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Game preview - Everton (h)

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It's going to be a day of mixed emotions when we meet Everton at the Cottage on yet another Sunday afternoon kick off. Not so because of our lack of form, or goals, or stability; and not so because of the same scenario being bestowed upon a lackluster Everton side, but because both Andy Johnson and Louis Saha face the daunting task of 'sticking one' to a former employer. Johnson, arguably, has the easier task what with his surge in form of late, but, much to his own personal disappointment I'm sure, he 'hasn't had any banter' as of yet with former team mates Phil Neville, Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman. Let's hope that's not to his detriment.


Meanwhile, Louis Saha will no doubt be an unwelcome visitor to South West London, not because of his sour Manchester United departure but more for his sheer presence on the field. Presence isn't everything, though; the Frenchman has yet to score a goal this season.

His side have looked far more fragile this term - although it could be argued that anyone would be fragile when thrown into 5 weeks worth of football that involve two ties with Chelsea, a trip to the blue half of Manchester as well as home ties with United and Liverpool. As such, they find themselves in 15th place.

With their difficult few weeks has come a rather sour looking form book. The blues haven't picked up any points since beating Wigan on the 17th of September. They were particularly rampant in doing so, beating the latics 3-1, but Everton have only managed one goal since and look somewhat dry going forward.

Fulham are also struggling for good form but are doing so in a far more roundabout way. Jol's men finished off a double salvo of wins against QPR and Odense with a similar feat in reverse, failing to muster a goal in away trips to Stoke and to Wisla Krakow. We've been inconsistent but signs of quality are there or thereabouts.

In this corresponding fixture last season, David Moyes men walked away with a point and clean sheet in hand after what was a particularly dire affair. Fulham were without a freshly injured Bobby Zamora and, as Mark Hughes quite artlessly put it, the defences were on top.

Upon visiting Goodison Park, we were defeated 2-1.

James McFadden is likely to be denied a second debut for Everton as he attempts to regain full fitness while Victor Anichebe will remain doubtful with a groin injury.

After midweek breaks, Jol will welcome back Bobby Zamora, Clint Dempsey and Danny Murphy to his first eleven as Senderos and Grygera return from knocks. Injured in midweek, Orlando Sa will miss out and Bryan Ruiz will face a fitness test.

Predicted line-up: Schwarzer; Riise, Hangeland, Hughes, Baird; Dempsey, Murphy, Sidwell, Duff; Johnson, Zamora

Score prediction: Fulham 2 - 1 Everton