Fulham Manager Rene Meulensteen hoping for FA Cup salvation. Image courtesy of premierleague.com
Stuck at the foot of the Premier League ladder and in real danger of being relegated, Fulham is desperate to salvage a piece of silverware from a poor season. It started promisingly with a 1-0 away win over Sunderland, but only five more victories have followed in close to five months and the Cottagers now have one hand on the wooden-spoon and are in need of four points to at least climb out of the relegation zone. They have lost their past four Premier League matches and perhaps a change of competition can inspire a change of fortune.
Off the pitch, Fulham has signed Johnny Heitinga from Everton after he fell out of favour with Toffees manager Roberto Martinez. The Lilywhites also completed deals with Olympiakos forward Kostas Mitroglou and Lewis Holtby from Tottenham Hotspur. The club has released Philippe Senderos, who has joined Valencia, and striker Dimitar Berbatrov, who moves to Monaco on loan.
In second-last spot in English Football’s third tier competition (League One), Sheffield United is also in relegation danger. The Blades have managed a mere six wins from 27 outings this season. Staying alive in the FA Cup and ousting an EPL side could help salvage something from the wreck. The south Yorkshire club is hoping to sign Blackpool’s Bob Harris on a permanent basis to bolster its playing roster.
Last weekend, these two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane, so Fulham now has home ground advantage. Prior to that, Sheffield United suffered a 3-0 premiership loss to Crewe Alexendra. Fulham’s previous outing was a 3-0 League loss to top-ten side Southampton.
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