FOOTBALL NEWS

Fulham v United
Barclays Premier League
Sat 19 Dec (15:00 GMT)
Craven Cottage

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18/12/2009 09:49, Report by Geoff Berkeley
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Match Pack: Fulham

After last season’s defeat at Craven Cottage, United will be well aware of the threat in-form Fulham pose on their own ground…

Form guide: Roy Hodgson’s men are enjoying a strong season, particularly at home, where they’ve only lost two league games and conceded just six goals. Unbeaten in six games in all competitions, the ninth-placed Cottagers are chasing a European spot again, and Thursday night’s 3-2 victory in Basle sealed their place in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League. After the routine win over Wolves, United are within striking distance of Chelsea at the top, and will be keen to avenge March’s 2-0 reversal in west London.

Ins and outs: Diomansy Kamara and Simon Davies are sidelined with knee and ankle injuries respectively, while Andy Johnson is unlikely to be in the squad as he is hampered by a groin injury. United’s injury list is still lengthy, particularly in defence. Nemanja Vidic has a chance of returning from a calf injury and Rafael could take over right-back duties from Ritchie de Laet after recovering from an ankle problem. But Edwin van der Sar (knee) will not return against his former club, and Ryan Giggs (hamstring) and Nani (ankle) are doubtful. Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, John O’Shea, Jonny Evans, Gary Neville and Owen Hargreaves are all still out.

Star man: Striker Bobby Zamora looks to be back to his best after scoring four goals in his last three games, including a brace in Switzerland in midweek. The former England U21 man, who has this week been tipped for a place in next summer’s World Cup squad, netted just four times last season, a tally he has surpassed already this term with nine.

Manager: Hodgson has made an impressive return to management in England, having transformed Fulham from relegation fodder to European contenders. Before his appointment at Craven Cottage in 2007, he briefly took charge of Blackburn Rovers and guided them to the UEFA Cup, though it has been his achievements abroad that have defined his career to now. Hodgson has managed clubs in several countries, including Norway, Switzerland and Sweden, securing a buddle of domestic trophies, and coached Inter Milan for two seasons in the mid ’90s. The

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