My 5 Keys To Victory For Fulham Against Stoke City

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Clint Dempsey of Fulham battles with Robert Huth of Stoke City during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Stoke City at Craven Cottage on May 5, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

Fulham play Tuesday on the road at the Britannia Stadium against Stoke City. This game is the third round of the Carling Cup. The game takes place at 7:45 PM UK Time and 2:45 PM EST. The game will not be televised in the United States.  

After a draw on Saturday can Fulham actually get a win on the road in the Carling Cup? Fulham did not fare well last season against Stoke City. They lost 3-2 at the Britannia Stadium, and also lost 1-0 at Craven Cottage.  

Tony Pulis is the manager of Blackburn, and has done a great job with his club. There are two players I would focus on tomorrow for Stoke City. Matthew Etherington is a dangerous player that scored the winning goal against Fulham last season at Craven Cottage. Another player to watch is Eidur Gudjohnson. Fulham tried to get the striker in the transfer window, but he decided to play at Stoke City. He is a goal scorer and someone that Fulham need to contain tomorrow.  

As I do before every match I do my 5 "keys" that I hope will lead to a victory for Fulham. Below are " My 5 Keys To Victory For Fulham Against Stoke City".   

1. Fulham need to defend well on set pieces. Blackburn's only goal yesterday came from a long kick by goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who got the ball in the box, which eventually led to Chris Samba slamming it in the back of the net. Fulham have struggled on defending set pieces on the road for awhile now. They will need to do better against Stoke City.

2. Mark Schwarzer needs to be solid in net. I thought Mark Schwarzer had a very shaky game against Blackburn. To beat Stoke City he is going to have play much better. He looked very uncomfortable on set pieces. I am hoping we will see the Schwarzer that played last season for Fulham.

3. The strikers need to finish and get shots on net. Fulham's passing at times against Blackburn was phenomenal. However, when they would edge close to the box the play would tend to break down. Fulham need their strikers to get into position to shoot and let it fly. My feeling for tomorrow is the more shots the better. Even if they are far away, let the goalkeeper know you are going to be active and take your chances.

4. Carlos Salcido needs to be involved in the offensive threats for Fulham. It is only one game, but what I saw from Carlos Salcido at left back against Blackburn was very encouraging. He needs to push forward against Stoke City. He has shown the ability to pass and shoot. I think he could be another scoring threat for Fulham coming from the defense.

5. Danny Murphy needs to control the game. It seems on many occasions when Murphy plays well, the club usually has a good result. With his passing he really does have the ability to set up scoring opportunities. I am expecting a big game from Murphy.   

This should be a difficult opponent for Fulham. I think it is a great test for the club. If they can advance in the Carling Cup with a victory it could really help with momentum going into the weekend match with Everton at Craven Cottage.       

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