Fulham vs Brighton & Hove Albion Preview: Cottagers seek precious win against Seagulls
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Fulham vs Brighton & Hove Albion Preview: Cottagers seek precious win against Seagulls

Claudio Ranieri's flounderiing Whites seek respite in their Premier League basement battle, as Brighton roll up to Craven Cottage on Tuesday evening

Neil Leverett

Fulham will seek to arrest a run of three-straight Premier League defeats on Tuesday evening, as Brighton & Hove Albion roll up to Craven Cottage.

Since Claudio Ranieri took over the reins in west London, the Cottagers have shown signs of life but still remain mired in the top flight's bottom three, with a seven-point gap to 17th-placed Newcastle United.

They face a Seagulls side who have rather dropped off the pace in recent weeks - albeit with defeats to both Manchester United, Liverpool, and on the road to West Ham United at the London Stadium.

With both sides keen to win their first game in four league games, the stakes are high with February and the final months of the season approaching.

Cottagers seek home comfort

Having taken an early lead against Tottenham Hotspur last time out via Fernando Llorente's own goal, Harry Winks' strike with almost the last kick of the game in the London derby was a cruel blow to Fulham who looked set to pick up a vital point.

The hosts have not picked up a single point since beating relegation rivals Huddersfield Town 1-0 exactly a month ago, as the Cottagers have continued to slide inexorably towards a immediate drop back down to the Championship. However, their plight is not yet an irreversible one.

Following a run of improved performances, Fulham have the chance to convert that to a much-needed win in front of their own fans on Tuesday night down by the river.

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Visitors looking forward after tough run

For Brighton, a road to Fulham presents a far more amenable task, following a tough run of games at home to the Reds, plus away days to the Red Devils and West Ham United.

In that time, Chris Hughton's men have picked up just a single point from nine, but this particular game against a team below them in the standings is the perfect chance to kick-start their 2019.

The Seagulls remain comfortably in mid-table with thoughts of being sucked into a potential dogfight still far from a reality, providing results start to pick up beginning here.

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Fiftieth meeting 

Tuesday's game represents somewhat of a milestone for both sides, with the two playing their fiftieth game against one another - their first one  as original combatants of Division Three South in 1928.

This will be just their second top flight meeting however, after the duo shared a 2-2 at the AMEX Stadium back in September, as the west Sussex side came from two goals down to nick a point.

After goals from Andre Schurrle and an in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic opened up a two-goal advantage for the visiting Cottagers, a brace from Glenn Murray in the final quarter of the game saw Brighton fight back to claim for a share of the spoils.

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Team News

Fulham's only two absentee for the game are defender Alfie Mawson and midfelder Andre-Zambo Anguissa.

The former Swansea man's knee injury will see him missing until at least April, but boss Ranieri is hopeful he will play again before the end of the season.

Brighton have a similarly light injury list, with just defender Bernardo and winger Jose Izquierdo unavailable.

The former is close to a return from a hamstring injury, whilst Izquierdo is still a few weeks off with a knee problem.