On Sunday, Fulham have a must-win home game against away day specialists Aston Villa as they look to end a run of six straight Premier League defeats.
Although they lost their game against Tottenham on Wednesday, there were some encouraging signs for Fulham supporters to take from Rene Meulensteen’s first match in charge. It was certainly a more competitive and hard-working performance than those seen in the final weeks of Martin Jol’s tenure, but lying three points adrift of safety, points are the priority rather than performance.
Aston Villa come into this having won impressively at Southampton to move into the top half, a full nine points above the Cottagers. Their counter-attacking style worked to perfection once again on the road, even with striker Christian Benteke left on the bench. Midfielder Fabian Delph, who has had a fine season so far, could not have chosen a better way to open his Premier League account.
Fulham have suffered a major blow with the news that Brede Hangeland will miss a further six weeks of action. They are also without striker Hugo Rodallega through injury, and Darren Bent, who is ineligible to face his parent club.
The visitors will be without Joe Bennett, while fellow defenders Ron Vlaar and Antonio Luna are both doubtful.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Fulham