Friday, 14 November 2008

Fulham v Spurs Premiership Preview: Can The Cottagers End The Redknapp Tottenham Honeymoon?

Fulham play, Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The Cottagers go into this clash on the back of a win against Newcastle United at home last weekend, but lost to Everton at Goodison Park the week before. Fulham have only been beaten by West Ham United at Craven Cottage, but their lack of a win on their travels sees the West London club in mid-table, with manager Roy Hodgson aware that Fulham must start to pick up points on the road as well as at home or possibly face a repeat of fighting for their Premiership survival again.

Spurs will go into this London derby full of confidence, with the North London club unbeaten since Redknapp took over at White Hart Lane. Wins against Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premiership along with a draw against Arsenal have seen Tottenham climb out of the relegation zone. With Spurs also beating Liverpool again 4-2 in the Carling Cup on Wednesday as the Redknapp revolution starts to gather pace at Tottenham.

Hodgson is unable to call on Seol Ki-Hyeon, summer signing Andranik Teymourian and Diomansy Kamara, who all have knee problems for the visit of Spurs. Jimmy Bullard is likely to partner captain Danny Murphy in the centre of midfield, with Andy Johnson and former Tottenham player Bobby Zamora set to lead the attack for the Cottagers.

As well as being on an unbeaten run at Tottenham, Redknapp also has a fully fit squad to choose from for the game with Fulham, with only keeper Heurelho Gomes a doubt after the Brazilian was stretchered off in the 4-2 win against Liverpool with a head injury.

One dilemma facing Redknapp is who to bring back in and who to leave out, with the former Portsmouth manager resting Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Luka Modric, Jermaine Jenas, David Bentley and 11-goal Darren Bent for the Carling Cup game. With summer signings Roman Pavlyuchenko and Fraizer Campbell both netting a brace against the Reds and Dawson looking assured in defence in a 4-4-2 formation, which worked just as effectively as the 4-5-1 system Redknapp has employed when Bent is in the team.

Fulham: (from) Schwarzer, Konchesky, Paintsil, Hangeland, Johnson, Zamora, Nevland, Gera, Stockdale, Murphy, Gray, Hughes, Zuberbuhler, Etuhu, Bullard, Stoor, Dempsey, Davies, Andreasen, Leijer, Milsom, Brown, Kallio, Baird, Smalling, Watts

Tottenham Hotspur: (from) Gomes, Hutton, Bale, Zokora, Bentley, Huddlestone, Lennon, Jenas, Pavlyuchenko, Bent, Gilberto, Stalteri, Modric, Ghaly, Gunter, Giovanni, Campbell, Taarabt, Dawson, Cesar, Corluka, Boateng, O’Hara, Assou-Ekotto, Rocha, Woodgate, Bostock, Dervite

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