Is everyone OK? Have we survived the International break without nearly dying of boredom? There has been a lot going on in the sporting world with the Formula One season kicking off last weekend and the ‘Ball Tampering’ scandal within Australian cricket all amongst the stories dominating our headlines, but there just isn’t anything like the end of season run in when you are in with a chance of promotion, am I right? I have sorely missed it, and can’t wait to get the season back tomorrow afternoon. On Saturday past there was a Liverpool legends game at Anfield featuring the likes of Stephen Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt and even Ian Rush joining in, and what struck me was that Anfield was packed. Not a spare seat in the house, which just shows you how much football fans struggle without their football fix.
I wrote last week about how the Fulham squad really needed the International Break to regroup after the QPR draw, and I still absolutely stand by those words, but as a fan, one weekend without football feels like a lot longer than that. But it is all-systems go tomorrow as Fulham make the trip to Carrow Road to face Norwich City, in another must win game to tighten our hold on one of the top play-of spots as well as keeping the door open for a possible steal of the 2nd automatic promotion spot.
Norwich City currently sit 10 points outside the play-offs and most fans have probably given up hope of sneaking into 6th spot by now, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be up for this. They are a well drilled side, and have plenty of players who can hurt any opposition. James Maddison has won raving reviews this season and the youngster has scored fourteen goals in all competitions for the Canaries so far, not bad for a midfield player. Norwich also boast the attacking talent of Nelson Oliveira, although the striker was recently dropped because of his work rate so we may not see him in action. In general, Norwich have struggled for goals this season with just 41 in 38 outings. Only 5 teams have a worse strike rate than that. Having said that, they have been involved in 4-3 and 3-2 thrillers recently, and in both games they came out as winners, so the goal problem they have had throughout the season may be coming to an end.
However, Fulham should really be winning this game. Norwich sit 13th in the table and have only one once in the last five games. We need to ensure that the QPR draw was just a minor bump on the road rather than something much worse by getting all three points tomorrow. It looks as though we have a full-strength squad tomorrow with everyone making it back from international duty unscathed, so I would imagine that this will be what we see line up tomorrow.
Last season 3-1 win at Carrow Road was one of the highlights of the season for many, with Gentleman Jim essentially crying with excitement when Floyd Ayite rounded the keeper the seal to win late in the day. Something similar tomorrow and the pressure will be on Villa and Cardiff to keep it up. Hold on to your hats, the run in is finally here.