MX23RW : Thursday, September 20 19:07:24
Apr 26, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Craven Cottage
Fulham
2-2
Hull City
Dejagah (55'), Amorebieta (58')
Diarra (65')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Jelavic (75'), Long (86')
Elmohamady (16'), Jelavic (21'), Livermore (45')

Preview: Fulham vs. Hull City

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between hosting Fulham and Hull, as the Whites look to move out of the relegation zone for the first time since January.

Fulham could move out of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time since January with victory over Hull City at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

The Cottagers failed to enhance their survival chances with a third win in a row last weekend, when Tottenham Hotspur won an end-to-end London derby 3-1.

However, it was always going to be their home matches which decided Fulham's fate and the visit of poor travellers Hull gives them the ideal chance to make more significant progress in their great escape.

The Whites are currently two points adrift of safety and play first in this round of fixtures, which see 17th-place Norwich City visit Manchester United on Saturday evening and Cardiff City and Sunderland, the two teams either side of them in the table, face each other at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

Hull's position looks much healthier than Fulham's, but a six-point gap between them and the drop zone is not yet enough for the FA Cup finalists to celebrate a second successive top-flight campaign.

However, form suggests that the Tigers may have to wait one more week before clinching survival as they have suffered 11 away defeats this season, with only Fulham and Norwich City having lost more.

Steve Bruce could be without Shane Long for their trip South after the Republic of Ireland international limped off during the comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at the KC Stadium last weekend.

Matty Fryatt was his half-time replacement and could be promoted to a starting berth, although Bruce may consider reverting to five at the back after conceding a total of six goals in their last two games.

In that case, Maynor Figueroa or Alex Bruce would be recalled in defence, and Liam Rosenior and Premier League ever-present Ahmed Elhmohamady pushed forward to perform as wing-backs.

Allan McGregor is recovering well from kidney damage, but is unlikely to play again this season, meaning than Steve Harper will continue in goal. Robbie Brady, Paul McShane and Sone Aluko are out.

Magath will recall Spurs loanee Lewis Holtby, who was ineligible to face his parent club, a decision which could see Iranian winger Ashkan Dejagah demoted back to an impact substitute role.

There are as many as six players facing late fitness tests, although there are good signs on the fitness of Sascha Riether, Kieran Richardson and Mahamadou Diarra, who could replace William Kvist in midfield.

Of his fitness doubts, Magath will be most concerned over the availability of experienced Dutch international defender Johnny Heitinga, with a potential alternative, Dan Burn, also carrying a knock.

Scott Parker is another who is battling with injury, but is expected to fight through the pain to play alongside top goalscorer Steve Sidwell, who will try to lend support to lone forward Hugo Rodallega.

Recent form

Fulham: LWWLLW

Hull: LWLLWL

Possible starting lineups

Fulham: Stockdale; Hangeland, Heitinga, Amorebieta; Riether, Diarra, Sidwell, Parker, Riise; Holtby; Rodallega

Hull: Harper; Elmohamady, Davies, Chester, Figueroa, Rosenior; Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Boyd; Jelavic

Sports Mole says: 1-1

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Steve Bruce manager of Hull City looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Chelsea at KC Stadium on January 11, 2014
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea55001441015
2Liverpool5500112915
3Manchester CityMan City54101431113
4Watford5401105512
5Bournemouth5311107310
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs530210649
7Arsenal530210919
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd53028809
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves52215508
10Everton513189-16
11Leicester CityLeicester520389-16
12Crystal Palace520346-26
13Southampton51226605
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton512279-25
15Fulham5113712-54
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham5104511-63
17Cardiff CityCardiff502339-62
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield5023211-92
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle501448-41
20Burnley5014310-71

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