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Fulham V Everton at Craven Cottage : Match Preview

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03 Nov 2012 09:03:44

Fulham V Everton at Craven Cottage : Match Preview

Fulham V Everton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Martin Jol will measure Fulham's free-scoring progress in the Premier League this season against an Everton side he describes as 'the best of the rest'.

The Fulham manager has seen his side score 19 league goals so far, a tally only bettered by leaders Chelsea and Manchester United.

But it is David Moyes' side who Jol believes are the standard bearers for sides such as Fulham.

Jol said: "We always admire Everton. Everton are an example for so many clubs.

"Over the last 10 or 12 years most of the time they were in the top seven. Outside the recognised top clubs I think they are the best.

"They don't have the resources of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs. Last season we were almost like them and then we lost to Spurs and they were four points ahead of us and that was a great statistic to be near Everton because I see them as being the best of the rest."

Fulham lie in seventh position, two places behind Everton but a win for either side at Craven Cottage could take them into the top four depending on results elsewhere.

Yet Jol admits his biggest problem is keeping a squad happy with so many striking options.

Fulham may have lost the firepower of Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele in the summer transfer window but Dimitar Berbatov, Brian Ruiz, Hugo Rodallega and Mladen Petric have given Jol a headache when it comes to selecting a striking partnership.

Jol said: "We have scored as many goals so far as normally we would until February or April, so that is good. We lost our top scorers but up until now it is more productive than it was before."

Asked if it was a challenge keeping them all happy, he said: "It is difficult but that is my job. I see them as luxury problems with all these players up front."

Fulham have no new injury worries with defender Chris Baird having recovered from a minor injury he received when he slid into advertising hoardings celebrating his headed goal against Reading last weekend.

Meanwhile, midfielder Simon Davies continues to recover from a hip operation while French midfielder Mickael Tavares is out with a hamstring problem.

Meanwhile, manager Moyes is unconcerned by criticism of Everton's playing style as he insists his is the only opinion which matters.

The Scot believes his side have many more facets than initially suggested by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard after last week's Merseyside derby.

Gerrard described the Toffees as "playing like Stoke" before later retracting his comments.

Moyes believes the statistics speak for themselves and Everton would not be fifth, one point off the Champions League places with only one defeat all season, had they not more to offer.

"Your style is whatever suits yourself," he said.

"Neutrals who have watched Everton would say our style is exciting and entertaining; you are seeing chances and goals.

"More importantly, if you ask any Evertonian what they think they would all say we've played very well.

"And even more importantly if you ask the manager how it has gone I would tell you Everton have played really well, passed it well.

"I think we are one of the teams who have made the most chances in the Premier League, we have scored a lot of goals (only Manchester United have scored more away from home).

"I think we have been good value and good to watch.

"I don't really bother with what Liverpool think to tell you truth, I only bother what I think.

"We pass it very well and hit lots of good long balls at the right time as well so I think we mix our game up and that is why people are talking about Everton.

"When you have Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar, Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith there will be a style you have to play with those players.

"But we are also able to use Nikica Jelavic and Marouane Fellaini at times so we have different variations."

Moyes is hopeful forward Kevin Mirallas will be fit enough to face Fulham after his ankle injury in the derby.

Midfielder Steven Pienaar returns from a one-match suspension and is expected to go straight back into the side, meaning either Mirallas or Steven Naismith would miss out.

Darron Gibson, who has been sidelined by a thigh problem since September 1, is still not ready to return.


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