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Premier League

  • 11 May 2014
  • • 15:00
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 24447
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Fulham - Crystal Palace Preview: Hosts end 13-year stay in Premier League

Fulham - Crystal Palace Preview: Hosts end 13-year stay in Premier League

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A 4-1 defeat to Stoke City last time out ended the Cottagers' hopes of avoiding relegation, while the Eagles will look to cap off a fine second half of the season in style

Fulham bring the curtain down on 13 seasons of Premier League football when they welcome London rivals Crystal Palace to Craven Cottage.

Having battled relegation for the vast majority of a campaign that has seen the departures of Martin Jol and Rene Meulensteen, Fulham's fate was finally sealed by a lacklustre 4-1 defeat at Stoke City last weekend.

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Current boss Felix Magath was crestfallen after the capital club were consigned to the drop, but the Craven Cottage outfit have since confirmed that the German will keep his job.

The former Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg coach Magath is likely to work with a vastly different squad in the Championship.

Sunday is, therefore, a potential farewell for the likes of John Heitinga. Giorgos Karagounis, Mahamadou Diarra and John Arne Riise, who are all out of contract, while knee-injury victim Damien Duff has already confirmed he will move on.

Record signing Kostas Mitroglou featured from the bench at the Britannia Stadium last weekend - only his third appearance owing to fitness issues - and the £11.5 million striker could also conclude his disappointing short stay with Fulham.

Magath has pledged to turn to homegrown talent next term and the likes Dan Burn, Cauley Woodrow and Patrick Roberts - the star of Fulham's FA Youth Cup final side - are all in contention to feature on Sunday,

The mood at Palace could scarcely be further removed from the misery engulfing their hosts.

A 4-1 defeat to Fulham at Selhurst Park in November left Palace with three points from eight games - five points adrift from safety - and resulted in Ian Holloway ending his tenure as manager.

Since appointing Tony Pulis as Holloway's successor, the turnaround in fortunes from a team seemingly doomed to relegation to a one finishing the season in mid-table comfort has been remarkable.

It took leaders Manchester City to end a club record-equalling run of five matches without defeat last month, but Palace made their presence felt in the title race on Monday.

From 3-0 down against Liverpool, they rallied with three goals in the final 11 minutes to secure a dramatic 3-3 draw by demonstrating the battling qualities synonymous with the Pulis era.

Dwight Gayle came off the bench to net Palace's second and third goals against Brendan Rodgers' men and could be handed a start on the final day, although Cameron Jerome is expected to recover from illness to give Pulis a full-strength squad.

Julian Speroni was named as the club's player of the year this week, but the popular Argentine goalkeeper could play last game for Palace on Sunday as he is out of contract this summer.

The 34-year-old told the club's official website: "It's been a very emotional week for me and it's always nice to be rewarded, but this is a special award for me."

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Fulham

Crystal Palace

Wins
3
1
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Fulham FC FUL
Fulham FC Fulham
Draw
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Crystal Palace FC Crystal Palace
29%
57%

Top 3 Predictions

Fulham FC FUL
1 - 3
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Fulham FC FUL
1 - 0
Crystal Palace FC CRY
Fulham FC FUL
0 - 1
Crystal Palace FC CRY

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