Strugglers Looking For Salvation

Image courtesy of skysports.com
Fulham frontman Dimitar Berbatov a key for the Cottagers. Image courtesy of skysports.com

Both Fulham and Norwich City  are at the wrong end of the English Premier League table and in danger of being relegated. But one club can salvage something from a disappointing season by staying in Cup contention.

Earlier this month, they played out a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road. It’s one of four stalemates between the two sides in all competitions. Interestingly, it’s the best result Norwich has achieved against this London rival. In fact, the Cottagers have won all of their other eight encounters.

While desperation can be found in spades at both clubs, solid form is hard to dig up. The Canaries have gone without victory in their past seven starts, while the Lilywhites have posted just three wins in 15 outings. In 15th place on 20 points, the Yellows' problem is scoring goals – just 17 in 21 EPL games so far this season. They’ve also leaked 35. Whilst slotting five more goals, Fulham has conceded 11 more than Norwich and sits one point and one place below on the ladder.

Both managers have admitted they'll use this encounter to tinker with their squads. Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen is likely to award a bench spot to Brede Hangeland. The central defender has had back surgery since he last played in October. Norwich coach Chris Hughton is also expected to make changes, with Luciano Becchio given a rare opportunity in the starting 11, American Clint Dempsey back up front and goal-keeper Maarten Stekelenburg likely to be rotated out.

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