Barclays Premier League
Wednesday 4 December, Craven Cottage
Bit of a midweek premier league football treat today, with plenty of potentially entertaining games.
The highlight for the followers of football as a soap as well as a sport would probably pick the Fulham Tottenham game as the highlight (although if you just want goals itís probably Liverpool vs. Norwich), based on the drama of a new manager and one holding on to their job.
New guy Rene Meulensteen will lead Fulham out as manager for the first time since the sacking of Martin Jol. The former Manchester United coach comes with a strong reputation, but little front line management experience. So what can he do to the current Fulham squad to get them off their current run of five straight league defeats? Not much if his first press conference is anything to go by, where he came out and said they needed to invest to have any chance of staying up.
Thatís probably not particularly reassuring for the Fulham faithful, but they are coming up against a Spurs team that havenít really clicked so far this season. In fact theyíve scored the same number of goals as Fulham (with a good few penalties in that small goals for column). The problem for Fulham is that they donít look like winning, whereas even in defeat (the Man City game accepted) Spurs have looked like a team that are a spark or two away from dishing out some beatings.
That said, there is a reason that Villas Boas is now the shortest odds (5/2 at SkyBet) to be the next manager back on job market. Having spent the Bale money and then some (over £100 million) they havenít pushed on from the impressive form they were showing last year.
So the question is, will the dead cat bounce? Or will Spurs finally click and start scoring goals against the lesser opposition (no offence Fulham fans).
Spurs are the overwhelming favourite, best priced at 8/11 with PaddyPower. If you fancy a punt on Fulham then Winner are offering 5/1.
Form would suggest that Fulham are on course for another loss, but there is some evidence to suggest that new managers to give a boost to failing teams.
All we do know is, that if the dead cat does still have some life in it, weíll be asking the same questions of whoever has come in to replace Villas Boas next week.
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