It`s a home match, in the Premier League, for Fulham this weekend when they welcome Cardiff City to Craven Cottage. Cardiff, promoted last season from the Championship, will be making their second trip to the capital city this week having travelled to East London on Tuesday to take on West Ham United in the Capital One Cup, a tie they lost courtesy of a late goal. Malkey Mackay will be hoping he can take the three points on offer but Martin Jol will, after a decent win against Everton (in the Capital One Cup) will be looking to get Fulham back to winning ways in the Premier League, only too aware of our precarious current position in the relegation zone
Fulham Team News:
Martin Jol will be hoping that Aaron Hughes and Bryan Ruiz will have recovered sufficiently, from injuries, to be available for selection. However, the trio of Maarten Stekelenberg, Matthew Briggs and Ashkan Dejagah are all side-lined by injury.
Player to watch: Scott Parker
Already proving to be a shrewd signing, we`ll need his calmness and assurance in the centre of the park to defuse any early Cardiff pressure.
Cardiff Team News:
Malkey Mackay may be tempted to give Peter Odewingie his first Premier League start for Cardiff after the forward got on the score-sheet in the Capital One Cup.
However, another forward, Andreas Cornelius is not in contention to play with the striker still troubled by an ankle knock.
Player to watch: Craig Bellamy
Playing for his boyhood team, Bellamy has achieved his ambition of getting them into the Premier League. On his day still a livewire who can turn a game on its head.
Match Facts & Stats
Ahead of the game we`ve some statistics for you:-
1 – This will be the first time the clubs have met for fifteen years. The last time being in a League Cup tie when Fulham won 1-0 home and away
2 – Cardiff romped to a 4-1 win the last time the two clubs met in the league back in 1997, but that was in the lowest tier of the Football League.
3 – In 25 league and cup matches, at Craven Cottage, between the two sides there has never been a 0-0 finish.
Those keeping a close watch on proceedings will be:-
Referee – C. Pawson
Assistants – D. Bryan and A. Garratt
Fourth Official – N. Swarbrick
I`m taking Fulham to get a much-needed Premier League win and it can`t come soon enough. Cardiff will be a tough nut to crack but if we can get a foothold in the game we`ll emerge victors, possibly by two clear goals.
Fulham`s next fixture, next weekend, will see the return of Mark Hughes to Craven Cottage when Fulham entertain Stoke City.