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Fulham (H) - Sun 3rd Dec 2023 (2:00pm)


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Work-rate. Incisiveness. Nous.


I don't ask for much.


This is how it's gonna be. Build from the ground up.


The further we go in the Europa League, the more Sunday 2:00pm games we're likely to have. Unless it's a big fixture that Sky want for their Super Sunday slot, we'll be the early game and most likely won't be televised. Having guaranteed top spot in the group thus avoiding the play-off round in February against a Champions League dropout, we don't really need to put any oomph into our last game in Belgium against Union SG. There will be greater focus on the league fixtures up to the winter break in early January. In that spell, we also have a League Cup quarter final against West Ham, plus I think the FA Cup 3rd Round is before the winter break. A chance to maintain our current momentum and even build on it.


Last season's game against Fulham was decided by a first half Mo penalty after a clumsy foul on Darwin, who nicked the ball off a dithering defender who was about to hoof the ball clear and ended up making contact with the Uruguayan chaos merchant instead. Mo blasted his spot kick straight down the middle. We didn't create a great deal, and Ali had to be alert to make two decent saves from efforts by Carlos Vinicius. Prior to his goal, Mo had also had our best chance of the first half when he got in behind on the right and tried to loft to ball over the keeper from a very narrow angle. I can't blame him for going for it as he has shown himself to be fully capable of scoring from there. In the second half, our only moment of note was a low effort wide from 25 yards by Hendo.


Fulham lost Mitrovic in the summer and came close to losing Palhinha too. Both were key to the team being comfortably safe last season, with the goalscoring prowess of the former being aided by the all-action defensive midfield shield of the latter. He is a good player is Palhinha, but I can't help think he's a bit Morgan Schneiderlin. Looks very good in a mid-table set-up but as soon as he goes up a level, he looks ordinary. If Palhinha follows the Schneiderlin route and ends up at Everton, he's definitely gone wrong somewhere! They've added Jimenez from Wolves and still have the likes of Willian, Wilson and De Cordova-Reid, but goals have been more of an issue for them this season. They needed a couple of contentious VAR calls against Wolves to get the win on Monday night. We have probably been on the end of the worst VAR intervention but Wolves are out on their own in terms of how many times they've been screwed over by VAR, especially this season. You never hear of the Howard Webb apology tour winding its way over to Wolverhampton though. Maybe SYP have a long-standing beef with their West Midlands counterparts.


Ali and Diogo will be out for this one, and Robbo and Thiago are still to return to training. Queef will start in goal, and I think the midfield against LASK will all be on the bench as we go with Mac, Dom and Curtis. Harvey can consider himself unfortunate were he to be benched as he has been very good in the last few weeks, including international duty with the under 21s. Whatever the line-up, the concentration, motivation, attitude and applicable need to be spot-on from first minute to last. 3 points please. Get it done!

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39 minutes ago, AngryOfTuebrook said:

I like Richard Osman, but I would like him to be sad on Sunday.  (Mind you, he's conkers-deep in Ingrid Oliver, so he'll be alright.)


Just get these beat, Reds.

 I met him when I was on Pointless with my brother. We went straight through to the final and I have the pointless trophy to prove it. 

He's fucking massive. 


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We should be battering these but no doubt we'll make hard work of it.  In these games I wish we could go back to the team that started out the blocks at 100mph and had the majority of games won by HT.  Would be nice to start doing it again tomorrow.                                                                                  

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