Let me start off by saying congratulations to Tottenham and their fans for getting into the Champions League. This is a very big achievement. Fans of Fulham and Tottenham have much to be proud of this year. However, is it possible for Tottenham fans to actually support Fulham on Sunday as they play Arsenal?
I read this nice post on spurs.vitalfootball.co.uk entitled " Come on Fulham !!!" . The writer of this article is mentioning the advantages of Tottenham ending third in the EPL. For this to happen, Tottenham would need to win and probably Fulham would have to beat Arsenal. According to this article, if Tottenham ended third they would be avoiding the play - off round in August of the Champions League.
As a Fulham fan I know all about playing extra matches. Fulham had to go through the qualifications stages of the Europa League at the end of last July. If Fulham win in the Final they will go right to the Group Stages of the Europa League next year. I definitely see the advantages of wanting to avoid these extra stages.
Now the match on Sunday is not going to be easy for Fulham. I think they have a decent chance at a draw. But, if Fulham win it could give them a great chance at a top 10 finish. It would possibly indirectly benefit Tottenham. Below I will give my opinion on pros and cons for Fulham in this match against Arsenal. I will actually list the cons first.
The cons for Fulham against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday are below:
1. Fulham have only one road win this season in the EPL. This record on the road for Fulham is terrible. In fact, their only road win came against Portsmouth in the Opening Match.
2. Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff are probably both not playing on Sunday. Damien Duff came off at halftime yesterday with a calf injury. His availability for the final is being questioned right now. Bobby Zamora I doubt very much will play. These two players are very key scoring options for Fulham. Without them Fulham will need to rely on Clint Dempsey and Zoltan Gera.
3. Who else will Roy Hodgson rest for this match?The final will only be a few days later. Will Fulham put out a side similar to the team that played West Ham?
The pros for Fulham against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday are below:
1. I think Fulham would like to go into the Final on a positive note. The loss against Stoke City might change how Roy Hodgson plays this game against Arsenal. I don't think the manager or the club were happy with the result yesterday. If they are able to win on Sunday it could give the club an added boost going into the Final. You don't want to go into that match with a negative result.
2. I think Fulham would like to end the season in the top 10. For a club like Fulham any additional money that they can get by getting a higher position in the league is probably important. Also, being in the top 10 would be quite an accomplishment regarding the amount of games the club has played.
3. This could be Erik Nevland's last match actually playing with the club. There is a possibility this Sunday could be his last match with playing for Fulham. He could play in the final if Bobby Zamora is not fit to play. Regardless, this will be Nevland's last EPL match with Fulham. He might have some extra incentive to really play well on Sunday. Nevland is returning to Viking next season.
4. This game could also be the final impression that Stefano Okaka could make on Fulham. He is on loan from Roma, and slated to return after the season. He is ineligible for the Final. If for some reason he wants to stay at Fulham this will be his last chance to show the club what he has to offer. Fulham I believe do have the right to potentially make the loan move a permanent one. This will be his last chance to shine. He does have goal scoring potential.
I think Fulham do have an opportunity on Sunday to end the League season on a very positive note. I would love to see them get this victory at Arsenal. Realistically it does look difficult.
To the Tottenham fans I will leave you with this thought. No one believed they would get to the Final of the Europa League. They have been counted out so many times this year during the Europa League. They have the ability to surprise you. Don't completely dismiss this as a possibility they could win. Two years ago they could have been relegated on the last day of the season. They beat Portsmouth away to stay up. Just when you count them out they can surprise you. Why not come along for the ride for just one day?