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Preview: Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Premier League clash between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fulham and their new-found defensive resilience prepare to meet a Tottenham Hotspur side who have rediscovered their goalscoring touch in Thursday's London derby.

The Cottagers extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a goalless stalemate against Crystal Palace last time out, while Tottenham eased to a 4-0 win over Burnley.

Match preview

Fulham manager Scott Parker celebrates after the match on February 14, 2021© Reuters

Fulham and their low-scoring affairs have become a staple of the Premier League over the past couple of months, but Scott Parker would have no doubt been frustrated to see his side fail to break down a dogged Crystal Palace defence on Sunday afternoon.

An inspired performance from Eagles number one Vicente Guaita prevented Fulham from recording back-to-back wins for the first time this season, but the Cottagers nevertheless extended their unbeaten run to five matches as they bid to avoid an immediate return to Championship football.

Parker's men remain three points adrift of Newcastle United in 18th, but given the Magpies' recent injury woes, Fulham will be looking ahead to the spring with even more optimism if performances continue in the same vein, especially seeing as they have only shipped one goal in their last five.

However, Fulham have only found the back of the net four times in their unbeaten run - with the absence of Aleksandar Mitrovic through coronavirus clearly felt in the camp - and no team has amassed fewer goals on home soil than Fulham's eight in the 2020-21 Premier League campaign.

On the other hand, no team in the bottom half of the standings has shipped fewer than Fulham's 32 this term, and victory in Thursday's derby would see them temporarily climb to safety, although they have prevailed in just one of their last 14 midweek top-flight games and Tottenham appear to have turned a corner at just the right moment.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho reacts in the Europa League on February 18, 2021© Reuters

Gareth Bale is never far away from the centre of attention no matter where he plies his trade, but the much-maligned Welshman made headlines for all the right reasons against Burnley on Sunday, as his brace helped propel Jose Mourinho's side to a resounding 4-0 success on their own turf.

Harry Kane and Lucas Moura also found the back of the net on the day as Spurs ran out winners by a four-goal scoreline for the second game in a row - following their thrashing of Wolfsberger in the Europa League - and Mourinho's men recovered from back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and West Ham United in perfect fashion against the Clarets.

Five defeats from their last seven Premier League matches have seriously harmed Spurs' top-four ambitions, but the eighth-placed Lilywhites are just six points off the Champions League places with a game in hand over most of the teams above them, so the importance of stringing a set of wins together cannot be understated.

However, Tottenham travel to Craven Cottage boasting a measly one win from their last eight top-flight away fixtures, and having lost their last three on the road, Mourinho could lose four league away matches in a row for the first time ever if Spurs come up short again.

Parker's men held Tottenham to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture last month, but the hosts have won just one of their last 14 against their fellow capital outfit, with Spurs winning 10 of the last 12.

Fulham Premier League form: LDWDWD

Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form: LLWLLW
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): LLWLWW

Team News

Giovani Lo Celso celebrates scoring for Spurs in December 2020© Reuters

Marek Rodak and Tom Cairney are the only two injury concerns for Fulham, who will no doubt be aiming to keep changes to a minimum amid their solid run of form.

Ola Aina's substitution at half time against Palace was a tactical decision, Parker confirmed, so it would not be a surprise to see Antonee Robinson given the nod here.

Should the hosting manager make some alterations before Sunday's meeting with Liverpool, Mario Lemina and Ivan Cavaleiro could both return to the starting lineup, but Aleksandar Mitrovic may not be ready for a start just yet.

The only occupant of Tottenham's medical room at present is Giovani Lo Celso, but there is hope that he could return to the squad for the North London derby later this month.

With Bale's qualities finally coming to the fore, the Welshman will not want to be dropped for this game, while Dele Alli enjoyed a third substitute outing in succession against Burnley but may not be considered for a start just yet.

It remains to be seen if Serge Aurier will be risked again after only just returning from injury, but in an ideal world, Mourinho would name an unchanged XI from the weekend's win, although the congested schedule means that changes could be made.

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Areola; Tete, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson; Reed, Lemina; Cavaleiro, Loftus-Cheek, Lookman; Maja

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Doherty, Dier, Sanchez, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Sissoko; Bale, Moura, Son; Kane

SM words green background

We say: Fulham 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Any significant alterations to either team will have a major impact on the outcome of this match, and both Parker and Mourinho have several big calls to make during a hectic week. The Cottagers' defensive resilience will be tested to the limit against Bale and co on Thursday, and while Mourinho's side are unlikely to have as much joy in front of goal as they did against Wolfsberger and Burnley, we still expect Spurs to eke out a vital win in a closely-fought battle.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data

Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:

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Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane and Gareth Bale celebrate a goal against Burnley in the Premier League on February 28, 2021
Read Next:
PL Team of the Week - Bale, De Bruyne, Kane

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