Premier League: West Brom v Fulham match preview
A look ahead to this week's Premier League fixture at The Hawthorns
Monday 31 December 2012
West Brom and Fulham surprised many with their form at the start of the season, but only the former has been able to sustain it. After five months of former Chelsea, West Ham and Liverpool assistant Steve Clarke at the helm, the Baggies start 2013 in a strong position for European qualification.
As for the Cottagers, who have fallen to 14th, relegation looks a more likely – albeit improbable – destination than a third Europa League campaign. Martin Jol's side, although benefiting from the firepower of mercurial striker Dimitar Berbatov, have not kept a clean sheet in six games.
Fulham's record signing Bryan Ruiz, who played 45 minutes against Southampton on Boxing Day and started against Swansea will continue. Martin Jol will also be hoping Mark Schwarzer returns following the nightmare display by understudy David Stockdale in their last outing. Goran Popov and Claudio Yacob, both signed by West Brom in the summer, are likely to be ruled out of the clash.
KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 12:45pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS...
Fulham 3 (Berbatov 2, Sidwell) West Brom 0, Premier League, September 2012
Fulham 1 (Dempsey) West Brom 1 (Tchoyi), Premier League, February 2012
West Brom 0 Fulham 0, Premier League, September 2011
Fulham are without a victory in four Premier League games, following losses to Swansea, Liverpool and QPR, and a draw with Southampton.
West Brom have won seven of their 10 league games at home. Fulham, in contrast, have only picked up three points on the road once.
Fulham hit the woodwork 24 times in 2012; the second-highest amount, alongside Manchester United and Everton.
West Brom, currently in the Europa League spots, have the lowest goal difference in the top half of the table (three).
West Brom to win: 2.1
Fulham to win: 3.75
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 HD at 12:45pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.25pm
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