Fulham v Aston Villa - Championship Playoff Final

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by astroevan, May 22, 2018.

  1. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    I think it's time to get an official match thread going here. I've been reading various articles for the past couple days and am getting very excited (and equally nervous) for Saturday.

    The folks over at Birmingham Live appear to be as equally confident as the Fuham faithful. None of their writers predict Villa to lose and a number of them point to Wembley experience as a major factor. Only 2 of Fulham's projected starting 11 have played at Wembley, while at least 11 Villa team members have. Also, Steve Bruce has secured promotion twice via finals at Wembley. I'm not sure how much playing at Wembley affects the players, but I'd like to think that it won't be a major factor. I may be naive, but I imagine that once you get on the pitch and start knocking the ball around, then most of the external elements will fade into the background.

    I'm hoping that Fulham get to play their game and that it doesn't turn into a cautious slog for most of the match. Unfortunately though, that's how a majority of these winner take all matches evolve (devolve?). These are two teams full of heavyweights with one of the big differences being team age and experience. Fulham boast a young team brimming with talent and promise while Villa have the experienced veterans.

    I don't expect any changes from our previous line-ups, with the right wing will being the only possible toss up - Kamara, Piazon, Ayite. I also don't expect a lot of scoring, so Fulham need to be at their best defending set pieces and working to avoid being caught out of position. Most of all Fulham need to attack early and attempt to put Villa on their back foot, then perhaps work that extra pass in the offensive third.

    I won't give a score prediction, but I would not be surprised to see this match go to extra time. I would hate to see the match go to penalties though.
     
    #1
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  2. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    We play Saturday, we win Saturday, no problem.
     
    #2
  3. dtowndough

    dtowndough Active Member

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    I like the confidence and simplicity of HD.
     
    #3
  4. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of possible scenarios, but my simple logic tells me it's time for the unabashed youth to triumph over the overcautious elders. Slav is going to attack. That's his thing. That's what he does. And players like that. I expect Villa to press high, imposing an NHL-like aggressive forechecking style that we've had some trouble with in the past. It seems to have been mostly solved in recent times, so I think we play our game and try to spring odd man attacks from the back. It'll be dicey, but the extra room helps us more than them, I think. The question for me is, how much difference will Grealish make? He missed our 2-nil victory at the Cottage, so that's the only concern I have. And, really, it's not that much of a concern. If we play our game, we'll win.
     
    #4
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  5. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    Is it me or is this week going sslllooooowwly?
     
    #5
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  6. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    It's NOT you, it is crawling by...

     
    #6
  7. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    Yup. We're on the home stretch.
     
    #7
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  8. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    I totally agree with Jump on his assessment of the match. If we've learned one thing from Jokanovic is that he sticks to his game plan - he deviates for no one! Aston Villa will likely allow that to happen and they'll gladly let Fulham have 65% of possession - that pretty much happened in the first two matches. They will look to take advantage of counter attacks and set pieces - and that can be a winning strategy, especially if Fulham comes out flat. Don't come out flat Fulham.

    I wish I had thought of this earlier, but I bet I could have sold a bunch of shirts that had this on it:
    own_it.png
     
    #8
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  9. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    #9
  10. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    I love this quote from Khan's column:
    There's been a lot of flack for how "terrible" Fulham fans are. They (we) aren't terrible, just different. I couldn't care less who wins the singing competition on Saturday. I'll be paying attention to what's happening on the pitch.
     
    #10
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  11. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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  12. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if he's got an extra seat on the Learjet...or Gulfstream...and an extra team credential.
     
    #12
  13. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

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    #13
  14. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    This is great, but Jimmy Bullard absolutely stole the show.

     
    #14
  15. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Good stuff; my god, Bullard looks older than me!
     
    #15
  16. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. He’s only 39! And somebody should tell Berba that a defender scored the goal that got us here.
     
    #16
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  17. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Mar 4, 2014
    This is it! Time to get the job done! No surprises in the lineup:

    Bettinelli
    Fredericks, Odoi, Ream, Targett,
    McDonald, Cairney, Johansen
    Kamara, Mitrovic, Sessegnon

    Subs: Button, Kalas, Christie, Norwood, Ayite, Piazon, Fonte

    On the other side, Elmohamady is healthy enough to start so both teams are able to put their best squad on the pitch.
     
    #17
  18. SullyTexan

    SullyTexan Member

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    May 16, 2018
    Great atmosphere here. Behind the Fulham goal second level. Many brummies running around outside the stadium. COYWs!
     
    #18
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  19. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

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    Alamo City, Texas
    Good stuff from the Chairman and the former players. I’m fired up and ready to see Fulham win in Wembeley and win promotion!

    Anyone gonna be in the chat room?
     
    #19
  20. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

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    WE ARE GOING UP!!!!!! Cue it James!!!!
     
    #20
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