Premier League Preview: West Bromwich Albion - Fulham

Cottagers To Curb Baggies' Bravado

West Brom's flying start to the season kicked up another gear last weekend with the stunning come-from-behind draw at Old Trafford.

Following on from the win away to Arsenal, Di Matteo's side look perfectly suited to the Premier League. Hughes must now travel to the Hawthorns and try to take the wind out of their sails after the disappointment of the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham that left a bad taste in the mouth.

A win for the Cottagers would see them draw level with Saturday's hosts on 12 points and propel them away from mid-table. The chance to join West Brom in an unlikely Europa League qualification spot even this early in the season would see the managerial duo's stock rise even further.

Too Close To Call

The previous meetings between the two teams has seen neither claim a regular spot in supremacy.

Victories have been traded between them, with the 2008-09 season - the last time West Bromwich Albion were in the top flight - seeing the hosts claim all three points each time.

Hughes will have his fingers crossed, however, that a repeat of the 6-1 thrashing nearly four years ago could be on the cards.


West Bromwich Albion

Last weekend's unbelievable 2-2 draw with Manchester United contained just one negative with the calf strain picked up by Jerome Thomas.

The winger damaged the muscle despite being a late substitute in the contest that was all the more remarkable considering top scorer Peter Odemwingie's absence. However, the Nigeria international looks set to be ready for first team action against Fulham.

Marek Cech is the only other absentee manager Roberto Di Matteo's has to consider when he chooses his 18-man selection.

Probable starting XI: Carson; Jara, Olsson, Tamas, Shorey; Morrison, Tchoyi, Mulumbu, Scharner, Brunt; Odemwingie


Manager Mark Hughes is counting the cost of last weekend's defeat to Tottenham after Danny Murphy and Moussa Dembele both picked up injuries and are out until November.

Both were removed early as the side slumped to a 2-1 loss. Dembele's knock has been compensated by the possible return of Andy Johnson, who is an outside shot for a place on the substitute's bench after nine months out following knee surgery.

In net, David Stockdale is fit again after being sidelined since September. While Mark Schwarzer is expected to remain No.1, the Rochdale-born player's presence will increase competition.

Both Bobby Zamora and Philippe Senderos remain months away from pulling on the Fulham jersey again.

Probable starting XI: Schwarzer; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Salcido; Davies, Etuhu, Greening, Gera; Dempsey; Kamara.

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