Video clip Score: five / five
Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has been one of the main reasons for a comfortable finish to the Premier league season for London club Fulham. He was signed for just £ 5 million from the clutches of Fiorentina. He has managed to help Fulham finish closer to the top 10 of the table by scoring 13 goals in the league. He has been the pivotal point in attack, but there has been a rumour that he will no longer be at Craven cottage after the end of the season. This is due to interest from several Russian clubs, who are prepared to offer him huge sums of money.
Martin Jol was under pressure after the turn of the year due to poor results, but he has managed to steady the ship. The future of the Dutchman also remains unclear because he has only 12 months left on his contract. However, Jol is confident that the club will offer him a new deal after seeing him perform well this season. He is also confident that Fulham will be able to allocate sufficient funds for him to spend in the upcoming transfer window. Fulham have one of the smallest squads in the Premier league, which has contributed to their downfall in recent seasons.
“I don’t have to clear anything up. It is not even close to the truth. Of course you would like to spend some money, but if we come up with the right players I still feel the chairman will supply us with some money because he always has. I don’t see any problem there. I have never heard anything from Dimitar and they would have to come up with a lot of money for a 32-year-old to get him away from this club. I don’t think that will happen,” said Jol.
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Saturday’s late kick-off in the Premier League sees Fulham host leaders Manchester United at Craven Cottage.
The two sides met at Old Trafford just seven days ago; Sir Alex Ferguson’s men running out 4-1 winners in their FA Cup fourth round tie.
However, Fulham go in to the game on the back of an impressive 3-1 victory over West Ham United, a result that lifted them two places to twelfth position, and eight points clear of the bottom three.
Dimitar Berbatov will miss the visit of his former club with a hamstring injury, with Steve Sidwell, Mahamadou Diarra, Kerim Frei and Keiran Richardson also out, though Urgy Emanuelson could make his debut after joining on loan from AC Milan.
Mladen Petric is set to lead the line in Berbatov’s absence, and the Croatian is 11.5 (21/2) to get the first goal of the game.
Martin Jol’s men are a 6.25 (21/4) shot with Stan James to take all three points, with United odds on favourites at 1.62 (8/13) with several firms. The draw is widely available at 4.2 (16/5).
Manchester United regained a seven point advantage at the top of the table with their 2-1 victory over Southampton on Wednesday evening.
Defensive due Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans are both in line for a recall, though Ashley Young remains side-lined with a knee injury.
Wayne Rooney, who bagged both goals midweek is 5.5 (9/2) with most firms to open the scoring, with top scorer Robin Van Persie favourite at 4.2 (16/5) with Paddy Power.
Video clip Rating: 4 / five
The Fulham manager Martin Jol has revealed that the star striker Dimitar Berbatov has been overloaded with lot of work due to the injury to Bryan Ruiz. Bryan Ruiz has been absent for more than a month now. During this period, Dimitar Berbatov has not been employed in his favourite position. The Bulgarian striker has also worked immensely hard for the team during this period, but it has consequently taken the toll in the other end of the pitch. After the promising early start to the season following the arrival of Berbatov, Fulham’s performances and results have dipped in recent weeks. They have won just one match in lost nine encounters in the league.
As a result, they find themselves in the 13th position with just one victory in the last five matches. They are also just five points above the relegation zone, which is a source of concern for the manager. He has admitted that things have not been going according to plan for them in recent weeks, which has been partly down to the injury suffered by Bryan Ruiz. His injury has meant that the workload of two players has been put upon the Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov, who was immensely successful in his first few matches as the Fulham player.
“Dimitar knows how important Ruiz is to us. Berbatov has been filling in that role of a No.10 and it was a bit of a surprise at the start of the season that he could play there. At one stage, he covered 12 kilometres and it was a record for him. But you have to get the ball up to your best players and they play in the front four. We were one of the best teams in the league last year, that is what I want and that is what Berbatov wants,” said Martin Jol.
Movie Rating: 4 / five
The QPR manager Harry Redknapp has praised the Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov by saying that he is the signing of the summer. The London club Fulham managed took his services for just around £ 5 million from Manchester United. He almost signed for the Italian club Fiorentina before making a U-turn to sign for Fulham. He has been brilliant for the London club so far this campaign after helping them to the 13th position in the table. He has scored 5 Premier league goals for Fulham since making the move from Manchester United. More than the goals, he has been influential in terms of assisting other players as well.
The former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who recently took over at QPR, has praised the Bulgarian the saying that he has been one of the best signings of the summer. QPR could certainly do with the presence of a player like Berbatov after failing to win the first 16 matches of the Premier League season. They have created a new Premier League record by doing so. Redknapp, though, is confident that wins are just around the corner after seeing his team being undefeated since his arrival. The team has drawn all of the matches in which he has been in charge.
“I thought he was the signing of the summer, I was surprised more teams didn’t go for him. I think he could play for any team in the country. There’s not a team he’s not good enough to play in. It won’t be easy, Fulham have done well and they’re tough team to beat. Martin Jol has done well with them so it will be a difficult game. But we’re at home It’s a London derby we’ve got to give it everything we’ve got,” said Redknapp ahead of the match with Fulham.
Video clip Rating: four / five