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Murphy could make shock start at Liberty.


MARTIN JOL has hinted Danny Murphy could be in line for a shock start against Swansea City tomorrow - just days after ruling him out.

And the Fulham boss suggested ex-Wales star Simon Davies could also be involved in the Liberty Stadium clash after six months on the sidelines.

Haverfordwest-born Davies has not figured since a knee injury in June forced him to go under the knife. But the 32-year-old came through a reserve outing on Wednesday unscathed, leading Dutchman Jol to suggest he could yet make his comeback in South Wales.

It will be a surprise should the 58-cap midfielder be thrown back into action so soon, as would the appearance of playmaker Murphy in South Wales after Jol had ruled him out of any chance of making the Premier League game just 48 hours ago.

Murphy damaged his ankle in the win over Liverpool earlier this week, with former Spurs boss Jol claiming he could be without his talisman for a matter of weeks.

But Jol now insists Murphy will have a fitness test later today with a place against Swansea a real possibility.

He said: "Danny is probably involved because he is a quick healer. He will have a test.

"His ankle was swollen up but it is better now so I hope he can be involved. It's touch and go."

Jol had hoped Steve Sidwell could take his place in the Cottagers' midfield, but with the former Arsenal, Reading, Chelsea and Villa man still struggling to recover from a hernia operation it seems Jol is ready to take a risk over both Murphy and Davies, adding: "Simon played 70 minutes for the first time with the reserves and looked well.

"He gave himself seven out of 10 fitness-wise so I will, if he is fine on Friday, involve him in the squad."

Damien Duff and Chris Baird will definitely miss the trip to take on Brendan Rodgers' men, a key clash with just one point and two places separating the two sides.

But Jol will hope his frontman will give his side the edge in tomorrow's meeting, including striker Mousa Dembele who he claims can reach the same heights as Spanish legend Raul.

With the transfer window reopening in less than a month, speculation has begun over reinforcements Jol may bring to the club in January.

Marseille's Andre-Pierre Gignac has been heavily linked with a move to Fulham, while Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega and former Real Madrid man Raul have also been mentioned.

The latter would be a particularly audacious signing and Jol has quashed talk of a move for Spain's all-time record scorer, insisting Dembele can be just as good.

"It is not our philosophy to make signings like Raul," he said. "He is a star but I have another star in that position, who will probably be the same as Raul in the future. Mousa Dembele is on the way to becoming a fantastic player. "Bryan Ruiz can also play there and we have a young player that can play in that position that you probably don't know in Kerim Frei. I have Pajtim Kasami, who is 19 years old, so I would probably be crazy to get another player in that position."

Jol also ruled out a move for Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, who he knows well having originally brought him to England while in charge of Tottenham.


[bar] Danny Murphy is led off the field against Liverpool
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 9, 2011
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