Fulham’s quest for survival doesn’t get any easier as they travel to play Stoke. Depending on results elsewhere, a defeat could see them relegated this weekend.
And after working their way through multiple managers this season, it will be a familiar – if unpopular – face greeting them from the home dugout. Stoke manager Mark Hughes spent one season at Fulham before resigning in acrimonious circumstances after questioning the club’s ambition.
The Cottagers would like nothing better than to prove their former manager wrong, but they’ll know that even three points from this game – the bare minimum requirement – may not be enough to save them. Fulham are teetering on the brink of relegation after a 13-year stay in the top flight, currently sitting in 19 place with 31 points – a point from safety.
As well as owning the dubious record of having the worst defence in the league, Fulham have struggled to score recently, with only seven in the last six games. Hugo Rodallega has hit some semblance of form recently, and the Cottagers will hope that he can repeat his 2010/11 final day exploits, when his header kept Wigan up against all odds – at Stoke.
But the task won’t be an easy one against a Stoke side that have not conceded more than one goal in a home game since January.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Fulham 1 (Bent) Stoke 0, Premier League, October 2013
Fulham 1 (Berbatov) Stoke 0, Premier League, February 2013
Stoke 1 (Adam) Fulham 0, Premier League, November 2012
The last six league meetings between these two sides have produced a home win. The last three have all finished 1-0.
Fulham have the worst defensive record in the league this season, with 79 goals conceded – 10 more than the nearest club (Cardiff).
Stoke have only lost three games at home this season, including their last game against Tottenham. The last time they lost successive home games was at the end of the 2012/13 season.
Stoke have conceded 16 goals at home this season. Fulham have only managed to 15 goals away from home.
Stoke to win: 2.34
Fulham to win: 3.25
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm
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