Dutchman Martin Jol is trying to ensure Fulham remains in the Premier League. Image courtesy of skysports.com
Last time these teams met, Martin Jol said his Fulham side was “bullied” by Stoke City as the Cottagers went down 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium. Tony Pulis’s side has never made any apologies for the style of football it plays, and Fulham can expect much of the same when the Potters pay a visit to Craven Cottage on Saturday night (AEDT).
Considering it lost just three times in its first 20 EPL fixtures this season, it’s fair to say Stoke finds itself in a hole after dropping four of its last six in the premiership. Three of those were away matches, although those defeats included a 3-0 loss to reigning champion Manchester City, they went down 3-1 to Swansea City before Arsenal accounted for them 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium. Pulis’s side did get back on track last weekend with a morale-boosting 2-1 win over in-form Reading. His team has just one win away from home all season, though. Stoke may have newly-signed American Brek Shea available for the trip to London after his recovery from knee surgery.
Jol was active in the transfer window, too, picking up England youth international Emmanuel Frimpong on loan from Arsenal, and he made his debut last week in the scoreless draw with Norwich. The biggest signing, though, was the man who came on as a substitute for Frimpong last week, Dutch international Urby Emanuelson. He arrived on loan from AC Milan after playing for Jol while he was in charge of Ajax. He’ll be expected to see more game time in the coming weeks.
Fulham is safe for now, six points outside the drop zone, but it will need to continue picking up points to ensure its safety. There hasn’t been a draw the last eight times these teams have met in the Premier League, with both sides picking up four wins apiece in since 2009. The Cottagers have won three of the last four clashes in west London, including a 2-1 victory just over a year ago.
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