Sunderland v. Fulham

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by BarryWhite, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Newburgh, IN
    Previewing the first match of the season is a bit like being invited to a party and given a guest list shortly before being led blindfolded into a room being asked to identify where everyone is seated while the guests talk amongst themselves. In the din of voices there will be some familiar friends that you will easily identify but in large part it would likely prove a hopeless exercise leading to a lot of giggling by people who knew you were bound to miss badly on many of your guesses. On that note I would like to welcome my FUSA friends, both new and old, to the party that is the 2013-2014 Fulham season and I won’t blame you too much as you point at me and giggle while I walk blindfolded through the season kickoff preview that is Sunderland-Fulham.

    When the opening whistle blows the season in at the Stadium of Light it very well could be like walking into a room of strangers for the White’s as the Black Cats manager Paulo Di Canio has been a busy man during the off season by turning over nearly enough players to field a new starting lineup. After a plummet toward the bottom of the table and flirting with the drop until the final week of the season Di Canio has turned over the Sunderland roster through a mix of spending and free transfers while to date holding onto his top producers from last season.

    So far Sunderland’s ins and outs include:

    Ondrej Celustka - Trabzonspor - right-back – loan
    Emanuele Giaccherini - Juventus - midfielder - £6.5million
    El-Hadji Ba - from Le Havre – midfield - undisclosed
    Jozy Altidore - from AZ Alkmaar - striker - undisclosed
    Valentin Roberge - from Maritimo - center-half - Bosman
    Modibo Diakite - from Lazio - center-half - Bosman
    Cabral - from Basel - center-midfield - Bosman
    Vito Mannone - from Arsenal - GK - undisclosed
    David Moberg Karlsson - from Goteborg - winger - undisclosed
    Duncan Watmore - from Altrincham - striker - undisclosed

    Simon Mignolet - Liverpool - undisclosed
    Ahmed Elmohamady - Hull - undisclosed
    Alfred N’Diaye - Eskiehirspor - loan
    James McClean - Wigan - £2million
    Titus Bramble - released
    Matt Kilgallon - released
    Ryan Noble - released
    Adam Reed - released - joined Burton Albion on free transfer

    If reports are to be believed the who to watch list for Sunderland has been shortened by one player as it is believed last season’s leading scorer Steven Fletcher will be sidelined by injury. There is also some question as to the availability of Stephane Sessegnon who has been in and out of the transfer rumor mill. The new look Sunderland should still feature some offensive bite with Adam Johnson and Craig Gardner returning and the additions of Jozy Altidore from AZ Alkmaar and Emanuele Giaccherini from Juventus. The problem that any team in Sunderland’s position of facing a large amount of turnover is how quickly can this team gel on the field as a playing unit. In some part I think that situation will either be slightly alleviated or exaggerated by whether or not Sessegnon plays in this match. If Sessegnon plays he has the ability to dominate the midfield for Sunderland and be a real difference maker in this match.

    As for Fulham, I am feeling very apprehensive for the upcoming season. With the season opener just days away and the window closing in a few short weeks my personal opinion is that Fulham have not addressed the glaring weaknesses to push on from last season’s roller coaster ride to a season of steady, good performances. I was happy with the early window dealings which brought us Stekelenberg, Amorebieta, Boateng and secured Riether’s rights but fail to see how Fulham have addressed two of the four questions that had to be answered coming into this season. Full credit for taking steps to answer who would be Fulham’s first choice keeper and to bring in competition to shore up the center back position but unless Jol is planning on a major formation change the biggest glaring weaknesses in Fulham’s roster from last season still exist. Fulham is still paper thin at central midfield and still lack a reliable goal scorer outside of Berbatov. With the addition of Taarabt and the lack of other changes that we have seen from Fulham over the summer I am scratching my head wondering if Jol has decided on a more attack minded formation for the coming season but I guess we will not know that until the season begins to unfold.

    As for the Sunderland match, barring injury, I am expecting Jol to roll out the same basic formation from last season with Taarabt on the left wing when he is fit. Will he be fit for Sunderland? I don’t know but I suspect we will see him added after halftime as an impact sub for now. Here is my best guess before hearing the injury reports:

    Riether, Amorebieta, Hangeland, Richardson
    Dejagah, Boateng, Sidwell, Mesca,

    Give me your best guess that way maybe I’ll get to point and giggle a little bit too.
  2. AggieMatt

    AggieMatt Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Alamo City, Texas
    Man, outside of Altidore, I don't know anything about Sunderland's inbound players. As such, who knows what to expect from them. From what I understand, they did sign many of them early on, so there has been time to gel as a team.

    We don't have a very good record in road openers since I've followed the club, so I'm guessing we lose 0-1 or 1-2.

    As for lineups, I agree with what you have outside of Mesca. I think we'll see Duff, Taarabt or Kaca...or maybe even Ruiz with Rodallega up top possibly. Just don't see Jol giving a start to one of the young guys like that this early on.
  3. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Jul 29, 2005
    I'll predict a similiar scoreline, we'll just lose this one. I think both Taarabt and Kaca are unavailable in this one, please correct me if I am wrong. Would be great to Mesca get a look though.
  4. SCFulhamFan

    SCFulhamFan Active Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    Isn't Kaca still injured?
  5. encorespanish

    encorespanish Active Member

    Jul 26, 2012
    I agree with the lineup as well, except for Mesca. I mean, who are we all kidding? We all know Jol is going to put Duff in there on the outside. :angry-banghead: I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for the form Duff displayed in the first half of last season before he ran out of gas.
  6. SoCalJoe

    SoCalJoe Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    Walnut, CA
    The Stadium of Light is about the only away trip where the club has seen decent results (w/2 wins & 3 draws) the past 5 seasons. Not sure what to expect, but nicking a draw would be a pretty acceptable result,
  7. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    A City by a Bay
    I'm lighting a candle for a 1-1 draw. Yep, ambitious, I know... Hopefully Bent can be fit for the match.
  8. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    We're going to lose 2-1. DiCanio is a horror of a human being, but he knows how to prepare and inspire a team, and Jol -- who seems a nice enough chap -- doesn't know how to do either.

    The first of 38 loooooooooooooong days for FFC.
  9. SteveFakeBlood

    SteveFakeBlood Member

    Feb 8, 2010
    Broward County , FL (from DuPage County, IL)
    I actually agree with everyone to varying degrees. I can see (and would be ok with) a 1-1 Draw. As some have mentioned, I would be very surprised if Mesca starts on the wing. Even if Kaca and Taarbt aren't fit, Jol will probably hand Duff a start over him. But as Barry said, we're blindfolded and I wouldn't be shocked by any lineup that's thrown out there. I just hope throughout the year Special K and Briggs get plenty of chances to start.

    ~ Steve
  10. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Newburgh, IN
    Team News

    Whilst Di Canio continues to overhaul the Sunderland squad he inherited from Martin O’Neill five months ago, Lee Cattermole and Phil Bardsley remain two players the Italian is keen to get rid of, but both have suffered injury setbacks which will see them miss the game against Fulham (Sunderland Echo). Cattermole, 25, recently recovered from a long-term absence but suffered a knock when playing for the Sunderland U21′s against Bolton on Monday, whilst Bardsley, 28, suffered a blow to his right ankle in the same warm-up match.

    Di Canio also confirmed this week that Steven Fletcher, who scored 11 Premier League goals last term, is close to returning to action after making significant progress in his recovery from ankle ligament damage.

    Fulham will only be without Alex Kacaniklic (hamstring) and Martin Jol could hand debuts to new signings, Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma), Fernando Amorebieta (Athletic Bilbao), Derek Boateng (Dnipro), Adel Taarabt (QPR) and Darren Bent (Aston Villa) as the Cottagers bid to start the new era under Shahid Khan’s control with a positive result. ... -odds.html
  11. nevzter

    nevzter Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    A City by a Bay ... uad-sheets

    Guardian team sheets:

    Darren Bent, newly arrived at Fulham on loan from Aston Villa, is available to feature but the striker may not recognise his one former club. Paolo Di Canio, Sunderland's manager, says he has presided over a "complete revolution" this summer. Embracing much enhanced discipline and fitness it is intended to have given the team a "new identity" courtesy of more attractive football, played from the back and 10 new summer signings. Louise Taylor

    Kick-off Saturday 3pm

    Venue Stadium of Light

    Last season Sunderland 2 Fulham 2

    Referee N Swarbrick

    Last season G18 Y61, R0, 3.4 cards per game

    Odds H 5-4 A 12-5 D 12-5
    Sunderland v Fulham: Probable starters in bold, contenders in light. Illustration: Graphic

    Subs from Mannone, Diakité, Cuéllar, Ba, Karlsson, Wickham, Mandron, Ji, Egan, Laing, Knott, Lynch, Mitchell

    Doubtful None

    Injured Brown (knee, 24 Aug), Fletcher (ankle, 31 Aug), Cattermole (fitness, Sep), Bardsley (foot, Oct)

    Suspended Gardner (last of three), Vaughan (one match)

    Form guide (last season) LDDLWW

    Disciplinary record Y62 R3

    Leading scorer Fletcher 11


    Subs from Etheridge, Stockdale, Riise, Briggs, Hughes, Senderos, Kasami, Kacaniklic, Frei, Karagounis, Rodallega, Trotta, Dejagah, Bent

    Doubtful Kacaniklic (hamstring), Stockdale (thumb)

    Injured None

    Suspended None

    Form guide (last season) WLLLLL

    Disciplinary record Y48 R3

    Leading scorer Berbatov 15
  12. MisterF

    MisterF New Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    This seriously feels like Christmas Eve or something. Cant wait to wake up tomorrow for some footie!

    I'm thinking we at least grab a point.
  13. dcheather

    dcheather Administrator

    Jul 29, 2005
    Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) tweeted at 9:04 AM on Sat, Aug 17, 2013:
    FFC team: Stekelenburg, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Richardson, Taarabt, Sidwell, Boateng, Duff, Kasami, Berbatov

    Get the official Twitter app at Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) tweeted at 9:05 AM on Sat, Aug 17, 2013:
    Subs: Stockdale, Senderos, Ruiz, Karagounis, Briggs, Rodallega, Bent

    Get the official Twitter app at
  14. BarryWhite

    BarryWhite Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Newburgh, IN
    Wow, Ruiz on the sub's bench. No Dejagah. Kasami in the starting XI. Jol's is shaking things up.

    I wonder if Dejagah is injured or if Jol is sending messages.
  15. LaxAttack

    LaxAttack Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2007
  16. tim

    tim Active Member

    Nov 13, 2007
    Los Angeles
    And we score on our only attempt on target and walk away with 3 points. Somehow feels appropriate.
  17. jumpkutz

    jumpkutz Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    Hey. HEY! We won! WE WON! How the hell did that happen?
  18. americanmike

    americanmike Administrator

    Dec 30, 2004
    Great to see some new and old names in the chat room today. Glad I popped in the moment Kasami scored and that we hung on.

    So what if it wasn't 100% deserved; look back at last season and how many times did we give up an undeserved 92nd minute goal. I'll take it but hope that Stek is OK and hasn't hurt himself too bad.

  19. JackCaz

    JackCaz New Member

    Mar 29, 2012
    I really liked the decision. For what he brings to the tabke offensively, he turns the ball over too much. Kasami surprised me with his decision making. Solid performance.

    I do have to give a disclaimer that I did not see the entire match. Saw most of the first half and the last 15-20 minutes of the second half.
  20. SCFulhamFan

    SCFulhamFan Active Member

    Aug 5, 2006

    Exactly. First away points maybe bitter sweet if Stek is out long term. Great three points to the all important total to stay up.
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