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Fulham face Stoke City -- PL. Match Preview

last updated Friday 04th October 2013, 2:57 PM


Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
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Martin Jol
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There's a lot to talk about where Fulham are concerned. It's been widely suggested they need an upturn in form for Martin Jol to keep his job.

You can never be sure how patient new owners are going to be, so the Dutchman will need to impress Shahid Khan soon. That last-minute defeat by Cardiff was a major blow. Jol certainly showed his emotions at the final whistle, reflecting the fact that Fulham have lost four out of five.

The Cottagers are a bit soft; they have conceded in the last 10 minutes of their previous four Premier League games and have not come from behind to win since April 2012. They seem brittle, with low powers of recovery.

Stoke have had a wobble and it may take them a while to become a formidable away team under Mark Hughes, who returns to a club he managed in 2010-11, when they finished eighth in the Premier League.

That was no mean feat in the end but I'm not sure Fulham fans have huge affection for Hughes, and it will be revealing to see what kind of welcome both managers get at Craven Cottage.

Fulham shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they've been in the Premier League for 13 consecutive seasons, which is a heck of a good record. The season is only six games old, but judgements are often made so quickly these days, and the fans and board are desperate to see an improvement - especially at home.

Stoke are in transition. They need to evolve this closer passing game without completely dismissing the physicality and directness they developed under Tony Pulis. The danger is falling between two stools and I think that's what happened against Norwich last weekend, when they only had one shot on goal.

I see it being a tight game - there's too much to lose, and neither team are brimming with confidence. The Berbatov-Bent combination hasn't sparked yet, but Fulham can't leave Berbatov out because he can produce a goal out of nothing. Stoke don't really have that, and perhaps that's what Hughes needs to work on as the season progresses.

    Head-to-head



  • Stoke and Fulham have each won their home Premier League fixture against each other in the past two seasons.


  • In their last 16 league and cup meetings, there has only once been more than three goals scored in the match.



  • Fulham



  • Fulham are winless in their last seven league matches at Craven Cottage - their worst run without a home win in the top flight since 1966.


  • They have kept just one clean sheet in their last 18 home matches in the Premier League.


  • The Cottagers have lost four and only won one of their six Premier League games so far. At the same stage last season, they had won three and lost three.



  • Stoke City



  • They have not won in three Premier League matches.


  • Stoke's only shot on target last weekend against Norwich came in the 79th minute; they had managed at least three shots on target in every other Premier League game this season.


  • The Potters are now one of six teams that have scored the joint-fewest goals in the Premier League this season (alongside Norwich, West Ham, Fulham, Crystal Palace and Sunderland).


  • Kenwyne Jones could feature in his 100th match for Stoke, on his 29th birthday. Asmir Begovic will also make his 100th appearance for the club.
























Source John Motson at BBCSports

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