Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs will be looking to make it three wins on the bounce at Craven Cottage tomorrow, and on a personal note, Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele will be looking to prove their decision to leave Fulham for bigger and better was the right move. But lets not forget Spurs legend Martin Jol and also our former pantomime villain Dimitar Berbatov, who has started brilliantly since his move from Old Trafford. Many Spurs fans would have happily forgiven the Bulgarian for his past misdemeanours and had him back leading our attack and with 23 goals from his last 27 club starts, it is easy to see that he retains the qualities that made him such a great striker in his all too brief time at WHL.
It is hard to assess Fulham's home form this season. Three wins and ten points from a possible eighteen is average, and their wins over Norwich on the opening day (5-0), WBA (3-0) and Villa (1-0) and all decent, but in recent games, they were very lucky to cling onto a point against Everton (2-2) and were comfortably beaten 3-1 by a usually poor Sunderland. Of course we can look at their decent 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in mid-week, but was that due to them playing without pressure and Chelsea having the weight of the world on their shoulders?
Perhaps Tottenham's biggest problem is coping with the demands of so many games, where there are not enough bodies to make major rotation an option. In fairness the players seem to be coping at the moment, but will this come back to bite us on the backside later in the season? Steven Caulker is expected to be fit after illness prevented him from facing Liverpool and it will be interesting to see whether he steps straight back into the team and how makes way? Can Gallas play twice in a few days, where is Dawson in the pecking order and will Vertonghen remain at left back? Personally I would like to see Walker, Dawson, Caulker and Vertonghen fill our back four and feel that has the best quality and balance available to AVB at the moment.
It seems that simply selecting Mousa Dembele guarantees that Spurs won't lose, which is good enough for me, but having him back alongside Sandro is a massive bonus to the Tottenham team and with Lennon and Bale looking so good at the moment, you feel we have a midfield to counter any opposition in the league on quality and current form. I was half expecting Clint Dempsey yo have a stormer against Liverpool, and I hope we get the the best of him against his former club tomorrow. Against West Ham, he was outstanding and you hoped that was the game to kick-start his Tottenham career, but in mid-week it was back to the same old questions and will he/wont he hit the heights at WHL after looking so goos with Fulham. Merely having him in the Tottenham line-up will give Fulham a few worries, as they know far better than we do, what a dangerous player his is. Will we see him raise his game? I have no idea, but I have a feeling that Jermain Defoe will be a man who will fancy his chances of scoring and he might well have a mid-week off, with Adebayor probably starting against Panathinaikos next Thursday, but will this weekend complete his final games suspension.
On current form, you wouldn't bet your house on any of the challenging sides winning this weekend, such is the inconsistency of the Premiership. A Spurs win would at the very least keep us on the shoulder of the top four places, which I suppose being a team in transition, is all we can expect, but three wins on the bounce would be a major booster to the teams confidence and who knows what that added belief can add to the teams performance...