Match Preview – Fulham (Home)

Tottenham must capitalise on Everton’s defeat to Crystal Palace in midweek, by getting a result against Fulham this Saturday, in order to close the gap on fifth place. Although many want out of the Europa league, finishing fifth would show that we are indeed the next best thing to top four, helping in the hunt for players this summer.

In 34 league meetings at White Hart Lane, Fulham have won only three matches. However, the most recent of those came on their last visit in March 2013 when former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov scored the only goal. There has not been a goalless league match between these sides in the last eight fixtures.

Last weekend’s 3-3 thriller at West Brom was only the second time in Premier League history that Spurs successfully fought back from three goals down – the other was a 4-4 draw with Aston Villa in October 2007. But they conceded two goals inside the first four minutes on Saturday, the first top-flight side to do that since Norwich at home to Manchester City in December 2012. Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen has scored four goals and assisted three more in his last four Premier League appearances. Tottenham have the best powers of recovery in the division after conceding the opening goal – they have recovered 17 points from such a position this campaign. Tim Sherwood’s side are one of only two clubs yet to lose a game from a winning position. Manchester United are the other.

None of Fulham’s last 46 Premier League games have ended goalless – the longest current run of all Premier League teams. Manager Felix Magath has earned as many points in eight matches in charge (10) as both Rene Meulensteen and Martin Jol managed in 13 games apiece. Saturday’s 1-0 win over Norwich was only Fulham’s fifth clean sheet – the fewest in the division. Hugo Rodallega has scored in successive Premier League matches for the first time in nearly five years. Fulham have the worst goal difference in the league (-40), the worst defensive record (74 goals against) and have also kept just two clean sheets in their last 19 league fixtures. No side has taken fewer points from Premier League London derbies this season than Fulham’s six.

Injury wise, for Tottenham it remains similar to last week. Vertonghen (ankle), Soldado (hamstring), Walker (groin), Lamela (back), Capoue (ankle). Mousa Dembélé will however return against his former club. For Fulham, Dejagah (groin) and Woodrow (thigh) are doubtful, whereas Mitroglou (knee) and Duff (knee) are definitely out. Lewis Holtby is ineligible against his parent club.

Predicted team: Lloris, Naughton, Chiriches, Kaboul, Rose, Lennon, Paulinho, Eriksen, Chadli, Kane, Adebayor.

Predicted score: Tottenham 2-1 Fulham

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