Premier League Matchweek 31 preview: Fulham vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers (Fri - 20:00h. BST; 21:00h. CET) - Team news, possible lineups
Two teams in disappointing form will lock horns at Craven Cottage on Friday evening as relegation-threatened Fulham host Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.
Fulham are currently 18th in the table, three points behind 17th-placed Newcastle United, while Wolves occupy 14th position, nine points clear of the bottom three heading into the next set of fixtures.
A run of just two defeats from 10 matches between January 27 and March 7 saw Fulham move to within the brink of escaping the bottom three, but the Cottagers are now on a worrying run of form, losing four of their last five matches in England's top flight.
Indeed, since beating Liverpool at Anfield towards the start of March, Scott Parker's side have lost three straight matches to Manchester City, Leeds United and Aston Villa.
Fulham actually took the lead away to Villa on Sunday, with Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring just past the hour, but the strugglers conceded three times in the final 12 matches to suffer a damaging defeat.
The Cottagers are currently 18th in the table, three points behind 17th-placed Newcastle, who have a game in hand, meaning that the London club have plenty of work to do if they are to stay in the top flight.
Parker's side have the worst home record in the Premier League this season, picking up just 10 points from 16 matches at Craven Cottage, while they have lost their last two matches against Wolves, including a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at Molineux back in October.
There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a disappointing season for Wolves, who are currently 14th in the table, nine points clear of the relegation zone with eight games left.
Nuno Espirito Santo's side have finished seventh in the last two Premier League seasons but will not challenge for a possible European spot this term unless something incredible happens over the next few weeks.
The 2017-18 Championship winners are on a run of five matches without a victory in the league, including defeats in three of their last four games.
Wolves picked up a point against Aston Villa in their last away fixture on March 6 but have lost their last two at Molineux to Liverpool and West Ham United; Nuno's side threatened to snatch a point against the Hammers on Monday after falling 3-0 behind but were unable to score a third as they suffered a 3-2 defeat.
The last Premier League meeting between these two sides at Craven Cottage came in December 2018, when Romain Saiss cancelled out a Ryan Sessegnon effort as it finished 1-1 in the capital.
Fulham will again be without the services of Tom Cairney and Marek Rodak through injury, while Ademola Lookman is facing a spell on the sidelines with the hamstring problem that he picked up against Villa.
Ivan Cavaleiro is expected to replace Lookman in the starting XI, but Parker might otherwise decide to select the same side that took to the field at Villa Park.
Josh Maja is pushing for a spot in the final third of the field, but Mitrovic's goal against Villa could see the Serbia international retain his position in the starting side.
As for Wolves, Willy Boly will again be unavailable as the centre-back self-isolates following a positive coronavirus test, while Jonny is facing a long period on the sidelines with another serious knee injury.
Fernando Marcal and Raúl Jimenez are also still unavailable for selection, but experienced midfielder Joao Moutinho could potentially recover from the minor issue that forced him to miss out against West Ham.
Fabio Silva came off the bench to score against the Hammers last time out, and the Portuguese might now be given the nod over Willian Jose in the final third of the field.
Fulham possible starting lineup:
Areola; Tete, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Aina; Reed, Lemina; Reid, Loftus-Cheek, Cavaleiro; Mitrovic.
Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Semedo, Coady, Saiss, Ait Nouri; Dendoncker, Neves; Neto, Podence, Traore; Silva.
Source: Sports Mole / Matt Law
Photo: Fulham FC