Fulham - Tottenham Preview: Spurs looking for their sixth straight league win over the Cottagers
Martin Jol will be desperate to end the winless streak against his former club, while Andre-Villas-Boas is hoping to make it three victories in a row and climb into a top-four spot
By Shane Farrington
Riether, Senderos, Hughes, Riise
Dejagah, Sidwell, Diarra, Duff
Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen
Lennon, Dembele, Sandro, Bale
Fulham boss Martin Jol could make a couple of changes from the side that held Chelsea to a goalless draw on Wednesday, as he looks to freshen things up. The defence is likely to remain unchanged as Brede Hangeland serves the last match of his three-game suspension.
Changes may come further forward though - experienced midfielder Giorgos Karagounis could drop to the bench with Ashkan Dejagah pushing for a place. Dimitar Berbatov may also get a new striker partner, with Mladen Petric challenging Hugo Rodallega for a place. However, Alex Kacaniklic, Kieran Richardson and Bryan Ruiz all remain sidelined with hamstring injuries.
As for the visitors, Andre Villas-Boas is unlikely to tinker too much from the starting XI that beat Liverpool 2-1. Ex-Lyon man Hugo Lloris looks to have established himself as the club’s number one and is set to start at Craven Cottage. Steven Caulker could recover from illness in time to start, most likely at the expense of Michael Dawson.
With Emmanuel Adebayor still suspended following his straight red card against Arsenal the rest of the side should be unchanged. Key players Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul (both knee) and Scott Parker (Achilles) are still unavailable.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov (pictured right) has scored five times in nine league appearances since joining from Manchester United - just two shy of the tally he reached for his former side last year.
- The Cottagers and the weekend's visitors are the joint-third highest scorers in the Premier League so far this season - netting 25 times each from their 14 matches so far. Only Manchester City (27) and Manchester United (33) have scored more.
- However, both sides also have the joint-fourth worst defensive record in the league after conceding 23 goals apiece. Just Wigan (25), QPR (26) and Southampton (31) have let in more.
- Tottenham got the better of their London rivals in last season’s meeting at the Cottage, winning 3-1. Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe got the goals for the visitors, with their team-mate Younes Kaboul netting an own goal.
- Spurs have an impressive recent record in meetings between the two teams - managing to win their last five league games against Fulham.
- England international Jermain Defoe is Andre Villas-Boas’ side's leading scorer in the league so far this season with seven goals.
He is 5/1 to score the first goal with bet365.
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Top 3 Predictions
Fulham 1-3 Tottenham
- 16.14 %
Fulham 1-2 Tottenham
- 15.55 %
Fulham 0-2 Tottenham
- 11.78 %
|Premier League (EPL)||4 Dec 2013||Fulham 1 - Tottenham 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||17 Mar 2013||Tottenham 0 - Fulham 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Dec 2012||Fulham 0 - Tottenham 3|
|Premier League (EPL)||13 May 2012||Tottenham 2 - Fulham 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||6 Nov 2011||Fulham 1 - Tottenham 3|
|4 Dec 2013||Fulham 1 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||West Ham 3 - Fulham 0||EPL|
|23 Nov 2013||Fulham 1 - Swansea City 2||EPL|
|9 Nov 2013||Liverpool 4 - Fulham 0||EPL|
|2 Nov 2013||Fulham 1 - Manchester United 3||EPL|
|3||John Arne Riise||Defender|
|-||Moussa Sidi Yaya Dembélé||Midfielder|
The Bulgarian has established himself as Fulham’s main man since joining the club. He looks to be reaping the benefits from playing week-in week-out after struggling to hold down a first-team place during his final season at Manchester United. The forward's technical ability is arguably as good as anyone’s in the league and he will be hoping to prove that by getting on the score sheet against his former side.
The former Southampton man has shone in recent weeks and looks to be playing as good as he ever has. Despite netting an own goal against Liverpool he was instrumental against the Reds, grabbing a superb assist and goal in a stunning display. The Cottagers' narrow pitch could hamper his ability to run with the ball but the Wales international still posses enough talent to cause havoc once more.
Goals are likely to be in abundance with both sides good going forward, but at times leaky in defence. The hosts could miss Hangeland’s presence at the back with Defoe, Lennon and Bale in blistering form of late, and the visitors may well edge a high-scoring game.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed