Video Score: 5 / five
It is more than obvious that the disastrous season of Fulham might lead them to get relegated in this campaign with the most significant display of negative results being show back in October 26 when they lost against Southampton with a final scoreboard of 2-0 and the upcoming 6 matches saw them not being able to secure a single triumph as they suffered from consecutive defeats against Manchester United, Liverpool, Swansea, West Ham, Tottenham and Leicester City.
The consistent number of losses forced the club on having to make a change in managers and Martin Jol was sacked with Rene Meulensteen taking up the spot.
While it seems as it has only been a nightmare of a season for Fulham, there are some positive things to take in and one of those is Steve Sidwell who has been enjoying a consistent campaign and one of the few players that has actually pushed the club into higher spots in the Premier League.
Steve Sidwell is out of contract at the end of the current season and the midfielder rejected a 12 month extension made by the club in October and Meulensteen spoke on a press conference regarding the 31 years old midfielder.
“It’s clear that Steve would love to stay here. He’s doing very well here so I hope we come to a suitable solution. He will definitely get the credit he deserves from us. His fellow team-mates respect him, as does the staff, for the tremendous job he does for us.” Meulensteen stated.
For the past few months Dimitar Berbatov was rumored to be seeing his way out of Fulham with a number of clubs keeping close tabs on the Bulgarian player who was believed to want a different place to spend the remainder of the season and Sidwell had nothing but praise for Berbatov as he wanted the former Manchester United player to stay with Fulham but ultimately a loan deal to As.Monaco was agreed.
Berbatoc will be playing for the French side mostly as a direct replacement for the Colombian forward Radamel Falcao who is injured for the remainder of the season.
Video Score: five / 5
Sunderland is located at the very last spot of the Premier League having only won 2 matches so far in this season and their last victory was during their encounter against Manchester City on November 10 when a lonely goal from Phil Bardsley gave his team a very shocking final result of 1-0.
The head coach of Sunderland Gus Poyet said that his team has to take more risks if they want to avoid being relegated from the Premier League.
“I look at the table and it is not great. We need to win football games. The balance is going slightly too far one way – we need to take more risks and try to win games, because we do not have enough points’’.
“We are in a situation where it is difficult to catch the teams above us, because we can’t win two games together. Every time we take a step forward, the next step is backward or sideways’’.
“That’s difficult, because all the teams at the bottom are going to win games at some stage and so winning just one match is not good enough for us.”
Sunderland is however showing flashes of brilliance and showed signs of a team that can be doing so much better than in the current position they are in right now. This was evident by one of their most recent matches against Chelsea when Sunderland managed to go head to head with the team of Jose Mourinho and came close on winning the match but Chelsea managed to snatch the victory with a final score of 4-3.
Gus Poyet insisted that if Sunderland can continue playing at the same high level they did against Chelsea, then things will change for them.
Movie Ranking: four / five
Online video Ranking: / five
Celtic manager Neil Lennon is certain that his team will have to play at their very best if they want to snatch any points in their upcoming Champions League match against the Dutch side Ajax.
He said: “It’s a crucial game. We know how difficult the game will be. Ajax are a very, very good side; an excellent side, actually.”
They have to battle in the home turf of Ajax which convinces Lennon that this factor can be the decisive element in the game and make the Dutch team as the favorites on claiming the win.
“But we’re under no illusions how difficult this will be. Ajax was very unfortunate not to beat Milan in game two.
“The Champions League inspires players; it gets the best out of them. I’m hoping that’s the case for our players.
“If we can get a point then if we can beat Milan at home that gives us seven points. That would give us a real chance of qualifying.”
The Scottish team did however receive good news by confirming the fitness of their first-team regular players Georgios Samaras, Kris Commons and Mikael Lustig. Samaras and Commons had suffered from a knee and a hamstring injury respectively and will be put through their paces in an evening workout at the Amsterdam Arena.
If Celtic wants to make their way into the next rounds of the Champions League they will need to add some points in the last 3 remaining matches which means that the return of those players is crucial if they want to make a fight against Ajax.
In their 1st leg they battled it off and Celtic secured a narrow 2-1 victory over Ajax back in October 22nd and now they have to face off one more time but only this time in the hometown of Ajax, Amsterdam Arena with everything on the line.
Movie Ranking: 4 / five
Video clip Score: two / five
The Scotland-England fixtures have become uncommon in the last 15 years. The last time that these two countries had played against each other was way back in November 1999. The Scots had managed to come on top that day courtesy a match winning goal by Don Hutchison.
Now, after a long gap of 14 years, these two old rivals are going to take on each other again. They will meet on Wednesday at the Wembley Stadium.
For England, this match is not of that much importance. It’s just a pre-season friendly for them and they are taking it lightly. The England manager, Roy Hodgson, has already made it clear that his main players like Rooney and Jack Wilshere will play for only 45 minutes in that game.
On the other hand, for Scotland, this is a big game and their manager Gordon Strachan is no mood to take off any of his main players after 45 minutes or so. He will put his strongest XI on the ground for full 90 minutes.
Talking to the reporters a couple of days ago, Strachan said, “You can’t decide before a game that you will give a certain player a certain amount of playing time. May be somebody gets injured and you have to change that plan.”
“This is just the start of the season and at this stage, players want more and more playing time so that they can get into their rhythm.”
“Also, the fans buy tickets and come to the stadium to watch some competitive football. They don’t want their favourite players sitting on the sidelines.”
“I am not taking this game as a friendly one. For me, it’s a competitive match. We will put 100% effort and hopefully, will give them a run for their money.”