Fulham at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by MicahMan, Dec 23, 2022.

  1. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Whoo hoo! The Premier League is back up and running after an extended break for the World Cup. The WC was fun to watch, but I've missed seeing Fulham play. Fulham will get the season going again at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day (Monday). The match will kickoff on Peacock at 10am EST.

    Crystal Palace and Fulham are tied on points (along with Brentford) just three points out of European play, but only six points above relegation. Fulham has done well, but the margin for error is still small. A bad run of form over the three matches against beatable teams (Palace, Southampton, and Leicester) could spell trouble going into the next four difficult matches (Chelsea, Newcastle, Tottenham, Chelsea again).

    Fulham does seem to be healthy coming out of the World Cup break, although Mitrovic, Palhinha, and Robinson did not play in the friendly against West Ham (a 1-1 draw). Meanwhile Palace will be without their starting CB Marc Guehi due to an accumulation of yellow cards. Mitrovic and Robinson are both on four yellows and are in danger of suspension if they get another during the remaining games of the first half of the season. Reed and Tete will both be back after serving their yellow card suspensions.

    Fulham could put out one of their strongest teams this season with almost everyone being healthy (Solomon and Kebano are the notable absences) and no one serving a suspension. I expected there to be a bit of rust after such a long break, but Fulham did look pretty good against West Ham. Hopefully the squad gets off to a good start in the first of three key matches for them.
     
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  2. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Just getting around to watching Marco’s pre-Palace presser (say that three times really fast).
    Mitro is a doubt to some foot problem either incurred or exacerbated at the World Cup. The gaffer inferred that it might be a case of getting him fully fit versus playing him while nursing it along with hyper managed minutes. The encouraging news is that Carlos (the other) Vinicius scored our lone tally in Tuesday’s friendly at the Cottage against Wet Spam. I reckon we’ll see if that portends an equally viable scoring threat performance at Selhurst Park, or more milk cartons with his picture on it. Aside from Mitro, Solomon and, of course, Neeskens are out, so a mostly intact squad upon the resumption of festivities toward the pursuit of multiple consecutive seasons in the Premiership. Having dropped the last two before the World Cup break, this match is moderately more critical than it might appear to most. A Boxing Day win on the road at the start of the rest of the season would have a jump start effect on the huge progress made so far in building a solid base for staying well away of the relegation zone.
     
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  3. astroevan

    astroevan Well-Known Member

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    Ready to shake my World Cup hangover and get back to the Premiere League. I’m really curious to see how this break affects the team. Hopefully there’s little to no rust. I just need to figure out now how to wedge this match into the bustle of in-laws and holiday cleanup.
     
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  4. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    I have the same issue. The winter storm delayed the in-law Christmas until Monday. I think I'll have to watch the first half of the match live and the second half on replay (or maybe I'll just tell my in-laws I have more important business :D)
     
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  5. daddude7

    daddude7 Well-Known Member

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    My family and I drove to my in-laws through Indiana and Ohio on Friday, and that might have been the stupidest thing I've ever done. Somehow, we got here safely. On the plus side, they have a bigger TV than I do. I'm hoping for a good result, but Palace is strong and well coached. A win would be great, but I wouldn't hate a draw with a clean sheet.
     
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  6. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    Phew! Glad y'all made it safely to your wife's family's house. Squeaky bum time indeed... Palace is, as noted, strong and well coached. Patrick Vieria has done a very solid job since taking over in July of 2021. The win totals are about the same, but he's flipped the loss to draw ratio to virtually the exact opposite, earning critical relegation avoiding points where there were none before. Plus, they just appear more threatening, energetic and resolute on the pitch. I've always been intrigued by Wilfried Zaha, their somewhat mercurial talisman. Although his emotions do get the best of him at times, his talented skill set seems tailor-made for attacking from the left side of an opponent's goal. To their credit, his managers at Palace have, for the most part, installed formations and used tactics to keep him there and play to his strengths. His combination of speed, athleticism, unpredictable movement and textbook technique at cutting inside with his right foot inevitably leads to a quality scoring chance or inducement of a foul to prevent one. Zaha has drawn more red cards from his opponents than any player in Premier League history. Having debuted for Palace in March of the second half of the 2009-10 season and becoming a regular the following season, it does seem as if he's been around since dirt. He turned 30 last month so, he's likely still got a lot of football ahead of him before he hangs up his boots. I think he's fun to watch when he's in form and not bitching and moaning too much, thus letting it affect his effort and concentration. I just hope he has a uneven day on the pitch tomorrow against us.
    Lastly, on top of all of this, I must confess that I'm a big fan, and admittedly envious of, the Selhurst Park tradition of playing "Glad All Over" by the Dave Clark Five, as the sides enter the pitch from players' tunnel in the south corner.
     
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  7. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Fulham's got a strong lineup this morning headlined by Mitrovic. I am somewhat surprised that DeCordova-Reid get the start over Wilson, but otherwise I'd say they have the A-Team out there.

    Fun side note, when my Dad was in college the driver for the Dave Clark Five somehow wasn't available and my Dad was drafted into driving them around while they were in town for a show. He got a brief taste of life as a rock and roll star.
     
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  8. stlouisbrad

    stlouisbrad Well-Known Member

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    I was a bad Fulham fan and bet against them today. Never have I been so happy to lose ten bucks.
     
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  9. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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  10. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    A three goal clean sheet on the road? Are you
    ******* kidding me? If anybody says they saw this coming, we need to talk about some sloughy swamp land in the Alzey, KY river bottoms I’m selling. I’m at work and won’t be able watch any of it until 5:15 p.m., but I’m gonna, and right quick.
     
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  11. MicahMan

    MicahMan Administrator

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    Highlights:


    Suffering at the hands of bad officiating should be cyclical and today Fulham was the beneficiary of questionable calls. I don't think the straight red was deserved, I didn't think the second yellow was deserved, and I wasn't going to be surprised if Mitrovic was called for a handball to disallow Ream's goal. However, this was one of those days for Fulham - an offset for some of those days on the other side of good fortune from earlier in the season.

    The two-man advantage shouldn't overshadow the performance Fulham put in when Palace still had 11 men. Fulham controlled the match and was the more likely side to score (despite Ayew hitting the crossbar) in the early stages. I think a lot of credit for Fulham's dominance in the first half should go to Palhinha who made it very difficult for Palace to get out of their half. The match would have been tighter without the two man advantage, but it always seemed like Fulham was the better team.

    Mitrovic looked a little rusty early on with some sloppy passes and poor finishing, but he delivered a beautiful cross for DeCordova-Reid to head in for the first goal. He seemed to get better as the match went on, helping to set up Ream (REAM!) for his goal, and then finally getting one of his own. Mitro delivered a great Boxing Day performance as a gift for all Fulham fans.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 26, 2022
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  12. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Hoped we would get a result, but never expected this one. Mega YAY

    DecordovaRead [can't spell that name ever] was my MOtM. He's everyone's favorite to be benched, but he's looked good the last few matches, and especially good today.

    Disagree GENTLY with the "Mitro looked shakey early on" thing. I thought he was solid from the opening whistle.

    Sadness of the Day: For years I looked forward to matches at Palace. The singing there is unmatched [until you get north of Birmingham], and then there's the bald eagle and the very tasty USA-style cheerleaders. Unfortunately, it appears that both didn't survive Covid. Another bit of sadness was missing "Glad All Over" because Peacock couldn't get their sound right until .... well, the second half.

    Good day all around. We've now won more matches this season than our last count in the Prem.
     
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  13. daddude7

    daddude7 Well-Known Member

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    I’m happy to hear everyone else made it safely through this horrendous weather.

    Glad to have been wrong. I disagree gently with an earlier statement that the second yellow on Mitro was undeserved; Tomkins didn’t try to play the ball and prevented a possible scoring opportunity. Definitely agree about the straight red—99% of the times that’s a yellow. On Tim’s goal (Reeeeem!), it was given on the field, and the referee couldn’t be certain that he’d made a mistake, but it could have been taken away on another day. We were due a lucky day, though.

    I had hoped Bournemouth would nick a couple of points off Chelsea and keep us in 8th, but it wasn’t to be.

    Looking forward to the NY Eve Southampton game. The bubbly will be chilling. Happy New Year!!
     
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  14. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

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    I thought both reds were thoroughly deserved. BDR was uncharacteristically good, but Mitro, well, there’s still more to him than headed goals. The first yellow he cajoled from Tomkins was deep and adjacent to the sideline in his own half, nowhere near the Palace goal, and in the 20th minute, no less. His soccer IQ is phenomenal. He put the ball on a silver platter for Bobby’s opener. Picture perfect pinpoint delivery. Also assisted on Ream’s thumper into the roof, deftly drew the second yellow on Tomkins, then got his deserved goal on the Willian redirect. The guy brings so much more than the aerial scoring threat he obviously is. I’m not in a position to argue against Bobby for MOTM, but Mitrovic made the key, non-scoring plays to put us in position to take advantage of Palace’s misfortune. Good teams take maximum advantage of an opponent’s mistakes and bad luck, with extreme prejudice. Nice to be on the positive side of such dynamics for a change.
     
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  15. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    exactly
     
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  16. daddude7

    daddude7 Well-Known Member

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    Tim Ream is in the EPL Team of the Week. This makes me incredibly happy.
     
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