Fulham head into their clash with Aston Villa on the back of six straight defeats, the most recent of which came at the hands of London rivals Tottenham.
Rene Meulensteen has stepped up after Martin Jol was relieved of his duties at the club due to a poor start to the season, but if Wednesday’s performance against Spurs is anything to go by The Cottagers are going to need to take more chances in attack when Villa come to visit.
Against Spurs they looked low on ideas and confidence. They are now sitting in the relegation zone and face a Villa side that snatched a late win at St Marys in midweek against Southampton thanks to a Fabian Delph thunderbolt. Villa manager Paul Lambert has taken his side into the top half of the table after a five-match unbeaten run. They have managed to keep three clean sheets out of those five fixtures.
Villa have the third best away form in the Premier League this year, taking 12 points from seven games, and considering Fulham’s recent dip in form Lambert’s side will be keen to get three points.
Centre-back Brede Hangeland is out for six weeks after undergoing surgery on a nerve problem, while full-back Matthew Briggs and forward Hugo Rodallega also miss out.
Villa have major doubts over captain Ron Vlaar, who was substituted at half-time with a calf injury at St Mary’s Stadium, but Joe Bennett (back) could return to bolster the defence.
Winger Charles N’Zogbia (Achilles) and defender Jores Okore (knee) will not play any part.
Fulham have won just one of the last eight Barclays Premier League games against Aston Villa (W1 D4 L3).
Villa are unbeaten in their last five Barclays Premier League games; only Everton (7) are currently on a longer run.
Darren Bent played 54 times in the Premier League for Aston Villa before moving to Fulham this summer, scoring 21 goals.
There have been just four goals scored in the last four Premier League meetings between Fulham and Aston Villa.
Villa completed only 50% of their passes in their midweek away game, the lowest figure recorded in a Premier League match since April 2010 (Wolves, against Stoke).
Fulham have trailed in 11 games this season, more than any other side. They have lost 10 of these matches (D1).
In midweek Dimitar Berbatov assisted a Premier League goal for the first time in over a year (since November 10th 2012)
Fulham have won just one of their last 11 Premier League games at Craven Cottage, losing nine (W1 D1 L9).
Villa are the only team to squander more than one penalty in the Premier League this season (2).
American ‘keeper Brad Guzan has made 18 more catches (45) than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.