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Premier League

  • 4 January 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 23654
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Fulham - West Bromwich Albion Preview: David Stockdale starts in goal in place of Asian Cup-bound Mark Schwarzer

Fulham - West Bromwich Albion Preview: David Stockdale starts in goal in place of Asian Cup-bound Mark Schwarzer

TEAM NEWS

Fulham

Mark Hughes will be without goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who is away on international duty representing Australia in the Asian Cup. David Stockdale will replace the Aussie in goal while academy graduate keeper Neil Etheridge will be on the bench.

Meanwhile, the Cottagers are still without Matthew Briggs (ankle), Fredrik Stoor (groin), Bobby Zamora (leg) and Philippe Senderos (calf).

Possible starting line-up: Stockdale; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Pantsil; Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies; Dempsey, Johnson.

West Brom

Roberto Di Matteo will welcome back Gonzalo Jara after the defender served a one-match suspension in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.

But that is where the good news ends for the Italian boss as Steven Reid (knee) and Pablo Ibanez (hamstring) have been ruled out for the trip to Craven Cottage.

Olsson is still ruled out with an achilles injury and Gabriel Tamas serves the second of his three match ban to add to the Baggies defensive woes.

Possible starting line-up: Carson; Zuiverloon, Scharner, Meite Shorey; Mulumbu, Dorrans, Morrison, Brunt, Thomas; Odemwingie.

It's a tight league

With the Premier League table so tight, few points seperate the teams in the middle of the table which gives every game its own importance.

Fulham now find themselves in the bottom three after losing to Tottenham at the weekend but if they manage a victory against West Brom they could move level on points with the west Midlands side, who currently lie in 14th.

Mark Hughes' side could move up to as high as 13th with a win which show the tight line between success and failure.

The Cottagers have had a mixed Christmas period after picking up their first away win of the season against Stoke and losing to London derbies to Tottenham and relegation rivals West Ham.

They will be hoping to make it two wins over the festive season against a side who have lost four league games on the bounce.

But West Brom's results do not do justice to their form as Roberto Di Matteo's men have performed well without getting results.

They really troubled the league leaders Manchester United on Saturday without getting reward for their efforts.

Their task at Craven Cottage does not get any easier as they are without a host of first-team defenders for the trip. Di Matteo's squad is down to the bare bones and if they don't halt their run of bad results soon they could find themselves in deep trouble.

Home success

In the past few meetings between the two side the home side has triumphed on each occasion.

The Baggies won the corresponding fixture 2-1 at the Hawthorns back in October while Fulham triumphed 2-0 at the cottage back in 2009.

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Players to watch

A. Johnson

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Andrew Johnson is finally finding his feet once again after injury and Fulham will be hoping he can get back into goal scoring form. His pace and his ability making runs in behind defences will cause West Brom problems. When he gets a chance the former Crystal Palace star will more than likely put the ball in the back of the net.

J. Thomas

Position: Defender

Games: 0

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Jerome Thomas caused huge problems for Manchester United with his pace and trickery at the weekend. He showed great feet to win a penalty against Rio Ferdinand and Roberto Di Matteo will be hoping his winger can show more of the same in west London.

Editor's Prediction

Neither side have enjoyed much success of late. Fulham are struggling to find the back of the net while West Brom just can’t seem to stop losing. A low-scoring draw is on the cards.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Fulham

West Bromwich Albion

Wins
2
3
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Fulham FC FUL
Fulham FC Fulham
Draw
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
West Bromwich Albion FC West Bromwich Albion
54%
24%
22%

Top 3 Predictions

Fulham FC FUL
1 - 0
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
Fulham FC FUL
1 - 1
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
Fulham FC FUL
2 - 1
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA

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