Fulham vs Sunderland Preview: Cottagers look to pile on the misery for Black Cats

Fulham vs Sunderland Preview: Cottagers look to pile on the misery for Black Cats

Fulham will look to put pressure on 2nd placed Cardiff City when they welcome already relegated Sunderland to Craven Cottage

Matthew Wojciow

Fulham will look to put the pressure on Cardiff City for the automatic promotion places in the Championship when they face already relegated Sunderland on Friday night.

The Black Cats enjoyed a rare victory at the Stadium of Light in the reverse fixture in December thanks to Josh Maja goal on his league debut. 

That was also the victory that stopped Chris Coleman's side going a whole calendar year without a win in front of their home supporters. 

The promotion race heats up

After the last fixture against Millwall, Fulham were just one point behind Cardiff in second but the Bluebirds did have a game in hand.

Thankfully, for Fulham's sake, the Bluebirds lost in midweek against Derby County at Pride Park.  

This means that every point is precious in the race for promotion but Fulham hope they can make it 23 games unbeaten in the upcoming game.

Boss Slavisa Jokanovic, looked ahead to the game in his pre-match press conference to FulhamFC.co.uk, he said: "We have positive pressure before we play against Sunderland.

"It’s important we don’t make mistakes, but the situation is completely under Cardiff’s control. If they win these two games we cannot do anything."

Jokanovic also touched on the promotion race. He added: "I’d prefer to change my position with Cardiff’s position. They are in a perfect moment, they are one point ahead of us.

“If it was possible I would prefer to swap and be in second, and I’d prefer they were chasing us. That’s not the case."

Embed from Getty Images

Black Cat misery

Sunderland were relegated down to League One last weekend following a late defeat at home to Burton Albion.

It did make it back to back relegations for the black cats who were only relegated from the Premier League to the Championship prior to the start of this campaign.

Sunderland have had a good record against Fulham in recent years, winning three out of the last four meetings between the two.

Fans will be hoping to rain on Fulham's parade and salvage a little pride before beginning life in a new division.

Boss Chris Coleman looked ahead to the game in his pre-match conference to safc.com: "We’ve got a job to do, or our supporters and for the club"

Coleman added: "We can’t change our fate, it’s done, it’s sealed, but we can approach both games with the right attitude and that’s what we must do."

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Boss Jokanovic, has no injury worries to contend with so can name the same starting line-up as he did against Millwall.

Sunderland's Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady will be out of the fixture but defender Lamina Kone should be fit despite going off injured against Burton.

Predicted Lineups

Fulham: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Odoi, Ream, Targett, McDonald, Johansen, Cairney, Piazon, Mitrovic, Sessegnon

Sunderland: Steele, Jones, Kone, O'Shea, Wilson, Cattermole, McManaman, McNair, Honeyman, Asoro, Fletcher