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P.J. Murray 10th Sep 2011 - 14:43

Steve Kean to come away from Fulham feeling Jolly

Post transfer window matches can throw up surprises as players and squads settle down and none more so than Steve Kean will hope his side can cause an upset at Craven Cottage.

The pressure has been on the Blackburn manager from day one and without a win he will need to get some points on the board soon. Blackburn have never lost their opening four league games, and as one of only four clubs to have won the Division it's a testament to how far they have fallen.

Fulham have brought in 31-year-old Zdenek Grygera and the £10.6m Bryan Ruiz, which could turn out to be a very shrewd gamble. The Costa Rican has scored 33 goals in 61 league appearances for FC Twente and looked quite handy at the Copa America. Steve Kean was also busy, he picked up the highly rated David Goodwillie and the Montenegro international Simon Vukcevic. So there is a level of uncertainty about both sides which could create an exciting encounter.

Craven Cottage is no stranger to last minute drama. Theo Walcott saved Arsenal's blushes last season with an 89th minute strike to help salvage fourth place for the Gunners. Also last season Fulham managed to get a draw against Man Utd with an 89th minute strike. So we are offering another superb Match Winner were we are enhancing the price of any goal to be scored in the last 10 minutes from 6/4 to 7/4.

The home side are understandably favourites at 4/6 to come away with three points. This will be their 12th match of the season, which has included Europa League games. Blackburn are 9/2 to take all points but it must be noted that although they have lost their last two games at Craven Cottage, they are the only two of their last 10 games that have ended in defeat.

Yakubu is going to be a big target for Rovers if he starts, this is probably the biggest gamble on the pitch. If he can recapture his form pre 2008 when an Achilles injury blighted his career he could be a revelation for Blackburn. The big center forward is 9/1 to score first and 10/3 to bag a goal at anytime.

A new signing also leads the market for Fulham in terms of first goal scorer, Ruiz is a lot shorter at 9/2 to star his Fulham career off the perfect way. You can also back him at slight odds against, 6/5, to score anytime.

This could be a low scoring game, Fulham have only netted once in their last three competitive games, all ended in losses. Blackburn on the other hand have four goals to their name, but three of them came against Sheffield Wednesday in the Carling Cup, so how much of a yard stick that can really be remains to be seen. The unders are priced accordingly at 7/10 for under 2.5 and 9/4 for under 1.5.

For me a handicap draw at 5/2 with Fulham minus a goal looks to be a good bet as I can't see Fulham running away with the game, but I also can't see Blackburn winning.


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