West Brom - Fulham Preview: Strong hosts Baggies aim to prolong Cottagers' away day blues

Steve Clarke's men have lost just twice at home all season, and, with a place in Europe in their sights, will hope that run continues against Martin Jol's struggling travellers


Jones, Tamas, McAuley, Ridgewell
Thorne, Brunt
Dorrans, Gera, Odemwingie

Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise
Dejagah, Sidwell, Baird, Kacaniklic

Steve Clarke has rotated his squad so far over the festive period and could make more changes ahead of Tuesday's visit of Fulham as he deals with several injuries.

Claudio Yacob (hamstring) could return but George Thorne is set to continue if this match comes to soon for the Argentine midfielder.

Goran Popov, Youssuf Mulumbu (both hamstring), Steven Reid (calf/shin) and Jonas Olsson (groin/pelvis) remain doubtful, however, having all missed the defeat against Manchester United.

Mark Schwarzer (neck) is expected to come straight back into Martin Jol's starting XI after injury, with David Stockdale's error-prone performance against Swansea City doing nothing to enhance the his chances of holding onto the No.1 jersey.

Damien Duff (calf) is again expected to miss out through injury, but Simon Davies could make his long-awaited return, with the Welshman yet to make an appearance this season due to a hip problem.

After coming through his first start since mid-November unscathed, Bryan Ruiz is again expected to partner Dimitar Berbatov in attack.

  • West Brom have kept clean sheets in just two of their last 48 Premier League games.
  • The Baggies have won just two of their last 20 matches that referee Mike Dean has taken charge of.
  • Steve Clarke's men have won seven of their ten home league games so far this season.
  • Zoltan Gera is currently enjoying his second spell at the Hawthorns after three years at Fulham. The Hungarian scored 17 times in 120 appearances for the Cottagers, and played an integral role as Fulham reached the Europa League final in 2010, scoring two in Fulham's famous 4-1 over Italian giants Juventus and the winner in the club's semi-final victory over Hamburg.
  • Fulham have only won one of their last 12 Premier League matches.
  • Eight of Fulham's 30 goals this season have been scored by substitutes, the highest proportion in the Premier League.
  • Martin Jol's side have won just once away all season.
  • Current Cottager Kieran Richardson (pictured right) spent the end of the 2004-05 season on loan at West Brom. He scored three times in 12 appearances as the Baggies pulled off a remarkable escape from relegation, including one in the club's must-win final match of the season against Portsmouth, with his good form earning him a call-up to the senior England squad.
  • In Premier League history the away side has never returned home from this fixture victorious.
  • Mike Dean has taken charge of this match once before, back in September 2004. The game at the Hawthorns ended in a 1-1 draw, as Dean handed out seven yellow cards and three reds!