton

Premier League Preview: Fulham - Everton

Cheer up

Neither Fulham boss Mark Hughes or his Everton counterpart David Moyes are happy men. Hughes is still fuming about the challenge by Stoke's Andy Wilkinson on his star midfielder Moussa Dembele in Tuesday's League Cup clash, which has put the Belgian out for two weeks, while Moyes is wracking his brains to work out why his Toffees side have had such a slow start this season.

And the Cottagers boss gave Stoke manager Tony Pulis a very frosty hand shake on the final whistle of his side's 2-0 defeat on Tuesday to show his mood had not calmed. He will be cheered by the news that Dembele — who has been in inspired form since his summer move from AZ Alkmaar — will not be out for as long as initially feared.

A win at home to Everton will also cheer Hughes up, especially after a less-than-inspired start to the season which may see his side unbeaten in five league games, but having registered just one win.

The visit of struggling Everton is the perfect chance to kick start the season, and try to climb to the heights achieved under Roy Hodgson.

Toffees come unstuck

David Moyes is worried. His Everton side have had their worst start to a Premier League season in years and sit in the relegation zone, despite a squad full of international quality players. Last weekend's home defeat to Newcastle doesn't look so bad after the Magpie's League Cup victory at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, but that still doesn't excuse the loss on penalties to Brentford on Tuesday.

"You are always worried when you are not getting results — and I've been worried for a long time," said Moyes.

"We've had a few games in the Premier League where we've not scored enough goals and Tuesday was the same. Our performances have not been too bad, but we just can't score."

A trip to Craven Cottage won't fill the Toffees with confidence, especially as they have lost nine out of their last 10 visits to west London, but Moyes will be desperate to grab some much needed points so fans could be in for an end-to-end encounter.


TEAM NEWS

Fulham

As mentioned Hughes has been robbed of the influencial Dembele and is down to his bare striking bones with Bobby Zamora sidelined until February and Diomansy Kamara (foot) and Andy Johnson (knee) still on the comeback trail.

That leaves the former Manchester City manager with the options of pushing Clint Dempsey or Zoltan Gera up front, or giving Eddie Johnson or David Elm the chance to shine. Meanwhile, Damien Duff could return after missing the Stoke defeat, while goalkeeper David Stockdale is also ready to challenge Mark Schwarzer for the No.1 spot.

Possible starting XI: Schwarzer; Salcido, Hangeland, Hughes, Paintsil; Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Davies; Gera; Dempsey. 

 

Everton

Who'd be a manager, eh? Moyes has a squad brimming with talent, and yet can't seem to get them to turn in decent results at the moment, underlined by the frustrating draw at Brentford on Tuesday, and subsequent defeat on penalties.

For the trip to Fulham Moyes will be keeping his fingers crossed Tim Cahill recovers from a knee injury in time. Otherwise it's a clean bill of health, save for young midfielder Jack Rodwell who has an ankle injury, as well as Louis Saha (calf) and Victor Anichebe (knee).

Possible starting XI: Howard; Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Hibbert; Pienaar, Arteta, Heitinga, Fellaini, Osman; Cahill.

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Players to watch

D. Murphy

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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With a thinning attack it'll be down to midfield playmaker Danny Murphy to makes things tick for the home side. The former Liverpool man will no doubt be keen to get one over his former rivals and being on set piece duty will be the man the home side will be looking toward for a goal or assist.

T. Cahill

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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Half-man half-salmon Tim Cahill is the Toffees' top scorer with, count it, two goals, somewhat summing up the Merseysiders' troubles in front of goal. Well, aside from the crazy 3-3 draw with Manchester United two weeks ago. If Everton are to get anything from this encounter they will need the Australian's headed prowess - 12 of his last 14 goals have come from his noggin.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Fulham

Everton

Wins
1
1
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Fulham FC FUL
Fulham FC Fulham
Draw
Everton FC EVE
Everton FC Everton
29%
51%
20%

Top 3 Predictions

Fulham FC FUL
0 - 0
Everton FC EVE
Fulham FC FUL
1 - 1
Everton FC EVE
Fulham FC FUL
1 - 0
Everton FC EVE

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