Apr 19, 2014 at 12.45pm UK at ​White Hart Lane
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Paulinho (34'), Kane (47'), Kaboul (61')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Sidwell (36')
Heitinga (61')

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham

Sports Mole previews the London derby between Tottenham and Fulham at White Hart Lane as the visitors look for a third straight win in their battle against the drop.

Fulham travel to Tottenham Hotspur for a London derby on Saturday lunchtime having potentially salvaged their season with consecutive Premier League wins.

The Cottagers appeared destined for the drop at the start of the month when they sat bottom of the table, five points adrift of safety and having played a game more than most of the other teams in relegation trouble.

However, they have found an unlikely hero in recent weeks, with forgotten striker Hugo Rodallega reprising his expert escapist role from his Wigan Athletic days with successive winning goals.

The Colombian, who had previously only made two top-flight starts this campaign, has fired Fulham to victories over Aston Villa and Norwich City which have given them a good chance of survival.

The now two-point gap between them and 17th place, and the difficult run-ins of some of their closest rivals, means that pessimism has been replaced by optimism at Craven Cottage.

Across the capital, meanwhile, Spurs fans will be counting down the days until the end of a desperately wasted season, at the beginning of which they were tipped to be genuine title contenders.

However, a so far disappointing return on their £110m worth of summer investment and managerial upheaval suggests that the Lillywhites will once again miss out on Champions League qualification.

They did come from three goals down to draw with West Bromwich Albion last Saturday, but those two dropped points, combined with Arsenal's midweek win, leaves them seven points adrift of fourth place.

Tim Sherwood, who is entering what are likely to be his last four games as Spurs boss, hauled Vlad Chiriches off at half time in the game at The Hawthorns following a series of defensive mistakes.

With Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson still sidelined, though, the Romanian skipper, who scored in Tottenham's 2-1 win over Fulham in December, will probably keep his place at centre-back.

Roberto Soldado, Etienne Capoue, Kyle Walker, Sandro and Erik Lamela also remain out, with Sherwood indicating that the £30m signing from Roma may not play again this term because of a back problem.

Moussa Dembele, who moved from Fulham to White Hart Lane for £15m in 2012, is expected to be included in the squad, but only on the bench as Nacer Chadli and Paulinho continue in central midfield.

Young striker Harry Kane, who has scored two goals in his last two games, will be given another start up front alongside Emmanuel Adebayor for the hosts, with the in-form Christian Eriksen in behind.

Fulham loanee Lewis Holtby was Tottenham's other scorer in the reverse fixture and he is ineligible to face his parent club this weekend, which makes room for Ashkan Dejagah in the visiting lineup.

Elsewhere, Magath could name the same side that beat the Canaries, with Kieran Richardson and Sascha Riether operating as wing-backs in a 3-5-2 formation. Dan Burn and Giorgos Karagounis are doubtful.

Experienced winger Damien Duff, who has announced this week that he is leaving the club at the end of the season, and club-record signing Kostas Mitroglou, are definite absentees with injury.

Recent form


Fulham: WWLLWL

Possible starting lineups

Spurs: Lloris; Naughton, Chiriches, Kaboul, Rose; Lennon, Chadli, Paulinho, Eriksen; Kane, Adebayor

Fulham: Stockdale; Heitinga, Hangeland, Amorebieta; Riether, Diarra, Sidwell, Richardson; Dejagah, Rodallega

Sports Mole says: 2-1

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood on the touchline during the Premier League match against Stoke on December 29, 2013
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