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2 vs 0
Played
January 22, 2011 10:00 AM EST
Craven Cottage — London
Referee:‬ S. Attwell‎
Attendance:‬ 23766‎
 
 
56′ (PG) Clint Dempsey
 

Premier League Preview: Fulham - Stoke City

By Grant Wilson

Cottagers Remain Draw Specialists

Fulham have been the draw specialists in the Premier League season, with 11 of their 22 matches ending in stalemates, and manager Mark Hughes knows that the Cottagers need to start turning some of the draws into wins if they are going to improve on their current position of 15th in the table.

In the reverse fixture just after Christmas, Fulham managed only three shots on target, but returned to London with the three points, winning by a two goal margin, and by picking up two wins in their last two home games – a 6-2 victory over Peterborough and a 3-0 win over West Brom – Hughes' men will want to turn Craven Cottage into a fortress.

Stoke Defying Expectations

Stoke City, meanwhile, continue to defy start of season expectations and currently sit in eighth position in the Premier League table. The Potters eased to victory over Bolton last week, and secured another victory days later as they beat Cardiff to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup, so Pulis will be looking for more of the same as they head to London.

Unlike their opponents, Stoke have drawn the joint fewest games in the division - a total of 3 - but do boast a record of scoring almost half of their goals from set-pieces, which remains their strongest weapon.

And it could take just the one goal from a set-piece to secure the win for the Potters as five out of the last eight league meetings between the two sides have ended in 1-0 wins, including the last three meetings at Craven Cottage.

TEAM NEWS

Fulham

Steve Sidwell could make his home debut for the Cottagers after his arrival from Aston Villa, while Andy Johnson will be hoping for a place in the starting line-up after he scored the equaliser against Wigan Athletic last weekend.

Belgian front-man Moussa Dembele will feature again as he returns to full fitness following eight weeks out with injury.

But manager Mark Hughes continues to be without striker Bobby Zamora who is still recovering from a broken leg, Matthew Briggs and Philippe Senderos (both calf).

Possible starting XI: Stockdale; Paintsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Baird; Davies, Sidwell, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff; Dempsey.

Stoke City

Norwegian striker John Carew could make his debut for Stoke if he completes his loan move to the Britannia Stadium from Aston Villa in time.

Meanwhile, manager Tony Pulis has no fresh injury concerns after seeing his side beat Cardiff 2-0 in the FA Cup third round replay on Tuesday.

Pulis made 10 changes to the side that beat Bolton last weekend for the clash against the Welsh side in midweek, so the likes of Asmir Begovic, Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross and Kenwyne Jones could return to the starting line-up.

Jonathan Walters could also push for a place in the side, but is most likely have to settle for a seat on the bench despite his goalscoring exploits in midweek.

Pulis remains without Eidur Gudjohnson who has a neck injury, although Mali striker Mamady Sidibe is fit again after a lengthy spell on the sidelines but is short of match fitness.

Possible starting XI: Begovic; Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Collins; Pennant, Whitehead, Delap, Etherington; Fuller, Jones.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
13David StockdaleGoalkeeper
4John PaintsilDefender
5Brede HangelandDefender
18Aaron HughesDefender
6Chris BairdDefender
2Clint DempseyStriker
13Danny MurphyMidfielder
20Dickson EtuhuMidfielder
16Damien DuffMidfielder
8Andy JohnsonStriker
30Mousa DembeleStriker
-Neil EtheridgeGoalkeeper
30C. SalcidoDefender
-Diomansy KamaraStriker
29Simon DaviesMidfielder
7Steve SidwellMidfielder
22Zoltán GeraMidfielder
5Rafik HallicheDefender
1Asmir BegovicGoalkeeper
28Andy WilkinsonDefender
4Robert HuthDefender
17Ryan ShawcrossDefender
5Danny CollinsDefender
24Rory DelapMidfielder
12Marc WilsonDefender
18Dean WhiteheadMidfielder
26Matthew EtheringtonMidfielder
9Kenwyne JonesStriker
17Tuncay ŞanlıMidfielder
29Thomas SørensenGoalkeeper
25Abdoulaye FayeDefender
7Jermaine PennantMidfielder
10Ricardo FullerStriker
19Jonathan WaltersStriker
10John Alieu CarewStriker
6Glenn WhelanMidfielder
Probable Lineups
David Stockdale 13
John Paintsil 4
Brede Hangeland 5
Aaron Hughes 18
Chris Baird 6
Clint Dempsey 2
Danny Murphy 13
Dickson Etuhu 20
Damien Duff 16
Andy Johnson 8
Mousa Dembele 30
Asmir Begovic 1
Andy Wilkinson 28
Robert Huth 4
Ryan Shawcross 17
Danny Collins 5
Rory Delap 24
Marc Wilson 12
Dean Whitehead 18
Matthew Etherington 26
Kenwyne Jones 9
Tuncay Şanlı 17
Prediction
Editor's Prediction
Fulham 0
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