Tottenham Andre Villas-Boas will be under pressure to come away with a positive result against Fulham in the English Premier League. Reuters
Andre Villas-Boas grabbed the headlines after Tottenham's 2-2 draw against Manchester United at the weekend, following his incredible tirade against the way he had been targeted.
What went missing because of all the biting back and forth between Tottenham manager and the media was the performance of Spurs on Sunday.
While not exactly being of the absolute top draw, it was light years better than the 6-0 thumping handed at Manchester City 10 days ago. And Villas-Boas will do well to concentrate on the performance and improving from there, rather than waging a war with the British media.
Tottenham currently find themselves pushed all the way down to ninth in the table with 21 points, ten behind leaders Arsenal, and nothing short of a victory will be acceptable on Wednesday when they visit Fulham, who are going through their own issues, in the English Premier League.
Spurs were much more enterprising going forward against United, and if they continue in the same vein, goals will come. The form of Roberto Soldado remains a concern for Villas-Boas, with the Spanish striker failing to find the back of the net yet again.
Soldado did have a couple of opportunities to net from open play, but the lack of confidence was visible, and a goal or two, even an easy tap-in, against Fulham will do his confidence a world of good.
Fulham at the other side are also reeling from a poor season, which has seen Martin Jol get the sack. Former United coach Rene Meulensteen has taken over at the helm and the Dutchman has a big job on hand to sweep the Cottagers away from the relegation zone, with the London side currently third from bottom on 10 points from 13 matches.
"I appreciate the faith Mr Khan has put in me and will do my very best to honour his trust. We aim to get Fulham back on track, starting Wednesday night," Meulensteen said after being confirmed as the new manager at the expense of Jol.
"I know what is required at the top end of the Premier League. This is a different challenge with different pressure. This is making sure you realise the need to keep three teams below you," he added on Sky Sports.
Team news: Hugo Rodallega and Matthew Briggs are ruled out for Fulham, while Dimitar Berbatov and Brede Hangeland are doubts.
Emmanuel Adebayor joins Tottenham's injury list, which also includes Danny Rose and Christian Eriksen. "We've had a setback with Ade who picked up a knee injury in yesterday's [Monday's] training session," Villas-Boas said. "He's the only player who will join the injury list."
Key men: Fulham: Will be new manager Rene Meulensteen and how he galvanises his players and figures out a way for his side to climb out of the mires of the relegation zone.
Tottenham: Soldado has been starved for service a few times this season, and the onus will be on the likes of Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend, if he plays, to provide the balls for the strikers to latch onto.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 1.30 am IST start with no live coverage in India. You can, however, catch the match via live streaming by clicking HERE. To catch the action in the U.S., click HERE. Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can live stream the match by clicking HERE.
Expected lineups: Fulham: Stekelenburg; Zverotic, Amorebieta, Hangeland, Richardson; Parker, Sidwell; Duff, Kasami, Taarabt; Bent.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Vertonghen; Sandro, Dembele; Townsend, Paulinho, Lennon; Defoe.
Prediction: 2-1 to Spurs
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