Premier League Preview: Fulham v Sunderland
2009-12-06 - Added by
Fulham host Sunderland at Craven Cottage hoping to continue their push towards the top half of the table.
Once again Fulham are enjoying a good spell under coach Roy Hodgson and a 1-0 midweek win win over Bulgarian outfit CSKA Sofia kept their hopes of qualification for the Europa League knockout stages firmly alive.
For now it is back to domestic action for the Cottagers as they entertain high-flying Sunderland.
The match will incidentally be Fulham’s fourth consecutive match at Craven Cottage and having won two of those three so far, there is a sense of expectation from the home crowd that three points are a requirement.
In-form striker American striker Clint Dempsey aside from feeling buoyed by the news that the USA will play England in the World Cup group stages, has been in amongst the goals of late having netted five times in his last six Premier League appearances.
The visitors Sunderland will have been well aware that their away record this campaign has been far from impressive and despite a superb start to the new season the Black Cats have won only two of their last seven games on the road.
Nevertheless, in striker Darren Bent coach Steve Bruce knows he has a proven goalscorer and will be especially glad to welcome back fellow hitman Kenwyne Jones after a three-match ban.
For the record, Jones has scored in each of his three previous top flight meetings with Fulham and will be itching to put his team-mates' 1-0 defeat at Wigan behind them with a goal or two on their way to three points.
Fulham are still without striking duo Andy Johnson (groin) and Diomansy Kamara (knee), and midfielder Dickson Etuhu has yet to shake off a bad knee.
The news means that coach Roy Hodgson could be once again be forced to name an unchanged line up.
Sunderland welcome back striker Kenwyne Jones from suspension although defender John Mensah is struggling to shake off a calf problem.
Midfielder Lee Cattermole is the other notable absentee, whilst first choice goalkeeper Craig Gordon is still out with a wrist injury.
Likely Line-Ups; Star Man:
Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Greening, Murphy, Gera, Duff, Dempsey, Nevland.
Sunderland (4-4-2): Fulop, Bardsley, Da Silva, Turner, McCartney, Malbranque, Richardson, Cana, Reid, Bent, Jones.
ExtraFootie Prediction: Fulham 2-1 Sunderland. The games keep coming thick and fast for the Cottagers and we believe they should prove too strong for Sunderland who, bar Stoke, have scored the league’s fewest goals away from home.