After winning their last two matches, it seems survival might indeed be possible for Fulham – but a big win over Spurs at White Hart Lane could very well punch their ticket to the 2014/2015 Premier League (Watch live at 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).
Just a few weeks ago, it looked as though Fulham were headed for the Championship, sitting dead last and playing woefully. But six points from their last two matches puts the Cottagers just two points from safety. With their remaining fixtures against Hull City, Stoke and Crystal Palace, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Fulham manage to survive.
Nor is three points against Tottenham all that unimaginable. Spurs are one of the most unpredictable sides in England at the moment. They’re able to lose dramatically (4-0 to both Liverpool and Chelsea), win emphatically (5-1 over Sunderland) and come back to rescue a point (last week’s 3-3 draw with West Bromwich Albion). Spurs, too, still have a fight on their hands – fourth looks unlikely, being seven points back, but now they need to keep ahold of the final Europa League place.
Tim Sherwood, usually so fond of making sweeping changes to his lineups, has made just one alteration from last week’s comeback against West Brom. Zeki Fryers replaces Vlad Chiriches, a change made at halftime last weekend. Sherwood keeps Emmanuel Adebayor up top, despite his missing a penalty last time out, and young Harry Kane remains alongside.
Somewhat surprisingly, Felix Magath is mixing things up, making five changes to last week’s winning side. Obviously one change is enforced: Lewis Holtby cannot play against his parent club, so Alex Kačaniklić steps in. So too do Ashkan Dejagah, John Arne Riise, William Kvist and Scott Parker.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Naughton, Kaboul, Fryers, Rose; Lennon, Chadli, Paulinho, Eriksen; Adebayor, Kane
Subs: Friedel, Chiriches, Bentaleb, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Soldado
Fulham: Stockdale; Heitinga, Amorebieta, Hangeland, Riise; Kvist, Sidwell, Parker; Dejagah, Rodallega, Kačaniklić
Subs: Stekelenburg, Karagounis, Kasami, Zverotić, Roberts, Woodrow, Bent