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Premier League

  • October 5, 2013
  • • 10:00 AM
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: R. East
  • • Attendance: 24634
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Premier League Preview: Fulham - Stoke City

Mark Hughes left the Cottagers in 2011, and while he says he may have been wrong to do so, he now has the opportunity to pile the pressure on his under-fire counterpart.

Struggling Fulham will seek to arrest a five-game winless run in the Premier League when it welcomes Stoke City on Saturday.

Martin Jol's side slipped into the bottom three thanks to a last-gasp 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City last weekend and it has not won at Craven Cottage in its last seven league matches.

Fulham's home record against Stoke does offer some cause for optimism, however, with the London club having prevailed in seven of its last eight meetings.

Dimitar Berbatov's first-half strike proved the difference last season, but the Bulgarian striker is yet to score a league goal this term.

In fact, no Fulham player has managed more than one goal in the top flight so far in this campaign, although Berbatov and Darren Bent were both on target in the 2-1 Capital One Cup victory over Everton.

Its hunt for a first league win since the opening day will be hindered by the absence of Scott Parker, who lasted just seven minutes of the Cardiff clash before being withdrawn with a calf injury.

Fellow midfielder Ashkan Dejagah is also set to miss out with the same problem, having featured just once this season; the Capital One Cup first-round triumph against League Two side Burton Albion.

Defender Aaron Hughes is also ruled out after suffering a knock in training.

The visitors, who have not won in three league matches, tend to struggle on the road and this weekend's clash will mark their 100th away game in the Premier League.

With just 15 wins so far, Mark Hughes will know that his side will have to up its game if it is to pile more pressure on Martin Jol.

The Welshman has few selection concerns to contend with, although he confirmed that Jonathan Walters faces a late fitness test.

"Jon Walters is the big doubt for the game, but apart from that we are okay," he said. "We have one or two bumps and bruises in the camp, but nothing that should keep any of the lads out of the game on Saturday."

Meanwhile, Hughes has been quick to play down the prospect of facing his former club, having resigned from his post at Craven Cottage in 2011 after less than a year in charge.

"I don't think I am going there with a point to prove," he insisted. "I am sure that most Fulham supporters will have looked at the job that I did there and be very happy with it. We had a slow start but made a very strong finish, and ended up in eighth position in the Premier League, which was a fantastic finish for us.

"In hindsight, maybe I made the wrong decision (to leave). When I was there I had a few doubts about one or two things, and maybe saw things differently to others.

"But I am here at Stoke now and my sole focus is on going there, performing to the best of our abilities and winning the game. They had a disappointing result last time out and we have been good away from home, so we are going there in good spirits."

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English Premier League (EPL) ‎(EPL)‎ Oct 5, 2013 Fulham 1 - Stoke 0
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Last Five Matches
Fulham
Sep 13, 2014Reading 3 - Fulham 0ENG2
Aug 30, 2014Fulham 1 - Cardiff City 1ENG2
Aug 26, 2014Brentford 0 - Fulham 1CCUP
Aug 23, 2014Derby 5 - Fulham 1ENG2
Aug 20, 2014Fulham 0 - Wolves 1ENG2
Stoke
Sep 13, 2014Stoke 0 - Leicester 1EPL
Aug 30, 2014Manchester City 0 - Stoke 1EPL
Aug 27, 2014Stoke 3 - Portsmouth 0CCUP
Aug 24, 2014Hull 1 - Stoke 1EPL
Aug 16, 2014Stoke 0 - Aston Villa 1EPL
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-David StockdaleGoalkeeper
14Philippe SenderosDefender
-Brede HangelandDefender
20Sascha RietherMidfielder
35AmorebietaDefender
4Steve SidwellMidfielder
10Pajtim KasamiMidfielder
14Georgios KaragounisMidfielder
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
11Bryan RuizStriker
16Damien DuffMidfielder
38Neil EtheridgeGoalkeeper
22Elsad ZverotićDefender
11Kieran RichardsonMidfielder
10Adel TaarabtMidfielder
9D. BoatengMidfielder
20Hugo RodallegaStriker
39Darren BentStriker
1Asmir BegovicGoalkeeper
3Erik PietersDefender
4Robert HuthDefender
12Marc WilsonDefender
17Ryan ShawcrossDefender
20Geoff CameronDefender
15Steven N'ZonziMidfielder
26Matthew EtheringtonMidfielder
32Stephen IrelandMidfielder
10Marko ArnautovicStriker
19Jonathan WaltersStriker
29Thomas SørensenGoalkeeper
6Glenn WhelanMidfielder
8W. PalaciosMidfielder
16Charlie AdamMidfielder
9Kenwyne JonesStriker
24Oussama AssaidiStriker
25Peter CrouchStriker

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