The Potters take on Martin Jol’s West London side.
Tony Pulis will hope his side can maintain their unbeaten home record as they come up against unpredictable Fulham at the Britannia Stadium. Martin Jol’s side sit in ninth spot having won just one of their last seven Premier League fixtures and will hope to pick up something from their visit to Stoke City.
The Craven Cottage side slumped to a home defeat to lowly Sunderland after an excellent performance secured them a point from their visit to the Emirates Stadium. Very much a Jekyll and Hyde side the Fulham boss will hope that his side can cope with overly physical opponents without their giant centre-back Brede Hangeland, who is suspended.
Venue Britannia Stadium, Saturday 3pm
Last season Stoke 2 Fulham 0
Referee Michael Oliver
This season’s matches 7 Y13, R0, 2.00 cards per game
Odds Stoke 5-4 Fulham 11-4 Draw 9-4
Subs from Nash, Sorensen, Whelan, Palacios, Jones, Ness, Upson, Kightly, Wilkinson, Arismendi, Jerome, Edu
Doubtful Wilkinson (back)
Injured Delap (hernia, 8 Dec), Owen (hamstring, 28 Nov), Wilson (broken leg, Jan)
Form guide DWLDLD
Disciplinary record Y27 R1
Leading scorer Crouch 4
Subs from Etheridge, Somogyi, Kelly, Diarra, Karagounis, Kasami, Na Banga, Williams, Rodallega, Frei
Doubtful Diarra (knee)
Injured Richardson (hamstring, 1 Dec), Tavares (hamstring, 1 Dec), Kacaniklic (hamstring, 10 Dec), Ruiz (hamstring, 10 Dec), Davies (hip, Jan)
Suspended Hangeland (first of three)
Form guide LDDDWD
Disciplinary record Y12 R1
Leading scorer Berbatov 5
Fulham have won three of the last four meetings but last season’s encounter at the Britannia Stadium ended 2-0 to Stoke, with Jon Walters and Rory Delap scoring in the last 10 minutes.
The two clubs have met 72 times in all competitions, with Fulham ahead by 30 wins to Stoke’s 27.
The Potters are enjoying a 12-match unbeaten run at home, with five wins and seven draws since a defeat by Sunderland in February. It’s their best sequence in the top flight since a club record 23-match streak in 1973-74.
There have only been five Premier League goals scored at the Britannia Stadium this season – Stoke have scored four and conceded just one (against Manchester City).
Tony Pulis’s side have scored just three second-half goals this season, fewer than any other Premier League club.
They have the second best defensive record in the division, behind leaders Manchester City.
Stoke’s record of seven draws from their opening 12 Premier League games has only been surpassed by two clubs: Leeds,
in 1998-99, and Norwich, in 2004-05, drew eight of their initial 12 fixtures.
Jon Walters will be making his 350th career league appearance.
Fulham have gone four league matches without victory (D3, L1), their worst run since failing to win any of their opening six games last season.
They have dropped a league-high 14 points from winning positions.
Martin Jol’s side have scored 25 goals, a tally bettered only by Manchester United.
Fulham’s substitutes have scored an unrivalled seven Premier League goals this season.
Dimitar Berbatov has been directly involved in eight goals (five goals, three assists) in only seven league starts for the club. He has scored 23 goals in his last 26 Premier League starts.