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English Premier League, Week 8 Preview: Two Injury Ravaged Sides Contest A London Derby

#3. Fulham versus Tottenham Hotspur
Location: Craven Cottage (London)
Date: Saturday, October 16
Time: 10:00 a.m. Eastern
Records (W-D-L, +/-, Place):
Fulham, 1-6-0, +1, 10th
Spurs, 3-2-2, +2, 5th

 

With Tottenham's injuries at the back and Fulham's injuries at the striker position, the focus of this match should be on the possible creative lineup selections on one half of the pitch from both teams. Regardless, both teams have plenty of healthy players in the center of midfield where an interesting battle should be fought. Additionally, with a game against Inter Milan looming for Spurs, projecting Harry Redknapp's preferred lineup for Saturday's game is difficult. 

Projected Lineup, Fulham: (4-4-1-1) Schwarzer - Salcido, Hangeland, Hughes, Baird - Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies - Dempsey - E. Johnson

Projected Lineup, Tottenham: (4-4-1-1) Gomes - Assou-Ekotto, Gallas, Bassong, Hutton - Bale, Modric, Huddlestone, Bentley - van der Vaart - Crouch

Key Battle: Tottenham's Tom Huddlestone and Fulham's Danny Murphy are likely to be two of the most influential players on the field, and their battle in the center of midfield will be key to this match. Both are solid ball winners that are even better known for their wide range of passing. They're likely to clash heads a few times during the match, and the player who has the better game may see his side emerge victorious. 

Battle Within The Battle: The one distinct advantage Murphy has on Huddlestone is mobility. Big Tom isn't the most agile bloke in the world, so that could be a problem. However, what Huddlestone lacks in speed, he makes up for with his ginormous 6'4", 200 pound frame. Unfortunately for him, he is a footballer and he will be playing in a football match on Saturday. Sucks, he could probably destroy Murphy in a sumo wrestling match or a pie nomming contest.

Pick: Mark Hughes' side has been great at grinding out draws this season, and Saturday shouldn't be any different. Tottenham are perhaps the slightly more talented side, but due to the (probable) makeshift nature of their back line, they're likely to let in a goal. Tottenham (Bale) 1, Fulham (Davies) 1.