Fulham Vs Stoke City, Wed 5 May 2010

Published Add your comment

Football News

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is unlikely to play any part in Wednesday's Barclays Premier League clash with Stoke.

Zamora is struggling with an Achilles injury and faces a race against time to be fit for the Europa League final against Atletico Madrid next week.

Clint Dempsey will continue to deputise in attack for Fulham's last home match of the season.

Bjorn Helge Riise insists Fulham's first team hopefuls are determined to contribute to a spectacular season by securing a top 10 finish.

Craven Cottage is gripped with excitement over the looming Europa League final against Atletico Madrid at the Hamburg Arena next Wednesday.

With his first-choice side set in stone, manager Roy Hodgson will nurse his resources carefully over the two remaining Premier League matches.

Only four of the side that completed the fairytale march to the final by beating Hamburg last week started Sunday's 3-2 victory over West Ham.

Hodgson is likely to give the second string another run out against Stoke and Riise insists they are ready to answer his call once again.

"We live to play football so there was never any question of us not being up for it against West Ham," he told the club's official website.

"For those of us that were on the bench against Hamburg it was a chance to show that we can play football.

"That was important to us and we don't want to lose games, especially in the last weeks of the season and especially when we have a final coming up.

"For us the aim is to get that 10th place and if we beat Stoke we will be close to achieving that."

Fulham sit one point adrift of 10th place Blackburn but have a game in hand on Rovers.

After meeting Stoke at Craven Cottage they end the Premier League campaign at Arsenal, who could yet be pipped to third place by Tottenham.

Riise is hoping to be involved as much as possible as the finishing touches are put to a season that is already the most successful in the club's 131-year history.

"It was nice to play 90 minutes against West Ham and to win," said the Norwegian midfielder.

"A lot of the team haven't played much recently so to beat West Ham 3-2 is a very positive result.

"I enjoyed it a lot and hopefully I'll get to play a bit more in the last three games.

"Now it's important to beat Stoke to secure 10th place."

Stoke captain Abdoulaye Faye remains an injury doubt.

Faye was absent for Saturday's goalless draw with Everton due to a thigh strain and could miss out again at Craven Cottage.

Asmir Begovic will continue to deputise in goal for Thomas Sorensen, who is recovering from a dislocated elbow.

Ryan Shawcross admits Fulham's success on the continent this season has got him dreaming of a push for Europe with Stoke next year.

The London club made it into Europe by claiming seventh spot last season and Shawcross feels it would be "fantastic" if the Potters could follow their lead in the next campaign.

"Next season, our first aim will be to reach a points tally where we can't be relegated, and then we will push on from there," Shawcross told the Sentinel.

"I would love to play in Europe - ask any of the Stoke lads and they would say the same.

"It is the ultimate for a professional. If we could do it, it would be fantastic, although it is difficult and the first aim is to get to that safety mark.

"But Fulham are a good example of how, if you get off to a good start, you can push on."

Shawcross was named Stoke's young player of the season on Sunday, while midfielder Matthew Etherington picked up three awards for overall player of the year.

Fabio Capello called Shawcross up to the England squad in February and the defender believes Etherington may have also been given the nod had he not sustained an injury in a match against Manchester City which was being watched by the national coach.

"He has been brilliant this season and it has come as no surprise to me that he has won the awards he has done," Shawcross said.

"Matty is a top lad and a top player, and I'm glad for him that he has won these awards.

"I honestly believe that had he not picked up an injury against Manchester City then he would have been in with a shout of an England call-up, that's how good he has been this season.

"Hopefully, he can continue to progress next year and then who knows, hopefully Stoke could have a couple of players in the England squad."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Stoke City
Premier League

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again