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Fulham v Stoke preview

last updated Saturday 22nd January 2011, 9:30 AM


Fulham and Stoke will be hoping their third meeting of the season will be remembered for all the right reasons, after both previous games left a sour taste in the mouth.

Mark Hughes and Tony Pulis are the only two Welsh managers in the Premier League, but recent evidence suggests there is little solidarity between them.

Pulis refused to shake Hughes's hand after Fulham's 2-0 win at the Britannia Stadium in December, three months after Hughes ignored Pulis at full time in protest at a challenge by Potters defender Andy Wilkinson on Moussa Dembele in the Carling Cup.

Fulham captain Danny Murphy and Stoke chairman Peter Coates were also involved in a war of words last October after Murphy claimed that Stoke players were one of three clubs entering the field too pumped up. His comments were later criticised by the League Managers Association.

Both sides have been in decent form since they last met, so both Hughes and Pulis will be determined that all eyes remain on the pitch. Fulham are vying for back-to-back victories at Craven Cottage for the first time this season, whereas Stoke begin a run of five season-defining away fixtures in the space of six matches in all competitions.

MATCH FACTS


. Fulham and Stoke have each won two of the five Premier League games played between the sides.

. Chris Baird has only ever scored twice for Fulham, both came in the reverse fixture at the Britannia Stadium last month.

. Fulham have drawn 11 games this term, the joint-highest amount in the Premier League. Stoke have drawn just three times, the equal-fewest in the top flight.

. Goalkeeper David Stockdale is proving to be a lucky omen for Mark Hughes's men - they have not lost in any of his seven appearances this season.

. Fulham have won two of their last four league matches, including a 2-0 win at Stoke last month. Victory would give them a first league double over the Potters since 1998/99, when both were third-tier clubs.

. Seven points from four games represents Fulham's best return of the season.

. If selected, Andrew Johnson will be making his 150th Premier League appearance. He scored his first league goal since March 2009 last weekend.

. The Potters have alternated between defeat and victory in each of their last six league games. All three of their wins have been by a 2-0 scoreline.

. Stoke have not conceded more than twice in a league game this term.

. Tony Pulis' side have taken only one point from a possible 12 against London opposition so far this campaign.

. If selected, Rory Delap will be making his 450th career league appearance, whereas Dean Whitehead stands by to play in his 400th club career match.
Source BBCSports
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