Cardiff and Fulham meet on Saturday in a huge bottom of the table clash, which could leave one of the sides staring down the barrel, at the inevitably of relegation. With the three sides above them having games in hand, these two teams who sit 19th and 20th in the league will be desperate for a rare three points, which will do nothing but help their cause to stay in England’s top division.
Cardiff have won only one of their last 12 games and have picked up 5 points out of the last 36 available. Sitting in 19th, with only one point separating them and Saturday’s opponents, Cardiff will look to this match as a must win with the likes of Everton and Liverpool to play in the coming weeks. They will hope to avoid the type of performance which saw them lose 4-0 at home to Hull City a few weeks ago.
Fulham lost at home to Chelsea in Felix Magath’s second match in charge of The Cottagers. Their third manager of the season has taken over a difficult task to save the London side from relegation, with Fulham currently rock bottom. Fulham’s last win came on New Year’s Day against West Ham, but they have lost six out of their eight matches since. Fulham will need at least a point from this game to have any hope of Premier League survival this season.
Cardiff were victorious on their visit to Craven Cottage earlier in the season. A 90th minute winner courtesy of Jordan Mutch gave the Welsh side a 2-1 win after Ruiz and Caulker had scored in the first half.
Cardiff are without Craig Noone and Andrew Taylor who are suffering for knocks. Captain Mark Hudson is also out with a hamstring injury. Medel and Mutch are likely to feature having returned from injuries last week.
Record signing Kostas Mitroglou has yet to feature for Fulham but having played an hour for Greece in midweek, he may play a part in this league fixture. Fulham are also without Kvist (hamstring), Hangeland (head) and Briggs (groin). Amorebieta and Duff will also miss out.
- Fulham have not kept a clean sheet in their last 13 away matches in the Premier League.
- Cardiff have failed to score in four of their last six Premier League home games.
- Cardiff are the only team in the Premier League that are yet to give away or win a penalty kick this season.
- 4 of the last 5 matches between these two sides have ended with a 2-1 score line.
- Cardiff have scored the joint least goals in the league this season whilst Fulham have conceded the most.
Cardiff: Jordan Mutch
In the last meeting between the two teams Jordan Mutch proved to be the difference with his crucial 90th minute winner for Cardiff. The young English midfielder will hope to play a big part in this match having just returned from injury. Mutch has notched 4 goals with an average of a shot every 50 mins and a shooting accuracy of 50%. So far Mutch has created 16 chances with three assists to his name. He has been one of the better performers in what has been a turbulent season for the Bluebirds, but a good display against Fulham will do his popularity and the team no harm.
Fulham: Steve Sidwell
There is not much argument that Steve Sidwell has been Fulham’s best player this season and he will have to play like he has done all season in the next few games to help them get out of the relegation battle. Sidwell has been at the heart of the Fulham team defensively, and also with his attacking as well. He has helped out his defenders on numerous occasions and has managed to make the most tackles in his team by doing so with 83 tackles and 80% of them being accurate, as well as making 72 interceptions along the way. Sidwell remains Fulham’s top scorer this season with 6 goals, which shows how well-rounded his performances have been.
It’s hard to say which team will come out of the game with the three points after poor results of late for both teams. I’m not going to sit on the fence for this one so I’m predicting an away win, with Fulham’s midfield proving too much for the Welsh side.