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Manchester City FC vs. Fulham FC

City of Manchester Stadium

26th April 2008


MCFC v Fulham FC

City go into this game aiming to complete their third hat-trick of victories of the season with the last one coming back in October. Fulham will be coming to the City of Manchester Stadium with hope that they can pull of an unlikely victory to give them a slim chance of avoiding relegation. You have to look at Fulham and say that if you are not happy with the current management then at least have someone lined up who might give you a good chance at staying up. Replacing the passionate Lawrie Sanchez with the very droll Roy Hodgson was taking one step forward and two steps back as I am sure that over the season Lawrie would have Fulham further up the table by now; the crazy gang spirit that he has is worth a lot. Look at Northern Ireland; it took a little while for him to make his mark, but he did in the end. Al Fayed was far too hasty in his dismissal and I think City will be the ones to benefit.

Vital Quotes:

Corluka and Sven talk about the game. Sven goes on to say; 'If you don`t have a target for the last games and the sun comes out, then everything becomes heavy, but now it`s just to go on fighting and try to beat Fulham.

"I hope that we can play good football in the last three games and that we can take many points."

"Richard Dunne has a 50/50 chance to play against Fulham, but if he doesn`t play against Fulham, he will be ready for the last two away games.

"It would be very good to have him on the pitch."

Corluka then talks about the third straight win; 'I'm expecting an open game because they need to beat us, we want a win because we want to go to Europe so I think it will be a good game for the fans to watch, and hopefully we'll win.

'It is very important we win our remaining matches as that might take us into Europe. We keep looking at the table and we know what we need to do, because we would love to play in Europe next season.'

'I don't think that much changed, we trained the same but we won the games. I think the luck has changed for us.

'It was important for us to win those two games, because our form had not been so good, so we're very confident coming into this game against Fulham.'

Manchester City FC Team News:

City's defence is nearly all on the treatment table that gives City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson a defensive headache for the visit of Fulham with captain Richard Dunne doubtful with a hamstring strain.

If Dunne is indeed ruled out then youngster Sam Williamson could be given his full debut after coming off the bench in last weekend's win over Portsmouth.

Although Micah Richards (knee) and Nedum Onuoha (shoulder) are out, Sun Jihai is set to return and could feature at right-back allowing Elano to secure his more familiar midfield role.

Benjani is likely to lead City's attack once again with Vassell and Bulgarian Martin Petrov for support.

City have recalled Shaleum Logan from his loan spell at Stockport as he can add defensive cover.

Valeri Bojinov is edging closer to a place on the City bench after completing eighty minutes in the reserves.

Player to watch: Martin Petrov

His wing play last week was top notch and if he can get at the Fulham defence like he did at Craven Cottage then we are in for a treat.

Fulham FC Team News:

Fulham may well ring the changes following their defeat to Rafa Benitez's side at Craven Cottage.

Erik Nevland and Diomansy Kamara may be given the nod ahead of Brian McBride and David Healy, who failed to impress against The Reds.

Hodgson will be hoping Antti Niemi is available following Kasey Keller's less than assured display against Liverpool. Niemi has been out of action with an Achilles injury.

Should Niemi miss out again Tony Warner may also be drafted in, as the West London club look to keep their survival hopes alive.

Jimmy Bullard and Simon Davies should retain their midfield places, although Leon Andresen could come in for Danny Murphy.

Player to watch: Jimmy Bullard

Since coming back from a horendous knee injury he has made Fulham tick and how Sanchez would have loved to be able to use him as he is a quality midfielder that can help supply the now fit again Brian McBride.

Match Facts & Stats

City have the slightly better premiership record over Fulham but since our mid season blip and the return to form of Elano; City's post Christmas stats of passing etc are better than the pre-Christmas ones. Fulham's only premiership win at City came at the end of yet another away winless run at the end of the 2005/6 season where they came from one nil down to win two one.

Ref Watch:

Mike Dean - not a brilliant referee as he loves to flash the cards; three and a half yellows per game is a high average; and he has sent of ten people; Dunne at Blackburn being one. So he could have a hand in deciding this tense game.

Match Prediction:

If City can keep McBride and Bullard quiet then I think City will win comfortably. City 2 - 0 Fulham.

Next Fixtures:

Liverpool away next Sunday 4th May with a 4pm Kick off on Sky.

The journalist

Writer: Gavin Cooper  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 25 2008

Time: 12:42PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
A must-win for Fulham!
Fan of Blues
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25/04/2008 13:10:00
A must win for City and Sven!!!
Buzz Lightyear
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25/04/2008 13:28:00
we need to win this game its very important who do you think he will have at the backs thou
dunne deal
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25/04/2008 15:03:00
Ok, dd. So say Dunney is out, how about this? Elano, Corluka, Ball, Garrido? I think he'll draft Sun in at RB, to be painfully honest.
Johnny Baguette
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25/04/2008 15:20:00
Scratch that, Garrido's knacked as well!
Johnny Baguette
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25/04/2008 16:49:00
fulham to claim the 3 points i think
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25/04/2008 17:14:00
it doesnt look very good being honest johnny we need to think good and hard on how we are going to play this game wat about williamson
dunne deal
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25/04/2008 17:22:00
No bother, Dunne on one leg can handle Fulham!
Johnny Baguette
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25/04/2008 17:50:00
dunne deal
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25/04/2008 20:06:00
Who dares to believe!!?? Keep the faith Blues Brothers!
Johnny Baguette
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25/04/2008 20:28:00
I do not remember any game this season we had started with Jihai & in final we won in this game !! I think now we can say Goodbye to Mr Eriksson & Welcome to Mr Jim Cassell .
city 81
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26/04/2008 18:03:00
How would have thought? A Fulham win!
Fan of Blues
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26/04/2008 18:49:00
I must say I question Sven's team selection today. Why play Sun in place of Williamson. Why bring back Logan from loan and then continue with Elano at RB. Ball is definitely not a CB surely would have been better to give Mee a run out in that position. Should have played Hamann in place of Johnson who has clearly not overcome his injury problem. As usual we cannot see off these moderate teams...Ah well no doubt we will bounce back and stuff the Scousers at Anfield.
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26/04/2008 20:41:00
Fan of Blues
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27/04/2008 01:41:00
What a game last night! (Night time here in Kuala Lumpur). I guess that's what 'a cornered animals' can do :|
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27/04/2008 08:09:00
When you see the results today , you will know what opportunity we have lost .
city 81
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27/04/2008 18:11:00
not a lot to say really, since january all i can say we have been in general pathetic and we need consistency, a clear lack of strength in depth, agree with Alphie, why bring back logan and not play him and Mee would have along with most of the youth team would have run thier hearts out to impress.. However 9th is brilliant compared with other seasons, but if we play like this next season we are in trouble and a sort out is needed. I do think we have missed the guidance of Hamann, Oh for a younger Paul Bosvelt.
Buzz Lightyear
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27/04/2008 19:41:00
But Buzz the all former coach dont had this substantial funds to spent like what available for Erikson in this season !!
city 81
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27/04/2008 21:31:00
Lads, Sun's inclusion was mystifying to say the least considering his shocking lack of form this season. Christ knows what the 50 visiting Thai MP's made of his and City's performance...
Johnny Baguette
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27/04/2008 23:11:00
City 81, The first half of the season we passed and played really good entertaining football and towards the end of the season we played relegation football. SGE did what he could in the short time he had before the beginning and he was limited with the amount he had to spend because Frank has his assests frozen and we were using sky money to pay for players. One or two things showed up here were that SGE now knows he has to buy his players in the summer and not think that he can get a decent player in the january sales. The second thing to come out of this season is the really big improvement of Hart as a goalkeeper. Frank says that he wont spend big this summer, thats because he does not think he will get his money back this summer, but says that the year after he wil spend big, but hopefully that SGE will find some players this summer to boost our squad.
Buzz Lightyear
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28/04/2008 06:07:00
we just threw that away and we have being doing it all season round we would play well for 1 or 2 games and then we would loose against a team down the bottom of the league. It has always being a problem with city even befor sven was with the club
dunne deal
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28/04/2008 11:35:00
Shocking capitulation!!Whats the hold up with Dunnes deal?I'd hate to see him throw away his career by moving to newcastle.If you really want rid,i'd be happy to see him at Spurs.
Report Abuse
28/04/2008 15:18:00
Can't see Dunny going anywhere unless Sven has got at least TWO top class defenders lined up.
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28/04/2008 22:54:00
MUEN says Sven is "on the brink." Anyone heard anything else?
Johnny Baguette
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29/04/2008 09:14:00
There is no smoke without fire is 'The Special One' on his way in ???
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29/04/2008 09:30:00
well by the looks of things so far we wont have sven with us next season can we not hold onto a manger seriously its unreal. Its problay the reason y we are a mid table team. We need to be able to hang onto are managers. According to his agent he wont be there
dunne deal
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29/04/2008 12:42:00
If Sven goes, then it will be a disgrace and I believe will push thousands of Blues like myself who backed the takeover in a desperate bid to stave off relegation over the edge. I am told Sven addressed his staff and the players at Carrington yesterday.
Johnny Baguette
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29/04/2008 12:51:00
I also understand that Sven's announcement provoked an angry response from the players.
Johnny Baguette
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29/04/2008 12:54:00
It looks like the end of the road for Sven. Frank will have to bring in nothing less than a world class Manager to stave off the almost inevitable revolt by the fans.
Report Abuse
29/04/2008 13:04:00
Right now, I am close to saying I have had enough. Last summer was a gritted teeth job as we were facing oblivion and had no choice but to take the Thai money but I was heartened to see the youthful signings, the professional approach on and off the park and the focus on our academy. Will another manager have the same ideas as Sven for promoting the Academy, OR more importantly put up with being controlled by Thaksin and his advisors?
Johnny Baguette
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29/04/2008 13:11:00
Pretty disgraceful if the rumours are true,your Thai benefactor could end up being a despot like the chairman of Hearts.I think everyone is of the opinion Svens done a great job for City this season,if Sinatra can't see that I think your club could be in trouble.
Report Abuse
29/04/2008 13:31:00
I refer the right honourable Coxinthebox to the article I am cuurently typing with steam coming out of my ears....
Johnny Baguette
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29/04/2008 13:40:00

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