After 7 points from a possible 9 in the last three games, Fulham go into this one high in confidence, knowing a win could take them out of the drop zone if Newcastle fail to get anything against Wolves…
With our next three games against Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester City, Sunday’s clash at Selhurst Park will be seen as a good opportunity for the Whites to pick up all three points as a tough run awaits. Palace also come into this one on the back of a win at rivals Brighton, keeping the Seagulls only 4 points ahead of the drop zone. The Eagles had 2 shots on target all night at the Amex but with 2 goals and 3 points, it’s clear to see the South London side excel where Fulham lack with a clinical attack. The Whites will hopefully be buoyed by the absence of Wilfried Zaha for the hosts on Sunday, however Palace have shown evidence that they’re not reliant on the winger in order to pick up results.
The Cottagers come into the match with no new injury concerns and will be boosted by the return of Aleksander Mitrovic after having to isolate due to his positive Covid test. Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be looking to get one over on the side with whom he spent a largely successful year on loan, with his performances earning the midfielder a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Loftus-Cheek’s performances have certainly improved over recent weeks, and the loanee was unlucky not to add a goal to his fantastic performance against Sheffield United on Saturday. It’s fair to say the England international could’ve come to the club with a big-fish-in-a-small-pond mentality, however, his work rate and attitude towards Fulham’s relegation battle show otherwise.
Confidence will be high for both sides coming into this one, and both will feel as though 3 points are there for the taking. I think that Fulham’s brilliant recent form will give us a huge boost going into this one.
PREDICTION: CRYSTAL PALACE 1-2 FULHAM
PREFERRED LINE-UP: 4-4-2
HEAD TO HEAD
LEAGUE RECORD (OVERALL)
- GAMES PLAYED – 42
- FULHAM WINS – 16
- DRAWS – 14
- PALACE WINS – 12
- GOALS SCORED – 61
- GOALS CONCEDED – 54
LEAGUE RECORD (AWAY)
- GAMES PLAYED – 21
- FULHAM WINS – 6
- DRAWS – 7
- PALACE WINS – 8
- GOALS SCORED – 27
- GOALS CONCEDED – 31
BIGGEST WINS AT SELHURST PARK
- CRYSTAL PALACE 1-4 FULHAM (2013/14)
- CRYSTAL PALACE 5-2 FULHAM (1930/31)
- CRYSTAL PALACE 0-2 FULHAM (1973/74, 2000/01)
- CRYSTAL PALACE 2-0 FULHAM (1921/22, 1931/32, 2004/05, 2018/19)
LAST 5 GAMES
- FULHAM 1-2 CRYSTAL PALACE
- CRYSTAL PALACE 2-0 FULHAM
- FULHAM 0-2 CRYSTAL PALACE
- FULHAM 2-2 CRYSTAL PALACE
- CRYSTAL PALACE 1-4 FULHAM
- CRYSTAL PALACE – WLLWW
- FULHAM – WDWDL
COLLINS JOHN’S VIEW
What a turnaround it has been over the past couple of weeks! 7 points was a fantastic return from Goodison Park, Turf Moor and Bramall Lane. Now, suddenly we have our fate in our own hands, which is exactly where you want to be.
Roy won’t make it easy for us this weekend, but we won’t make it easy for them either. That’s what makes us a danger to the sides looking over their shoulder right now. We have only conceded one goal in the previous three games and our defensive resilience hasn’t been compromised by switching to a back four.
I feel like Scott has found a good balance. I would keep the same team and go for back to back wins for the first time this season. Wilfred Zaha is expected to miss out again and Palace are a much weaker threat without him. It feels like everything is working for us at the moment, so let’s keep this momentum going Fulham!
PREDICTION: CRYSTAL PALACE 1-2 FULHAM
BATTLE TO WATCH
EBERECHI EZE VS KENNY TETE
A battle on the wing is one to keep an eye on this Sunday lunchtime as former QPR player Ebere Eze could end up playing on the Crystal Palace left hand side, potentially up against Fulham right back Kenny Tete.
England Under 21 international Eze, goes into this one with 3 goals and 3 assists in 23 league games for the Eagles League this season. Fulham fans will know Eze from his time at our neighbours in Shepherd’s Bush and remember the pace and ability he possesses, able to transition quickly from defence into attack. One of Eze’s most notable contributions for Palace will definitely be his solo goal against Sheffield United, running from his own half and finishing calmly from the edge of the 18-yard box to give Palace a 2-0 lead. If Kenny Tete is to stop Eze, he will have to keep him on his weak side and not allow the midfielder to run at the defence or give him the opportunity to be creative.
The Cottagers’ number 2 Tete, has made 12 Premier League appearances for the Whites and has 1 assist to his name. Fans have been impressed with the Netherlands’ international right back, as his attacking intent sees him get forward looking to get the ball into the box. Tete has been unlucky with injury, and after being ruled out for a large part of the season, it’s good to see the right back fit again and getting into the team. Tete’s transfer fee of around £3m is a bargain in today’s transfer market and he’s certainly proving to be a brilliant signing for Fulham.
Both players will be looking to attack from the off, and both will have to work tirelessly to stop the other from getting forward and being a danger to their respective defences. It will certainly be an interesting battle to watch on Sunday lunchtime at Selhurst Park.
LAST TIME OUT
FULHAM 1-2 CRYSTAL PALACE (24/10/20)
It was defeat for Fulham in the reverse fixture at Craven Cottage when Crystal Palace visited SW6 on the 24th October. Jairo Riedewald opened the scoring for the visitors in the 8th minute after a Wilfried Zaha pass carved open the Whites back line, allowing Riedewald to poke home with ease. Zaha then added a second for the Eagles in the 63rd minute as a ball across the face of goal from Michy Batshuayi allowed Zaha to slot the ball in at the far post to grab his 5th goal of the season, leaving the Cottagers with a mountain to climb.
Fulham were reduced to ten men with two minutes to go after Aboubakar Kamara’s challenge on Eberechi Eze meant the Frenchman saw red after a VAR check. Tom Cairney provided a consolation for the hosts in injury time with a brilliant strike into the top corner, however it was too little too late as the damage was already done.
At that point in the season things looked bleak for Fulham, with 1 point from a possible 18 and 14 goals conceded which was a league high at that point in the season. The Whites have come on leaps and bounds since matchday 6 of the 2020/21 Premier League season and will be determined to pick up 3 points this time around against the Eagles.
PLAYERS IN COMMON
CRYSTAL PALACE APPEARANCES: 160
FULHAM APPEARANCES: 111
Jimmy Allen, Johnny Byrne, Chris Coleman, Stan Collymore, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Iain Dowie, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Tony Gale, Julian Gray, Brede Hangeland, Jeff Hopkins, Ray Houghton, Mark Hudson, Andy Johnson, Gabor Kiraly, Shefqi Kuqi, John Lacy, Matthew Lawrence, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Chris Martin, Leon McKenzie, Pat O’Connell, Terry Phelan, Alan Pinkney, Jazz Richards, Wayne Routledge, Rui Fonte, John Salako, Tony Sealy, Alan Stephenson, Kit Symons, Paul Trollope.