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Premier League

  • 29 December 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: A. Marriner
  • • Attendance: 25700
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Fulham - Swansea Preview: Cottagers seeking only their second win in 12 games

Martin Jol's men have endured a miserable couple of months, but are boosted by the return from injury of Bryan Ruiz and the absence of Michu from the opposition line-up

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

Fulham

Schwarzer
Riether, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise
Dejagah, Sidwell, Baird, Kacaniklic
Ruiz
Berbatov
SWANSEA

Vorm
Tiendalli, Chico Flores, Williams, Davies
Dyer, Britton, Ki, Routledge
Pablo Hernandez
 Shechter

Phillipe Senderos was preferred to Aaron Hughes alongside Brede Hangeland in the 1-1 draw against Southampton on Boxing Day, and he may keep his place in the side against Swansea.

Bryan Ruiz made his comeback from the hamstring injury that kept him out for over a month as a half-time substitute in that game, and could now return to the starting line-up.

Leading scorer Michu is a serious doubt for the visitors, after suffering an ankle injury in the 0-0 draw against Reading, and may be replaced up front by Itay Shechter.

Pablo Hernandez (thigh) is in contention after spending a month on the sidelines, but this match may come too soon for Angel Rangel (calf).

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Fulham have only won one of their last 11 Premier League matches.
  • The Swans did the double over Martin Jol's men last season without conceding a goal, and the 3-0 win at Craven Cottage was the Londoners' second heaviest home defeat of the season (behind only Manchester United's 5-0 thrashing).
  • Michu may miss his first Premier League match for Swansea on Saturday - without his goals Swansea would be in 16th rather than ninth place.
  • Dimitar Berbatov's (pictured, right) goals, on the other hand, have only won the Cottagers three points this season.
  • Eight of Fulham's 29 goals this season have been scored by substitutes, the highest proportion in the Premier League
  • Swansea have scored 93 per cent of their goals this season from open play, the highest amount in the top-flight.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
13David StockdaleGoalkeeper
5Brede HangelandDefender
17Matthew BriggsDefender
18Aaron HughesDefender
20Sascha RietherMidfielder
4Steve SidwellMidfielder
14Georgios KaragounisMidfielder
21Kerim FreiMidfielder
24Ashkan DejagahStriker
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
11Bryan RuizStriker
38Neil EtheridgeGoalkeeper
2Stephen KellyDefender
3John Arne RiiseDefender
14Philippe SenderosDefender
6Chris BairdDefender
15Kieran RichardsonMidfielder
20Hugo RodallegaStriker
25Gerhard TremmelGoalkeeper
6Ashley WilliamsDefender
21Dwight TiendalliDefender
22Ángel RangelDefender
11Pablo HernándezMidfielder
12Nathan DyerMidfielder
15Wayne RoutledgeMidfielder
20Jonathan De GuzmánMidfielder
26Kemy AgustienMidfielder
30Danny GrahamStriker
1Michel VormGoalkeeper
27Kyle BartleyDefender
33Ben DaviesDefender
7Leon BrittonMidfielder
4Sung-Yong KiMidfielder
9Itay ShechterStriker
8Luke MooreStriker
Players to Watch
Bryan Ruiz
Bryan Ruiz
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
It is no coincidence that Fulham's downturn in fortunes over the last month has coincided with the absence of the Costa Rican schemer pulling the strings from the centre of midfield. Ruiz had just started to come into his own before succumbing to a hamstring injury, and his ability to glide around the pitch and pick out a telling pass is vital in filling the void left by the departed Mousa Dembele at the heart of the Cottagers' line-up.
Wayne Routledge
Wayne Routledge
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 15
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
With main marksman Michu likely to be missing through injury, Michael Laudrup will be looking for other players to step up and take on some of the goal-scoring burden for his side. Routledge is one player who has demonstrated an eye for goal this season, as the former Fulham man is his side's second top-scorer with four goals to his name - nine fewer than Michu. The winger has already hit the back of the net more often than in any of his previous Premier League seasons, and he will need to bring his shooting boots to Craven Cottage if the visitors are to unsettle a shaky Fulham defence.
Prediction
Swansea have shown themselves to be resilient opponents over their last few away games, but will surely miss Michu's cutting edge up front. The return of Ruiz should provide a huge boost to Martin Jol's side, whose leaky defence means that they may have to settle for a share of the spoils for the second consecutive home game.
Editor's Prediction
Fulham 1

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