Fulham v Bolton
Published: 16th Dec 2011 12:01:04
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Fulham have recalled goalkeeper David Stockdale from his loan spell with Ipswich as Mark Schwarzer could be out for six weeks with a spinal injury.
Mousa Dembele, Brede Hangeland and Steve Sidwell are all one booking from triggering a ban.
Bolton striker Ivan Klasnic is fit after recovering from a knee injury sustained last weekend.
Nigel Reo-Coker could return after a hamstring complaint but defender David Wheater is still suspended.
Everything seems to be conspiring against Owen Coyle just now. Not only does he have a lengthy list of first-team contenders unavailable through injury, but all the teams around Bolton - yes, even Blackburn - have shown signs of putting up a fight.
Bolton's defeat against Aston Villa, their seventh home loss of the season already, leaves them rock-bottom of the Premier League. If it were not for a resounding and unexpected 5-0 drubbing of Stoke back in November, Coyle might just have beaten Steve Bruce in the top-flight sack race.
This game will be Fulham's 31st of the campaign - they only played 43 in the whole of last season
For two seasons Bolton have played the loan market brilliantly. First Jack Wilshere and then Daniel Sturridge helped Bolton and their own careers in the process. This season's loanees were Gael Kakuta, Tuncay and Dedryk Boyata - none of whom have yet enhanced their reputations.
The next four games could see Coyle sink or swim - after Fulham, it'll be Blackburn, Newcastle and Wolves. Two wins should save him; anything less may not.
I started my season watching Fulham play Runavik in a Europa League qualifier back in June - it feels like an eternity ago to me, and must do to them too. This game at the Cottage will be their 31st of the campaign - they only played 43 in the whole of last season. After going out of the Europa League in midweek, they may be wondering if all the extra effort was worth it.
Martin Jol's side have been inconsistent, maybe as a result of all those games. Some of the new signings are yet to really make a niche for themselves, but Pajtim Kasami, Marcel Gecov, Orlando Sa and academy graduate Kerim Frei have youth on their side. So far, though, £10.5m for Bryan Ruiz looks a little extravagant.
Jol could do with his side having a strong Christmas; with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal to play, Mark Schwarzer injured and Bobby Zamora unsettled, that does not look likely.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Fulham v Bolton. [Online] (Updated 16 Dec 2011)
Available at: http://www.manchesterwired.co.uk/news.php/211122-Fulham-v-Bolton [Accessed 11th May 2013]
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