Monday, February 08, 2010

Fulham Injuries Woes Get Worse

Another player to spend six weeks in the treatment room.
Fulham midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi has been ruled out for up to six weeks because of ankle ligament damage. Dikgacoi limped off during Saturday's 0-0 draw at Bolton and adds to an injury list that already includes Paul Konchesky, John Pantsil, Zoltan Gera, Clint Dempsey and Andy Johnson
Manager Roy Hodgson noted that he doesn't face a selection problem, his problem is getting 18 players fit and health to field a starting 11 and fill the substitute's bench.

A stretch of home matches will help Fulham maintain position, but Hodgson faces a tough choice, concentrate on staying up (it looks like 38 points will probably be enough given the lack of quality in the bottom half of the table) or try to move forward in the Europa League and FA Cup.

Fulham sit 10th with 31 points. Their next five matches include:

Feb. 9---Burnley at Craven Cottage in the League tomorrow
Feb. 14--Notts County in the FA Cup on Sunday at Craven Cottage
Feb. 18--Shaktar Donetsk in the Europa League at Craven Cottage
Feb. 21--Birmingham City in the Leauge at Craven Cottage
Feb. 25--at Shaktar Donetsk in the Europa League
Feb 28--Sunderland away in the League.

Three competitions to play this month and it begs the question, what gets the priority. I think Fulham will get enough points over the next 13 League matches to stay up. I think that Hodgson should then focus on the FA Cup Run. With Notts County up next, at the Cottage, I think Fulham can make the Quarter finals. A good draw could see them at Wembley for the Semi-finals.

As much as Europa League was great to be in and advance past the group stage, I think Europa League has to take a back seat. With so many injury woes, can we really try to stay in all three competitions?

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