Team News

Friday 19 October 2012 14:12

Martin Jol has welcome selection headaches as his Fulham side prepare to face Aston Villa at Craven Cottage on Saturday (3pm).

Dimitar Berbatov, Mladen Petric and Hugo Rodallega are all vying for a starting berth up front, whilst Mahamadou Diarra’s early return from injury gives our Manager another option in midfield.

“Most of the squad are back, sound and fit,” Jol said in his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon.

“Dimitar trained with us for the last 10 days and was good but Bryan Ruiz is a doubt after he came back [from international duty] injured. He played 45 minutes and had to come off and he’s a doubt to be selected. He’s got a little problem with his groin.

“Berbatov will certainly be involved, he will play. Most of them are back in contention and we’ve got a big squad now because everyone is back. Bryan Ruiz is the only doubt and, of course, the long-term [injured] players like Simon Davies.

“Diarra is back too and he is almost a miracle. I thought it would be a bit longer as I was told it could be three or four weeks, or longer. He needed an operation but he did everything we did over the last couple of weeks so he will be involved.”

Villa arrive in London looking for a first away win of the Barclays Premier League season, but Jol warned that the Whites still face a difficult task at the weekend.

“I saw Aston Villa win away to Manchester City [in the Capital One Cup] and I saw them have a result against Newcastle United,” he explained. “They had a bad result at Southampton but you couldn’t say that their away form was terrible.

“Even against Tottenham Hotspur they did okay, although they lost, so I think they are in a false position in the league. If you look at their quality and their system, they still try to dominate possession and they’ve got a few players who have got the quality to upset the opposition.”