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Apr 072012

Fulham ended a three-game losing streak against Norwich last Saturday but questions still abound as to whether or not the team is rounding into form or simply treading water. Fulham will find out today away against Bolton as both teams square off this morning at Reebok Stadium at 10:00 am eastern. Fulham currently sit in 10th position in the table with 39 points while their opponent hover above the dropzone in 16th position with only 29 points. Bolton has however won three matches in a row and is looking more and more like they are coming into form late in the season.

Fulham boss Martin Jol knows how tough an opponent this team will be for his side.

“You saw them get out of the bottom three or bottom four as they got points on the board. But they still need a lot of points to be safe so I think they will scrap and fight for their life. Before these three wins they didn’t do particularly well, not even at home. We had a certain style when we played them at home, we hurt them and hopefully we can do that again away from home.”

Fulham will assess Pavel Pogrebnyak to see whether he can face Bolton while fellow striker Andrew Johnson is ruled out with a thigh complaint. Jol can welcome back frontman Orlando Sa after a hamstring injury. Bolton has more serious issues on the injury front this morning. Bolton defender Gretar Steinsson and midfielder Darren Pratley could be set to make their return to action having been sidelined by a knee problem and gashed leg respectively, but Gregg Wylde remains unavailable.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle knows his team has to keep pushing for more positive results and points to avoid falling out of the league at the end of the season.

“We have to continue doing what we are doing – looking to win games, said Coyle, who was this week named manager of the month for March. Everybody around us is picking up and doing well, which doesn’t come as a surprise because we are all good sides. You could get the best 20 managers in world football and bring them into the Premier League and somebody would have to fill each of the different spaces – it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is better than the other.
We know there is quality in this league. We just have to make sure that for our part, we are doing our utmost to gather the points to make us safe.”

Bolton (Probable, 4-5-1): Bogdan; Ricketts, Wheater, Ream, Alonso; Miyaichi, Reo-Coker, M Davies, Petrov; Klasnic, Ngog.
Out: Wylde (international clearance), Muamba (heart problems), Gardner, Holden (both knee), Lee, Mears (both leg), Riley (foot).
Probable: Steinsson (knee), Pratley (gashed leg)

Fulham (Probable, 4-4-2): Schwarzer; Kelly, Hangeland, Hughes, J Risse; Duff, Murphy, Dembele, Ruiz; Sa, Dempsey.
Out: Grygera (knee), Sidwell (hernia), Johnson (thigh), Etheridge (wrist).
Probable: Pogrebnyak (ankle).

GFT Editor

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