Fulham welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Craven Cottage on Wednesday with both teams looking for three points.
A draw would in truth do neither team much good as Scott Parker’s side look to build on their weekend draw with Liverpool, whilst Brighton will hope to recover from consecutive Premier League defeats.
Bobby Decordova-Reid scored his fifth goal of the season on Sunday to give the Cottagers a deserved lead against the Premier League Champions, only for Mo Salah’s penalty to deny the hosts a shock victory.
Brighton, meanwhile, had a Sunday night to forget as three goal in 17 first half minutes gave Leicester City a 3-0 victory at the King Power Stadium. The Seagulls sit just two points clear of Fulham in 16th place ahead of the fixture having accumulated just ten points thus far.
Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic has recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of Sunday’s draw with Liverpool, but it will be surprising if Parker doesn’t opt to keep the same team that impressed last time out.
Kenny Tete and Terence Kongolo are set to remain absent with calf problems.
Brighton, meanwhile, will hope both Tariq Lamptey and Adam Webster are available again. The defensive pair missed the defeat at Leicester with hamstring and groin injuries respectively.
Adam Lallana has overcome a groin problem and appears to be in contention to start for the Seagulls.
Fulham: Areola; Andersen, Aina, Adarabioyo; Decordova-Reid, Lemina, Loftus-Cheek, Anguissa, Robinson; Lookman, Cavaleiro.
Brighton: Ryan; White, Dunk, Burn; Lamptey, Bissouma, Gross, March; Lallana, Maupay; Welbeck.
Ones to watch
Bobby Decordova-Reid will be looking to score in his fourth consecutive home match and will look to play a big part in the game as Fulham look for three big points.
The former Cardiff City forward opened his account for Parker’s men against Leeds at Elland Road, before finding the net at home to Sheffield Wednesday in the EFL Cup four days later. He was also on target at Craven Cottage against West Brom in November and will be one for the Albion defence to watch closely.
“It’s a nice feeling to get another goal, but we have to perform the same on Wednesday and take something out of the game. We knew Liverpool are very strong and we had to match it, we know what quality we have and we worked hard,” said the forward after Sunday’s draw with Liverpool.
Brighton, meanwhile, will be hoping that skipper Lewis Dunk can keep the Fulham offence quiet with no fans permitted inside Craven Cottage due to London moving into Tier 3.
Despite suffering defeat on Sunday, he says the mood in the Seagulls team is still good – which was evident in their second half display at Leicester.
“Confidence is still high, we have shown this season in a lot of games what we are capable of,” he said. “We stuck at it after the break and showed determination not to concede again.”
“We have two big games coming up, but every match we play in this league is important. We’re a good side and we want to show that, starting on Wednesday.”
“I’ve nothing but admiration for Graham, the way he plays and what he’s doing there, and what he did at Swansea as well.
“They’re a very good club. Obviously at this moment, and maybe last year at times, they’re in and around where they are currently, but they’re a very, very good team, a well coached team, a team that everyone sees can cause many a team problems.
“It will be a tough game for us tomorrow (Wednesday) night, we understand that. It’s a team that’s been in the Premier League now for some time, and they’ve stabilised a little bit over the last few years.”
“It has been quite encouraging over the first block of 12 matches from a performance perspective. We have improved considerably and got closer to all the teams that we have played, apart from against Leicester on Sunday.
“But we’re disappointed because we haven’t got the points and in this world we know that’s the important thing.
“So, we have to keep trying, keep working, keep that perspective and keep fighting for everything because, in the Premier League, every game is a challenge and we have to accept that.”
Head to head
Albion and Fulham have played each other 50 times, dating back to 1928. Last time they faced each other back in 2019, it was hosts Fulham who prevailed after a great second half comeback.
Glenn Murray’s brace put the Seagulls in control at Craven Cottage, but Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice in the second half with Calum Chambers and then Luciano Vietto on target as Fulham ran out 4-2 winners.
The Seagulls’ last win away at the Cottagers was in January 2017, and it came in dramatic fashion. Tomer Hemed’s penalty cancelled out Lucas Piazon’s opener, before Lewis Dunk steered home the winner in front of a jubilant away end to seal all three points.
It’s Albion who have the better record in recent meetings, having won five of their last seven meetings – the only loss coming the last time they met.
How to watch
The game, along with all nine other fixtures this gameweek, is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. The match kicks off at 20:00 GMT on Wednesday 16 December 2020.