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Premier League

  • January 4, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Craven Cottage, London
  • Referee: M. Atkinson
  • • Attendance: 23654
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Premier League Preview: Fulham - West Bromwich Albion

Premier League Preview: Fulham - West Bromwich Albion

It's A Tight League

With the Premier League table so tight, few points separate 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.

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.


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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
13David StockdaleGoalkeeper
6Chris BairdDefender
18Aaron HughesDefender
5Brede HangelandDefender
4John PaintsilDefender
16Damien DuffMidfielder
13Danny MurphyMidfielder
20Dickson EtuhuMidfielder
29Simon DaviesMidfielder
2Clint DempseyStriker
-Diomansy KamaraStriker
38Neil EtheridgeGoalkeeper
3C. SalcidoDefender
17B. RiiseMidfielder
7Eddie JohnsonStriker
27Jonathan GreeningMidfielder
5Rafik HallicheDefender
22Zoltán GeraMidfielder
22Scott CarsonGoalkeeper
26James HurstDefender
36Gonzalo JaraDefender
2Gianni ZuiverloonDefender
35Marek CechDefender
21Youssouf MulumbuMidfielder
17Graham DorransMidfielder
7James MorrisonMidfielder
14Jerome ThomasDefender
11Chris BruntMidfielder
9Peter OdemwingieStriker
13B. MyhillGoalkeeper
5Somen TchoyiMidfielder
10Ishmael MillerStriker
20Nicky ShoreyDefender
23Abdoulaye MeiteDefender
28Marc-Antoine FortuneStriker
-Simon CoxStriker
Players to Watch
Andy Johnson
Andy Johnson
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
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.
Jerome Thomas
Jerome Thomas
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 14
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
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.
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.
Editor's Prediction
Fulham 1

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