The Potters take on the Cottagers.
The Fulham manager, Martin Jol, has praised his counterpart at Stoke, Tony Pulis, despite the Dutchman describing Saturday’s opponents as “like a rugby team” after the two teams met at the Britannia Stadium in November. “They play a style which is probably difficult for any team to play against,” said Jol. “I like the people who make their choice and stick to their choice.” The visitors are unlikely to alter their approach for the trip to Craven Cottage and the possible return of Marc Wilson after a long absence could provide a welcome fillip.
Venue Craven Cottage, Saturday 12.45pm
Last season Fulham 2 Stoke 1
Referee Lee Probert
This season’s matches 16 Y48, R1, 3.06 cards per game
Subs from Etheridge, Somogyi, Petric, Senderos, Sidwell, Frimpong, Briggs, Rodallega, Dejagah, Manolev, Kacaniklic
Injured Davies (hip, 2 Mar), Richardson (calf, 2 Mar), Diarra (knee, Apr), Frei (hip, Apr)
Form guide DLWLDW
Disciplinary record Y29 R1
Leading scorer Berbatov 8
Subs from Nash, Sorensen, Cameron, Palacios, Jones, Owen, Wilson, Cuvelier, Ness, Jerome, Adam, Whitbread, Shea
Doubtful Owen (thigh), Shea (foot), Wilson (match fitness)
Injured Sidibe (knee, unknown)
Form guide WLDLLL
Disciplinary record Y53 R3
Leading scorers Crouch, Walters 5
This is the 70th league meeting between the clubs. Fulham lead by 28 wins to 26, with 15 draws.
Stoke’s only win in their last seven visits to Fulham came in May 2010 when Matthew Etherington scored the game’s only goal.
Fulham have only earned nine points from their last 10 matches (W2, D3, L5).
They have won just three of their last 18 league games.
The west London side kept their first clean sheet in 12 league games in their last fixture, a goalless draw against Norwich.
Martin Jol’s side have surrendered 18 points from winning positions – only Reading (20) and Southampton (24) have fared worse.
Dimitar Berbatov is set to become the first Bulgarian to make 200 Premier League appearances. He has scored 83 goals in the division.
Stoke ended a six-game winless run with victory over Reading last time out.
The Potters have gone eight league games without a clean sheet, conceding 18 goals. They kept nine clean sheets in their opening 18 league games.
Their only victory in the last 22 Premier League away matches was at West Brom in December.
They have scored the highest percentage of goals from set pieces in the top flight this season (58%), and the highest proportion from corners (27%).
Robert Huth’s tally of 13 Premier League goals for Stoke since August 2009 has only been bettered by one defender (Leighton Baines, with 15) during that time.
11/5 on Fulham and Stoke City to draw: Fulham vs Stoke City Betting