Spurs v Fulham: The lowdown on Felix Magath’s Cottagers
08:00 19 April 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Charlie Eccleshare casts his eye over Fulham ahead of their visit to Tottenham in today’s London derby at White Hart Lane.
Consecutive wins have got Fulham fans daring to dream that they could be on the verge of a great escape.
It has been a turbulent season for the Cottagers, who disposed of manager Martin Jol and then his successor Rene Meulensteen after just 75 days in charge.
However, the current boss Felix Magath has overseen a revival, collecting 10 points from his eight games in charge.
A 2-1 away win at Aston Villa and a 1-0 home victory over Norwich last Saturday have put Fulham to within two points of safety, with Hugo Rodallega hitting the winner in both games.
German disciplinarian Magath has blooded a number of youngsters during his tenure, such as 17-year-old Moussa Dembele and 19-year-old Cauley Woodrow.
Stopping his side shipping goals has been the main challenge facing Magath – Fulham have conceded 74 goals this season, more than anyone else in the division.
Ones to watch…
Midfielder Steve Sidwell is the heartbeat of this Fulham side and combines strong tackling with effective long and short passes. He is also the Cottagers’ top scorer with seven goals in all competitions.
Centre-back Brede Hangeland is an imposing physical presence and his duel with Emmanuel Adebayor could be crucial today.
Lewis Holtby is on loan from Spurs and is ineligible to face his parent club, but Tottenham old boys Scott Parker and Darren Bent could feature.
Tottenham have a good record against the west London side in recent years, with just one defeat in the last 10 league encounters.
Spurs won away last season – a Sandro goal and a Jermain Defoe brace securing a 3-0 victory – but Fulham got their revenge at White Hart Lane as a Dimitar Berbatov goal gave the Cottagers a 1-0 win which severely dented the Lilywhite’s top-four bid.
Back in December, Tottenham came from behind at Craven Cottage to win 2-1. Ashkan Dejagah put the hosts in front but Vlad Chiriches equalised from longe range before Holtby struck a 20-yard winner.
This should be an excellent game for the neutral, with both teams much stronger going forward than defensively – 3-2 to Tottenham.