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Both sides are desperate for victory here but our tipster expects a tight, tense affair when Gustavo Poyet's Black Cats are the visitors to Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon

There is a crunch clash at the foot of the English Premier League this weekend as basement boys Sunderland travel to west London to face fellow strugglers Fulham.

Rene Meulensteen’s side are just two points clear of the relegation zone despite enjoying vital victories over Norwich City and West Ham United over the festive period and the Cottagers are available at 5/4 (2.25) with William Hill to get the better of the Black Cats this weekend.

Sunderland, though, will be buoyed by their midweek Capital One Cup victory over Manchester United and Gustavo Poyet will be keen to see his side build upon the momentum of that result here.

The Black Cats have lost just one of their last eight matches in all competitions and the visitors are chalked up at 12/5 (3.40) with William Hill to pick up another three points at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon. The draw is rated as a 21/10 (3.10) chance with the same firm.

Clint Dempsey, on loan from Seattle Sounders, is set to make his second Premier League debut for the
Cottagers this weekend and Fulham backers will be tempted by William Hill’s “headline offer” 9/2 (5.50) quote that the USA international nets at any time in a home win.

Sunderland’s on-loan striker, Fabio Borini, was the hero for the Black Cats in midweek as he grabbed the winning goal against Manchester United in the Capital One Cup and the Italian is the subject of William Hill’s “headline offer” surrounding the Black Cats.

The odds compilers offer 8/1 (9.0) that the 22-year-old Italian nets at any time in a win for Gustavo Poyet’s men.

It is worth noting that Sunderland have kept three clean sheets in their last four games on the road and having come from 2-0 down to force a draw against Cardiff City in their last away game, the Black Cats will travel in confident mood.

Should Gustavo Poyet’s men succeed in keeping things tight, there is value to be had in backing the 10/11 (1.91) quote from William Hill for fewer than three goals to be scored is appealing here.

Both sides will be desperate to avoid defeat here and the 21/10 (3.10) quote from William Hill for the match to end all square is the recommended play for punters, while the chunky 6/1 (7.0) quote from the same firm for the 1-1 draw represents good value here.

Draw at 21/10 (3.10) 2pts stake with William Hill

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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