West Bromwich Albion Vs Fulham preview: The Cottagers look  to keep automatic promotion hopes alive 
West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic during his sides home encounter against  Wigan Athletic in  February 2020. (Getty Images / Nathan Stirk).

Fulham can give themselves late hope of earning automatic promotion to the Premier League with a win at second placed West Bromwich Albion.

The Cottagers currently sit in fourth, five points behind the Baggies, meaning that a victory at The Hawthorns will reduce the gap between the two sides to only two points.

Slaven Bilic's side are in a decent run of form having only lost once in the last seven league games which came in a 1-0 defeat away to third placed Brentford.

However, in this time period they have only won on three occasions, which came at home to both Derby County and Hull City, as well as on the road to Sheffield Wednesday.

Furthermore, West Brom go into this encounter knowing that three points will be vital on their hunt for automatic promotion as if they lose, Brentford have the chance to leapfrog them depending if they win at home to Preston North End on Wednesday night.

In comparison, Fulham have won four games on the bounce only conceding one goal in that time, meaning that they will come in to the tricky fixture with a lot of confidence.

Although, they have lost two of the last six, which came in 3-0 away defeat to table toppers Leeds United and in a 2-0 home defeat to Brentford.

Team news

Ahead of the encounter, left back Kieran Gibbs is unavailable with a hamstring problem and defender Nathan Ferguson is likely to not feature as he is suffering from a knee injury.

Apart from this, Bilic has no more injury problems to be concerned about with the likes of forward Hal Robson Kanu and midfielder Grady Diangana pushing for a place in the Baggies starting eleven.

On the other hand, Fulham only have one injury doubt in the form of captain Tom Cairney who picked up a knock in the victory at home to Birmingham City on the 4th July, with it being unconfirmed whether he will be available for selection on Tuesday.

However, everyone else in Scott Parker's squad will be fit to start at The Hawthorns with the 39 year old's biggest selcetion headache being whether to bring Ivan Cavaleiro back into the starting lineup ahead of Josh Onomah.

Although, with Onomah netting during his side's 2-0 victory at home to Cardiff City last time out, it is likely that Parker will opt with the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder against West Brom.

Previous clashes

In the previous fixture at Craven Cottage, Baggies centre back Seimi Ajayi cancelled out Anthony Knockaart opener nine minutes from time to earn his team a 1-1 draw. 

This result extended Fulham's unbeaten run against Tuesday's opponents to seven game,s with their last defeat against West Brom coming all the way back in October 2010 when goals by Youssuf Mulumbu and Marc Antoine Fortune sealed a 2-1 victory at The Hawthorns.

Despite this unbeaten run, a draw has been the end result in the last three games between the two sides, and in the previous seven encounters, Fulham have only won on three occasions which came during the 2011/12 and the 2012/13 Premier League campaigns. 

Predicted lineups 

West Bromwich Albion: 

Johnstone; O'Shea, Ajayi, Barkley, Townsend; Livermore, Saywers; Pereira, Krovinovic, Grosicki; Austin.

Fulham:

Rodak; Christie, Hector, Ream, Bryan; Reed, Arter; Reid, Onomah, Knockaert; Mitrovic.

This Championship encounter between second and fourth placed takes place tomorrow at 5PM and is being shown live on Sky Sports and iFollow.

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