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Match Previews

The Palace Preview: Fulham

31 January 2019

Crystal Palace will play host to league strugglers Fulham at Selhurst Park today, looking to capitalise on their recent form to pick up three points in their drive to push up the table.

The Eagles have won three of their past six matches, drawing one and losing two whilst the Cottagers will be inspired by a recent comeback victory over Brighton and Hove Albion; a game they won 4-2 having been 2-0 down at half-time.

However, aside from that match, the west London side have only won one of their last 11 fixtures, losing four from their last five in all competitions.

Despite spending over £100m in transfers this season, Fulham have struggled to gel as a team and, even with Premier League winning manager Claudio Ranieri at the helm, currently sit 19th in the league.

Their most evident weakness lies in defence, as Ranieri's backline has leaked 53 goals from just 24 games, the most conceded by any club in Europe's top five leagues and far more than they saw hit their net from almost double the number of matches - 46 - in the entirety of last year's Championship campaign.

They have, however, scored in every one of their recent fixtures since a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United on December 22: a total of seven matches.

Eagles fans will be encouraged by their season's opener, a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage over Fulham, in which Jeffrey Schlupp and Wilfried Zaha netted one each to secure Palace's first three points of the campaign.

For the reverse of this clash, though, the Eagles will be without Zaha, who is serving a one-match ban having been sent off in Palace's recent draw with Southampton, a game in which he scored the south Londoners' only goal.

Palace fans will want to watch out for Ryan Babel, who signed for Fulham from Beşiktaş this transfer window and has performed well from both of his games so far. The Dutchman assisted twice against Brighton and looks to have been an assured signing for the club.

Aleksandar Mitrovic has also stood out lately, scoring twice against the Seagulls and netting 10 times so far this season.

And outside the parameters of Selhurst Park, make sure to keep an eye on Newcastle United's clash with Tottenham Hotspur. The Magpies pulled out a shock win over Manchester City on Tuesday night and so overtook the Eagles in the table.

Away from the pitch, around 70 Palace and Fulham fans will be walking from Craven Cottage to Selhurst Park to raise awareness of mental health issues and male suicide rates. The walk is open for anyone to join as the two clubs unite behind an important cause.

Please be aware that help is on hand for anyone who feels they may need it at CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) by calling 0808 802 5858 or visiting thecalmzone.net.


Tactical overview

Due to their defensive frailties, Fulham have been fielding a back five lately, though this approach has been in vain as they haven't kept a clean sheet since the end of December.

When they switched to a back four against Brighton, they were able to stage a remarkable comeback and netted four times.

Team news

Roy Hodgson's squad is largely fit, though Cheikhou Kouyate will not be available for selection. Defender James Tomkins is being assessed while Michy Batshuayi will be spoken to in order to decide whether he can feature or not.

Club News

Roy Hodgson Provides Team News Ahead of Fulham Clash

1 February 2019

For Ranieri, most Fulham players will be available for selection, however Alfie Mawson, Joe Bryan, André Schürrle are all doubts.

Live coverage

This game is not being shown live on TV in the United Kingdom, however you can listen to full commentary of it for just £1.49 via Palace Audio. Click here to find out more.

For fans in the US, the match will be shown on NBC Sports Gold and for all fans living abroad elsewhere, check out our Worldwide TV listings to see where you can enjoy the game.

Alternatively, if living abroad, why not find out if there is an Official Supporters' Club meeting near you?

Tickets are still available for this clash, though there is a limited amount left. To purchase your place amongst the Selhurst Park crowd, click here now.


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