Though we currently sit in fourth place, it’ll be hard to imagine us keeping that position unless we beat Fulham tonight.
With Manchester City and Aston Villa able to leapfrog us due to their games in hand and Liverpool breathing down our necks, we need to get back to winning ways and fast. Especially considering that we’ve got tough fixtures against Birmingham and Villa to come.
What’s caused me the most concern is that Fulham have injury doubts over their attacking players. If they don’t think that they’ve got much going forward, then they’ll sit back and try to soak up our pressure and play on the break. We saw against Hull and Liverpool how well we were able to cope with that.
Where do we go in terms of our line up? Including Rose and Hutton against Leeds gave us more pace and attacking intent. I can’t see Rose starting again and wouldn’t be surprised if Corluka is preferred to Hutton, so once again we’ll be back to trying to pass our way through Fulham, with only Bale really possessing the ability to beat a full back.
Huddlestone could possibly return after injury, which I would welcome primarily so I don’t have to read everyone moaning about Jenas tomorrow. I could also do with a day off from writing about his failings and if the Hudd can’t make it, then I hope that O’Hara gets a start alongside Wilson.
Up front, Pavlyuchenko is an injury doubt, but I don’t expect that he would have started anyway, even though he deserves a chance. Will Crouch drop to the bench considering that Hangeland is one of the few players big enough to cope with him? It would make sense, but for the fact that Keane is in such shocking form.
As I write this I realise that I have a huge sense of foreboding about this match and am struggling to be positive about things. To put things into perspective, Fulham haven’t won a Premier League away match since the start of the season, so this is a team that we should be beating at home.
Do we have the character though? It’s a big night for a lot of players. We need Dawson to be back to his dominant best at the back, Palacios to make the midfield his own and Modric to start dictating the play. In attack, we need Defoe ferreting around the goal and staying clear of spot kicks.
Are we up for it? Do we have the bottle? We’ll know by the end of this evening. Come on you Spurs!