Spyin' Kop: Liverpool v. Fulham Sun 11 April

Posted by Texas Reds Fan on April 8, 2010, 11:26:10 PM

Liverpool v Fulham

Anfield, 11 April, 3:00 kickoff

Fulham Honours

Football League First Division 1 - 2001
Football League Third Division 2 - 1949, 1999
Football League Fourth Division 1 - 1932
Southern League First Division 2 - 1905-06, 1906-07
Southern League Second Division 2 - 1902, 1903

FA Cup
Runners Up - 1975
Semi Finals - 1908, 1936, 1958, 1962, 2002

League Cup
Quarter Finals - 1968, 1971, 2000, 2001, 2005

Anglo-Scottish Cup
Runners Up - 1975

Intertoto Cup
Winners - 2002

West London Cup - 1886
West London Observer Cup - 1891
London Challenge Cup - 1910

Well, in advance of Sunday's match, Liverpool and Fulham both progressed to the Europa League semifinals. For us, winning that trophy would provide small consolation from an especially turbulent season; for Fulham, it could possibly signify the greatest season in their long history.

Thanks to all who replied at Fulham FC's Official Forum.


What are your thoughts on the season so far?

wasclapyourhands: Beyond any expectations, generally the consensus was that with our small squad we would struggle to cope in the league and would do far worse than last year. However we are still on for a top 10 finish and have progressd far beyond what most would have expected in europe.
Norfolk Jim: Its been a fantastic season for us and everything I hoped it would be at the start of the season. When you think we started our European tour in July with only a modest squad we've exceeded expectations. Beating Juve was an all time high and it was nice to note that Liverpool fans applauded that result.
Sensei: A wonderful season for us. Absolutely delighted and dead proud of Roy and the squad.
Russell Watson: Our season so far has been one of mixed feelings for me, to beat Juve 4-1 is a highlight but we are under performing in league and currently sitting 12th. last season everyone said we were punch above our weight but in my eyes we were finally playing to our potential. I was hoping that this year the football would be the same and we could push for top 6 finish. we have had some outstanding results like beating liverpool and Manchester united but then we lose to Wolves, Birmingham and Stoke. I think we have a real shot at winning the europa league and if we can pull it off it will be the best season of my life.
Has your Europa League run had any effect?

wasclapyourhands: No, some games our players have clearly been knackered for example Hull away last weekend, and this has led to some tired performances but overall its stayed the same we are excellent, nearly unbeatable at home and woeful on the road.
Norfolk Jim: If anything I think its kept the players motivated. Its meant that a lot more of the squad have been able to get a game which has meant theres been a lot of competition for places. Theres has been the odd result where our players looked tired but it hasn't cost us our premiership place like some doom mongers had feared.
Sensei: Not really. The clubs that are ahead of us in the league are all clubs with big wallets. We got knocked of out the fa cup at the quarter final stage against Spurs at WHL which can happen to anyone and against Man City away in league cup.
Russell Watson: Without a doubt it has both positive and negative. I expect the players feel like they are running on empty. Roy said that the top 4 are use to playing twice a week so can handle it but its new for us. on the other hand winning in the Europa League has proven to the world that we can play with the best of them and spur the players on to keep on playing and keep on winning.

Would you have thought Fulham capable of progressing this far at the start of the season?

wasclapyourhands: Never deemed impossible but most of us were just happy to be there and we had a tough group to get through, and then played the two favourites in shaktar and juventus but overcame them.
Norfolk Jim: Yes I would, Hodgson has turned in a brilliant performance for us and created a well organised and hard working team. We know we can't match the resources of the big 6-7 teams at the very top but we expected to be looking to finish in the top half of the table and thats always looked possible for us under his leadership
Russell Watson: I'll be honest, no! I didnt think we would get this far because i thought that roy would focus on the league and only play the 2nd team in the midweek games. My heart always said yes but my head said no. Im very happy im wrong.

Is there any substance to West Ham's complaint to the Premier League?

wasclapyourhands: No, its pathetic. I notiuce they've kept quiet about the fact that the team we played against them contained 7 of the same players who played against Hull. We also played eddie johnson, who now plays in the greek 2nd division. It is a pathetic effort by Gold and Sullivan to save west ham by trying to force us and others into playing the same 11 every game against their relegation opposition.
Norfolk Jim: West Ham have a nerve to moan like that after Tevez. We fielded a side full of internationals at Hull. We have been playing 3 games a week all season long so need to use the full squad. Its not like we fielded a load of debutants from the development squad, they had all featured in first team games over the season - so WHU can go take a jump. Its certainly added a bit of spice to our last home game.
Sensei: No but the PL should fine them for fielding a weakened side all season long.
Russell Watson: None at all, do Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal or United get complaints when they rest players? and its not like we put the under 18's out against wolves. we played Dempsey who is one of our best players, Riise who is an international player and Shorey who is fighting for a first team place. even Zola has told the press that he has no complaints about the team selection. West ham should concentrate on winning their games and not bother about who fulham pick in their starting eleven unless we are playing them.

Which of your players have excelled so far this season?

wasclapyourhands: Bobby Zamora beyond belief, 6 goals last year 25 this season in all competitions and calls for him to go to south africa are entirely justified.
Damien Duff, our most creative player by far, dangerous when running with the ball and scoring goals as well.
Aaron Hughes, our best defender by a long way this season and has given some astonoshing performances in high pressure matches.
Norfolk Jim: Gera has come through to shine this year and Baird has won the fans over. Both had a difficult start at Fulham. Obviously Zamora needs a mention as he has come good in front of goal this season. Its a bit of a love hate relationship with the guy but so long as he keeps on doing what hes doing we'll keep on singing his name.
Sensei: Duff, BZ, Gera.
Russell Watson: Ohhhhh BOBBY ZAMORA!!!!!! Bobby has been on fire this season, he should be given a place in the england squad. its the season of his life!! Heskey or Zamora??????? i know who i would pick based on this seasons form! and thats not through rose tinted .glasses.

Which haven't?

wasclapyourhands: Danny Murphy has not been as consistant as last season, still good but by his standards clearly not at his best, maybe his age has started to show??
Norfolk Jim: I can't think of anyone who has disappointed over the full season. All players have their off days but Roy has built a team devoid of superstars who work hard for each other. The disappointment I suppose would be in Johnson getting injured early in the season such that we've seen very little of him since he arrived.
Sensei: None.
Russell Watson: I expected more from Riise and Elm. when we signed them I thought they would be exciting, Riise loves to run at people and has a great cross and Elm gives us a real threat in the air. i thought that together they would cause some problems but havent really played. but then..........they havent had too. I guess thats why Roy is manager not me.

Portsmouth, Burnley, West Ham all to be relegated this season?

wasclapyourhands: I have a feeling Hull and Wigan are in big trouble, Dowie is clueless and Wigan are too easy to score against. Zola seems the type of manager to pull something out the bag and their squad is the most talented. For me Hull, Burnley, Portsmouth.
Norfolk Jim: Well Portsmouth are doomed (Sad because we've built up a nice relationship with Pompey and its a good away trip) . West Ham, I'd like to see going down, partly because they are the medias darlings and partly because of the Tevez thing but now because of their childish complaint about Fulhams squad selection - thats just pathetic. So I hope they go down.
Hull & Burnley? I suppose Burnley will end up going down. Pity for them, I'd rather Hull went but thats only because I feel aggrived at Jimmy Bullards talk about leaving us to go to a bigger club. We play in Europe - He plays in the 2nd tier, would be sweet,
Sensei: I can see it going down to the last day of the season. Burnley will be down by then so it will be between West Ham and Hull.
Russell Watson: I hope so, i had nothing really against west ham but after those comments I hope they go down. Pompy think they are bigger and better than they are and need to be put in their place. Burnley ..... i dont have feelings either way with them.

What line-up do you anticipate against us Sunday?

wasclapyourhands: Schwarzer, Shorey, Smalling, Hangeland, Baird, Dempsey, Etuhu, Greening, Davies, Okaka, Gera.
Norfolk Jim: Having come back from Wolfsburg our players will be very tired so I would not be surprised to see the same or a similar line up to the one that started at Hull. Injuries may well play their part as well.
Sensei: That depends on our result on Thursday. If we go through, we will play the likes of Okaka or Elm up font.
Russell Watson: Schwarzer, Shorey, Smalling, Hangeland, Baird, Dempsey, Etuhu, Greening, Davies, Okaka, Gera. When we beat Wolfsburg we will have another midweek game coming and will need to use the whole squad... as long as west ham give us permission that is. 

What line-up do you think we'll field?

wasclapyourhands: Your strongest, i'm not well placed to comment on what that is but with you needing to win every game to try and nick 4th place i can't see rafa risking a weakened line up, even against us.
Sensei: 4-4-2 with Aquilani(sp) midfield along side Gerrard but it also depends on Thursday night against Benfica for you. You need to win the game on Sunday, its a 100% must win. If you go out on Thursday, Rafa will set up making sure you lose, i.e. 2 defensive midfielders which will be a god send for us.

How will the match play out?

wasclapyourhands: You'll win 2-0, comfortably with Babel and Benayoun scoring.
Norfolk Jim: We'll no doubt set up camp for a 0-0 and be roundly thrashed. Dont expect to see more that a smattering of Fulham fans come up for the day! I do believe in bogey grounds but I think we would struggle against anyone playing an important cup quarter final at 9pm on a Thursday night and then straight back to another game on Sunday, but when its Liverpool away, well I'll forgive the manager if he looks forward to collecting points from Stoke and Wolves and concedes that we just have to do what we can on Sunday and if we get lucky, well... I think you cant count on the points that day, maybe we owe you one from 3 seasons back
Sensei: If you get an early goal, it'll be easy for you. However, I think we will keep it tight at the start and if we get to half time level, the crowd will get very nervous. Torres will probably come off after an hour and will be replaced by Ngog which will increase our chance massively of getting something. After that it is just a case of whehter or not Gerrard can pull something out of the bag for you.
Russell Watson: I think your nick it but it will be close, as i said your fighting for 4th place and so will (or should) be playing every game like a cup final. hmmmmm 2-1 liverpool (although i hope we turn you over and add the "liverpool double" to an already great season)

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