The Tigers travel to Fulham tomorrow for their first game in sixteen days, hoping to build on the promise shown in the 2-1 victory against Wigan on October 3rd. That match saw goals from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Geovanni, and Phil Brown will have an interesting decision to make on whether to include both at Craven Cottage as the Tigers seek a third successive Premier League victory over Fulham.
That’s not his only dilemma ahead of the game. Jimmy Bullard is close to fitness, and is considered virtually ready for his first start in a City shirt since his £5m move from the Cottagers in January. Anthony Gardner, seemingly “a week away” in perpetuity, is another player the manager will make a late decision on. It means possibly the strongest City XI in some time could be available, with no new injuries from the international break and only continuing concern over Liam Cooper’s hamstring to worry the Tigers’ medical staff.
Fulham have few injury issues of their own, although even at this early stage of the season fatigue is a concern. Their involvement in the Europa League, as we must call the UEFA Cup these days, requires Roma to be hosted on Thursday. Without the squad depth available to the division’s bigger fish, Roy Hodgson already has a dilemma about juggling his resources to cope with a congested fixture list. He’ll be able to welcome back Damien Duff, tomorrow evening, though Simon Davies is likely to miss out and Kagisho Dikagcoi is suspended.
CIty’s last away victory and solitary 2009 success on the road came at Craven Cottage, when a late late Manucho winner secured three points and instigated one of the wildest celebrations seen in recent years. Over a thousand City fans will be travelling despite the attendance of the ESPN cameras, hoping to see City grab either the win that’d propel us to 12th, or at least the point that’d lift us out of the relegation places .