Fulham will be hosting Sunderland at Craven Cottage in an important English Premier League contest on Sunday Nov. 18th. Fulham goes into the weekend games in place in ninth place the league table with 16 points from four wins, four draws and three losses. They have 24 goals for and 19 against. Sunderland sits in 16th place in the 20-team league with one win, six draws and three losses for nine points. They’ve managed to score just seven goals and allowed just 11.
Fulham manager Martin Jol will likely have to play without the services of former England international and former Sunderland player Kieran Richardson as he’s on the sidelines due to a hamstring problem. It’s believed the 28-year-old midfielder will be out for about another 10 days with the injury which he suffered in Fulham’s exciting 3-3 draw against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium last weekend. In addition, Simon Davies is out of action with a hip injury and Chris Baird will miss the match because of a suspension. There will be late fitness tests for Mickael Tavares and Mahamadou Diarra as they are suffering from knee and hamstring injuries respectively.
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill also has some juggling to do with his lineup as Scottish striker Steven Fletcher is suffering from a calf injury and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has a thigh problem. They both missed their international matches on Wednesday. If Westwood can’t play between the posts then look for Simon Mignolet to start in goal with Jordan Pickford, an 18-year-old, backing him up. Also, defender Phil Bardsley has a hamstring injury and he will be a game time decision as will midfielder Lee Cattermole, who has a knee injury.
It’s hard to believe that O’Neill hasn’t faced more pressure from Sunderland fans and upper management to win games because of his team’s poor record so far this season. The team has simply been brutal since the end of last season with just one win to its name since back in March. The team has a huge problem in the attack and a lack of goals is clearly hurting them. This will pose a problem against a high-scoring team such as Fulham. The London club will be a handful for Sunderland defenders due to the fine form of Bryan Ruiz and Dimitar Berbatov. Fulham also lets in quite a few goals, but there isn’t really anybody in the Sunderland squad to cause their defenders much trouble.
When these two teams get together they can often get a little rough with each other as the last four meetings between them have resulted in four red cards. Look for a pretty close game with Fulham creating most of the chances and doing the majority of attacking. They should be able to do just enough to earn all three points at home.
The latest odds on the match at sportsbook William Hill have a Fulham win at 7/10 with a Sunderland victory at 9/2 and a draw at 5/2.