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MOTM?  

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  1. 1. MOTM?

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For a change, a preview from a fulham supporter - ffan, who has been a regular poster on here for quite a while:

Blackburn Rovers vs Fulham. Ewood Park, Blackburn; March 8th 08, 3pm K.O.

Saturdays clash sees Blackburn take on Fulham at Ewood Park. Rovers have been the most recent and continuously successful side, that got promoted from the old first division in the 2000/2001 season, to do very well in the Premiership and will certainly be very disappointed not to take anything less than all three points against a struggling Fulham side this coming weekend.

Saturdays tie also sees the return of ex – Rovers manager Roy Hodgson. Hodgson is held in very mixed regard among the Blackburn faithful and a win on Saturday might see his popularity, or rather lack of it, plummet even further.

Hodgson who infamously spent millions on Kevin Davies and Christian Daily was appointed as Fulham boss in late December as a third choice but endeared himself to many Fulham fans by signing big name foreign players, and I literally mean big name players, with Leon Andreason and Brede Hangeland going down a treat with many Fulham fans. However despite the excitement of these signings, the man renowned for his brilliant tactical prowess has not lived up to his billing.

Teams:

Blackburn Rovers :

Rovers recent form has been consistent of late but nothing sparkling. Left winger Morten Gamst Pedersen has seen his form slip but that hasn’t affected his work rate whilst Matt Derbyshire will be on a high after last weeks late goal against Newcastle. Rovers will be as steady at the back as they always are, meaning that Fulham boss Hodgson may have to ditch his preferred 4 – 5 – 1 formation.

David Bentley will be the man that Leon Andreason will have to focus his attention on as the attacking midfielder will be a potent danger, able to strike at any time and will certainly be the man to watch on Saturday. Bentley, a future England international, is just one example of Mark Hughes ability in the transfer market. Hughes bought Bentley for a fraction of what the attacking midfielder is worth now and still continues to buy gems with Roque Santa Cruz being the latest bargain Hughes has bought.

Cruz has been excellent throughout the season. Coming from Germany with a playboy tag, there were doubts if he would be able to cut it in the Premiership, but he has proved doubters wrong scoring eleven goals this season. Cruz' other strike partners will also be making Fulham’s defence have restless nights with Benni McCarthy, Matt Derbyshire and Jason Roberts all able to hit the back of the net.

Fulham :

Fulham have been in a terminal decline since the Chris Coleman era, and Lawrie Sanchez sped up our death in the Premiership, leaving Roy Hodgson with the undesirable task of keeping Fulham in the ‘promise land.’ Hodgsons critics, and supporters, have worried about his apparent lack of ability to get the team fighting for their lives which is what the fans want to see, some passion.

Hodgson has got the team playing some of the best football the fans have seen since the Tigana days but the thing is, passing the ball across the midfield and back four does not score goals and that has been one of the reasons for Fulham’s dire form and position this season.

Hodgson has got the back four defending well but are still easy to penetrate if the opposition have decent wingers. Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes have formed a decent partnership but Paul Koncheskys inconsistent form has made the left side of Fulham's defence very weak. His form has declined because of the lack of a left winger in Fulham's side, with goalless Diomansy Kamara and Clint Dempsey plugging the gap.

In midfield there is a lot of huffing and puffing but no houses have been blown down. Jimmy Bullard will be his ever-lively self, keeping Blackburn’s midfield busy while Leon Andreason has a great shot off of him meaning Blackburns defenders can not afford to give him any time on the ball near the box. Simon Davies will work hard and the left wing spot is up for grabs.

Up front Fulham are toothless. It’s like watching a baby trying to chew gum. Fulham have two new strikers in Eddie Johnson and Erik Nevland, both yet to open their goal scoring accounts. A strong Blackburn defence will definitely be too strong for Fulham strikers if Hodgson again decides to play one up top.

Prediction:

A 4 – 5 – 1 formation will almost condemn Fulham to defeat even before a ball has been kicked, so all eyes are on Hodgson to deliver a tried and tested 4 – 4 – 2 formation giving Fulham forwards a sniff at goal. Blackburn should focus their attacks down Fulham’s left side considering Paul Konchesky’s form and if they do, chances would mount up fairly quickly, with Roque Santa Cruz bursting to get a goal. Taking into account these factors, I would have to say that the result will be Blackburn 2 – 0 Fulham.

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It sounds like Hodgson is trying to instil a passing game into his side - which is really not the answer when you're struggling. What Fulham really need to look to the scalp of a brawny striker for their creative inspiration.

Ffan's match report had memories of the dregs of Hodgson's era flooding back. I remember some Eastern European striker with a woman's name coming off the bench for Southampton and scoring a soul-sapping goal against us when it looked like we might get some points. Depression.

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Loving the change of angle in the preview!

Hope Dunn is fit for this. He will make a massive difference. Most of the side picks itself, the one big question being who will partner Cruz up front. I would be tempted to give Benni another go, but with the full intention of sending out Derbs at half time should it not be working.

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Up front Fulham are toothless. Fulham have two new strikers in Eddie Johnson and Erik Nevland, both yet to open their goal scoring accounts.

Now call me cynical, but that phrase fills me with dread, 1-3 Fulham

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This has banana skin written all over it. Could well be a no use to anybody 1-1 draw.

Jimmy Bullard is a player I admire a great deal and the indications are he might be getting back to his Wigan form. One to sign if Fulham do not get out of their current predicament.

Will be interesting to see if Woy injects any special bite into the Cottagers on his return to Ewood.

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Now call me cynical, but that phrase fills me with dread, 1-3 Fulham

Fear not - the same worries we're around last weekend about Kevin Keegan not having his first Newcastle win... Rovers played em and it's still the case :D

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This has banana skin written all over it. Could well be a no use to anybody 1-1 draw.

Jimmy Bullard is a player I admire a great deal and the indications are he might be getting back to his Wigan form. One to sign if Fulham do not get out of their current predicament.

Will be interesting to see if Woy injects any special bite into the Cottagers on his return to Ewood.

No ta, he's not good enough.

I thought the Newcastle game was a dead cert. for a loss and we managed to scrape three points out of it. Surely we can't do it two weeks in a row.....this is Blackburn Rovers after all. We should win this on paper, but Fulham will probably battle for a draw.

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I think ffan said it himself, that Fulham haven't been playing with passion...hopefully they don't wake up for this one either. I think we are up for these "should win" matches right now. I hope I'm right. 2-1 Rovers (Warnock and Bentley) (Bullard - consolation goal).

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FFC are giving free coach travel to Ewood and back when you buy you match ticket-total cost for the travel and game £20.

Should bring more than the usual 150 fans. Not great in numbers, but have had a good crack with FFC fans over the years, know their football and always seemed fairly open minded about things.

FFC site.

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There is a special train at £30 per ticket and free coaches for the supporters but it seems they are all pretty jaded and punch drunk and so the 3,000 FFC hoped to bring to Ewood is probably going to be missed.

To all those who accuse me of optimistic posting, there is a thread on the Fulham Board called:

"We can still qualify for the UEFA Cup".

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"We can still qualify for the UEFA Cup".

rofl

But seriously, this game would normally scare the hell out of me (Watford, Charlton, etc. last year) but this year we've done better against the strugglers. And we're at home. So 4-0 to the good guys. :)

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I can see a 2 - Zip win for us.. and hopefuly a much less stressful 90 minutes than last week.

will be up at 2am again to watch (as Rovers games are rarely/never first choice games, so have to use "active"), cant see Brad having to save us and be the overwhelming MotM

RSC to increase that home game scoring record

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A game like this does make me nervous, as in the past we have been turned over by sides fighting for survival, as long as Hughes makes them understand it's not a stroll in the park then we can win this but not without the usual defensive scares that we have.

Would like to think that Woy will get a decent reception but I doubt it, remember though it was Kidd that took us down.

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:rover: i hope we have 2 men up front,a player on the halfway line when we are defending a corner and a goal would be nice :brfcsmilie: this message inspired the lads against lotnob lets hope it does it again :blink:

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I have just found out Burnleys favourite referee Mike "the card" Riley is the ref for the game.

I have also discovered that Fulham have now gone a full 30 games without an away win.

Does anyone know how many Fulhamites are coming North on Saturday ?

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