LONDON ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Clint Dempsey of Fulham celebrates with team mate Eddie Johnson after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Fulham at Boleyn Ground on October 2 2010 in London England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
This Saturday, Fulham will be on the road at the Hawthorns to play West Brom. The game takes place at 3PM UK Time and 10 AM EST. The game will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel on taped delay at 5 PM EST in the United States. However, there also is another option online. You can watch the game on Foxsoccer.tv live. This is a subscription based service that I would recommend.
This will not be an easy game for Fulham on the road. There are a few reasons why going to the Hawthorns this weekend is going to be a challenge. First, according to Sky Sports, Fulham will be without Danny Murphy, Simon Davies, Damien Duff, and Dickson Etuhu. They have all been ruled out of this match. The midfield play for Fulham could be challenged. Second, West Brom have been excellent so far this season at home. They are unbeaten at the Hawthorns. Fulham will have to be at their best to beat the Baggies.
For Fulham, I think the injuries are starting to catch up with them. I have already mentioned the situation in the midfield. I will also be curious to see who will be starting up front as the strikers. Mark Hughes might have to move some of his players around in this match-up. The good news is that Fulham might have a striker available who is coming back from a long term injury. According to Sky Sports, Andrew Johnson could be available to play against West Brom. Johnson could give a huge boost up front that is needed right now.
West Brom have started off great this season going into the Fulham match. They are currently sixth in the league with 12 points. Along with their unbeaten record at home, the Baggies have had impressive results on the road. They have beaten Arsenal at the Emirates, and tied Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Roberto Di Matteo is the manager of West Brom. A player to watch tomorrow for the Baggies is their leading goal scorer Peter Odemwingie. The Nigerian striker has scored three times this season. However, he is questionable tomorrow to play against Fulham with a knee injury.
As I do before every match I do my 5 "keys" that I hope will lead to 3 points for Fulham. Below are " My 5 Keys To Victory For Fulham Against West Brom."
1. Fulham need to be exceptional in defending set pieces. Fulham continue to struggle at set pieces. On the road, Fulham will need to mark their opponents, and make sure no one gets an open shot.
2. Jonathan Greening and Chris Baird need to control the midfield for Fulham. With Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu ruled out, it will be up to these two players to get the ball up front to the strikers. This is a major key to this match-up.
3. Fulham need to score on their own set piece opportunities. Fulham have struggled to score this season. With the issues in midfield, they might have limited scoring opportunities from the strikers. I have a feeling they will need to score a goal on a set piece to win.
4. Mark Schwarzer needs to shut down West Brom. Schwarzer I think will have to be in rare form at the Hawthorns. I believe he needs a shut out for Fulham to get the victory.
5. Clint Dempsey needs to be very active against West Brom. I think Dempsey is at his best when he is in midfield. It will be interesting to see where he plays tomorrow. Regardless, I think Dempsey has an incredible ability to create scoring opportunities from absolutely nothing. Against West Brom I hope he shoots often, because I believe he will eventually score.
As I stated earlier, this game should be a struggle for Fulham. However, I think this is the match that they get that win on the road. I am predicting a 1-0 victory for Fulham.