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Jon Riley 2nd Apr 2011 - 13:52

Holloway needs Charlie to keep his team up

Relegation threatened Blackpool travel south to face a Fulham team themselves only three points above the dreaded drop zone.

This season the race to stay in the Premier League is not just confined to the despairing few in the bottom three. Only eight points separate the team in eighteenth position, Wolves, from the team in seventh, Bolton. A decent run of form can propel a team from the depths of the table into alleged mid-table comfort.

That is just what Fulham (4/7 Match Betting) have done. The Cottagers have won four of their last five home league games and a win against Blackpool (9/2) on Sunday lunchtime would take them to 38 points, just two off the accepted safety mark of 40 points.

Blackpool have won just once in ten games and despite occupying a spot in the top half of the Premier League for much of the early part of the season, they are now just a point above the relegation zone. Ian Holloway's men have been applauded for their attacking style, but it does seem that they have now been found out, with the surprise factor surrounding the Seasiders gone.

Mark Hughes will be hoping that Bobby Zamora can recover from a bout of illness to lead the line for Fulham but defender Aaron Hughes is likely to play despite dislocating his shoulder whilst on international duty for Northern Ireland.

The big news for Blackpool is that their skipper and inspirational midfielder Charlie Adam is available for selection. Both he and Stephen Crainey picked up knocks while with Scotland last weekend but fortunately both have been declared fit.

If Bobby Zamora (7/2 first scorer, 10/11 anytime) does not start for the Cottagers then the goal scoring duties will be given to Andy Johnson (4/1 first scorer, EVS anytime) and attacking American midfield Clint Dempsey (9/2 first scorer, 6/5 anytime). Dempsey found the back of the net in Fulham's last game away at Everton, although it was in vain as the Toffees secured a 2-1 win.

The aforementioned Charlie Adam (10/1 first scorer, 7/2 anytime) scored a brace in Blackpool's last game away at Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers. The Scot put away a penalty for the opening goal before curling home a sublime free-kick.

The corresponding fixture at Bloomfield Road was the club's first in the Premier League and ended in a very entertaining 2-2 draw (2-2 correct score 16/1).

My prediction for this game is for a hard fought 1-0 win for the home side, which pays out at odds of 8/1.



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