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Football: Cherries to blossom at the Cottage.

CLUBS with the bulging bank accounts and high-profile personnel are bound to attract shorter prices than they deserve. Take, for example, the game between Fulham and BOURNEMOUTH at Craven Cottage.

Nobody of sound mind could argue about Fulham's right to be firm favourites with ground advantage, but Stanley are surely paying too much homage to the Messiah Keegan with their 4-7 quote.

Fulham have made an undeniably good start. Narrow winners at Macclesfield on the opening day, they then butchered Manchester City 3-0 at home before obliging at Colchester last week. They also beat Cardiff 2-1 in both legs of a Worthington Cup tie.

Aside from the massacre of a shambolic Manchester City, Fulham's other two league wins have been by 1-0 margins over sides just promoted, and there were question-marks over the legitimacy of Paul Peschisolido's assist in their success at Colchester where United were worth a point.

You would not deduce it from their dismissive 9-2 quote from Stanley, but Bournemouth have taken maximum points from three league matches against Lincoln, Notts County and Millwall.

The Cherries also edged out Colchester 4-3 on aggregate in the Worthington Cup, so their record is not dissimilar to that of Fulham and they must surely appeal to any punter with a sense of adventure.

ROTHERHAM are a less speculative choice at 13-8 with William Hill to win at Cardiff, who gained a first win of the season when winning at Shrewsbury eight days ago.

The Millers have set off as though determined to atone for last season's inexplicable failure to clinch promotion, beating Hull, Orient and Cambridge.

Sterner tests await Ronnie Moore's side but the goals are rattling in, as indeed they should be with a strike-force of Jason White and Lee Glover.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 29, 1998
Words:292
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