Stoke v Fulham – Match Preview

Fulham striker Mladen Petric insists he is fit for the clash against Stoke on SaturdayMladen Petric has insisted he is fit for Fulham’s trip to Stoke, while Mahamadou Diarra could also return from injury for Saturday’s game.

Petric was subbed off in Fulham’s 3-1 defeat to Sunderland last week just after scoring his side’s only goal but the Croatian striker, who has struck four goals in seven games since moving to the English Premier League, is convinced he will be fine to play Stoke.

Sunday’s defeat at home was a shock for Fulham and they want to bounce back quickly against a team similarly placed on the Premier League table.

“I got a kick on my calf when I scored,” Petric said, “It made a cut so I had to come off to have stitches put in and then by the time I got back on the pitch it was 2-1. It was a bit painful but I had injections so it was OK.”

Stoke will draw level with Fulham on 16 points if they win on Saturday but with the visitors having not won in four matches, they are due a victory.

Fulham manager Martin Jol may be keen to bring Diarra straight back into his starting line-up as his team have struggled defensively this season.

Diarra would add much-needed stability in defensive midfield as Fulham have conceded the equal third most goals in the Premier League (22 in 12 games).

Stoke held on for an impressive 1-1 draw away to West Ham last week and have picked up five points in their past four fixtures as they have moved up to 14th position.

For Stoke to win against Fulham they will most likely need to keep the visitors scoreless.

Tony Pulis’ side have only scored more than one goal in three Premier League matches this season with Peter Crouch Stoke’s main attacking weapon.

Crouch has hit the back of the net four times this season but has not scored in his past six matches, a record that must improve if Stoke are to cause an upset against Fulham.

Prediction: Stoke 1 – 1 Fulham


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