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Rich 23rd Feb 2013 - 1:16

Cottagers to stamp out Craven football agaisnt Stoke - Betting Preview

A 1-0 defeat between these sides in the reverse fixture this campaign saw Martin Jol compare the Potters to a 'rugby side,' and whilst the Dutchamn saw his team fall to a 1-0 defeat at the Britannia, he will be keen to put that behind him in today's early kick-off to earn a win that would see Fulham rise a single point behind Stoke.

Tony Pulis, as you can imagine, didn't take kindly to Jol's criticism of the Stoke way, and whilst both sit in relative mid-table mediocrity, they will be looking over their shoulder more than ahead of them. With just six points the difference between Stoke in tenth and Newcastle in sixteenth, a whole host of teams may have to be fighting a relegation battle with eight or so games to go as we enter April, and for either side in this lunchtime kickoff, a win could prove vital to their survival.

At 12/1, the Home of Betting don't fancy Fulham as favourites to face the drop zone come May, but if the sloppy results continue, both Jol and Fulham fans may have to face the fact that Championship football is a distinct possibility next season. Three wins in their past eighteen has seen Fulham flounder, and whilst the mercurial Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov fails to make his mark up front, having netted just eight times this campaign, the Cottagers' attack as a remains a worry.

They have managed to gain only four points from a losing position all season, and at 4/1 to do so here, it doesn't look likely. The return of Sascha Reither will be scant consolation to Fulham fans who feel that they still lack the cutting edge up front, whilst Stoke have continued to bolster their attack.

The league debut of young American winger Brek Shea could be on the cards here, and after netting 20 times in fewer than 100 appearances for FC Dallas, the exciting prospect provides both danger in front of goal, and as a provider. Stoke's no-nonsense style has suited their designs at home, but on the road, they have toiled to one paltry win.

Having managed to draw 12 of their 26 games in this Premier League season, scoring in all but three of them, William Hill's brand new enhancement that combines the Match Result with Both Teams to Score looks like a good bet here. At 4/1, a Draw with Both Teams Scoring pays out at 4/1, whilst Jonathan Walters, the Potters' leading league scorer, is 8/1 to net first.

Coverage of this game begins on Sky Sports 2 at 12:30, with kick -off time for 12:45, and we continue to offer over 180 pre match and in-play markets, covering goal scorers, multiples, and five minute markets, so stay with William Hill - the Home of Betting.

Match betting: Fulham 23/20; Draw 2/1; Stoke 11/4.

Headline Offers: Dimitar Berbatov to score and Fulham to win 10/3; Peter Crouch to score and Stoke to win 7/1.

Best Bet: Stoke +1 4/6; Stoke Draw no Bet 6/4

Worth a Punt: Under 1.5 goals 2/1; Draw/Draw Double Result 18/5

OPTA Facts & Stats

  • The last four Barclays Premier League clashes between Fulham and Stoke City have ended in home wins.
  • Five of Stoke last seven goals against Fulham in all competitions have been scored in the final 15 minutes of their matches.
  • Fulham have won only three of their last 18 in the Premier League (D7 L8), and only one of their last five (D2 L2).
  • Stoke have won just once away from this season; a joint-low for the Premier League this season.
  • The Potters have scored just three goals in their last eight away matches in the league.
  • No side has conceded fewer goals in the opening 30 minutes of league matches this season than Stoke City (five).
  • Stoke have gone eight Premier League matches without keeping a clean sheet. Only Aston Villa (10) are currently on a longer such run.
  • Only Aston Villa (2) have clawed back fewer points from losing positions than Fulham (4) this season.
  • Fulham are yet to lose this season in the Premier League when Dimitar Berbatov has scored (W3 D3).
  • No side has been involved in more draws this season than Stoke City (12).
  • Stoke City are the only team that Northern Ireland international Chris Baird has scored against more than once in the Premier League (two).



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