Friday, March 12, 2010

My 5 Keys to Survival for Fulham against Manchester United

Fulham play on Sunday against Manchester United. The game will take place at 1:30PM UK time and 9:30 EST at Old Trafford. I usually mention prior to a match my "5 keys to victory" that I will be looking for in the game. In this game I am just hoping to get a point. After beating Manchester United earlier in the year at Craven Cottage 3 - 0, I have a feeling the score is going to be different. Alex Ferguson and his team are probably looking for some payback.

This time around Manchester United will not have the depleted defense they had in the first matchup. This time Vidic, Ferdinand, and the goalkeeper Van Der Sar will be playing. Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera will not have as easy time as they did in the first matchup. Wayne Rooney is playing at an extremely high level. Manchester United are also coming off of a huge win in the Champions League. All the signs lead me to hope for the best and expect the worst. Below are my 5 keys to Survival for Fulham against Manchester United.

1. I am hoping that Danny Murphy will be able to play. Every time Danny Murphy is out you can see the difference in the play of Fulham in the midfield. Jonathan Greening has done fair in his place. He just doesn't have the passing ability of Murphy. The midfield play of Fulham will be crucial in this match. I hope Dickson Etuhu can pick up his game .

2. Will Nicky Shorey play or will Paul Konchesky start? I happen to like the play of both players. Since Konchesky just played yesterday maybe you will see Shorey start. I think this is a key to the match as to me he is solid on defense. The back four will be tested probably from the minute the game begins until it ends.

3. Defending well on set pieces for Fulham is a must. As we saw last night a "free header" off of a corner kick resulted in the first goal. The third goal also came from extended play off of a corner kick. In many road games this year Fulham have not defended well enough on set pieces. Wayne Rooney can easily score off of a free kick or a corner.

4. If it is possible Fulham need to contain Wayne Rooney. The way he is playing right now I don't know if any team can contain him. The defenders as usual just need to be aware of him at all times. For some reason at Craven Cottage, Fulham were able to control him well. They will need to do the same if Fulham are to have any kind of chance.

5. Mark Schwarzer needs to play at his "highest level" in this matchup. Mark Schwarzer to me deserves all the credit in the world for the goalkeeping he has provided in the 2 seasons at Fulham. There have been several games that he was the difference in the match. This game is no exception. Schwarzer needs to be the difference in the match for Fulham to get any result.

Sunday will be very tough for the Cottagers. This year they have played well at times against the "big four". To get any kind of result, Fulham will have to play at an extremely high level.

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