Sky Bet Championship leaders, Fulham welcome third-placed Stoke City in a stand-out tie from the fifth round of fixtures.
Victory will see Fulham stay top, whereas Stoke themselves can go top with a win for five hours at a minimum unless West Brom achieve a greater goal difference with three points in the evening kick off at Peterborough.
Kenny Tete is ruled out for Fulham after suffering a hamstring injury in their win over Hull last weekend.
Fabio Carvalho and Tim Ream will be available for selection after missing Tuesday’s Carabao Cup victory at Birmingham City with unspecified injuries.
Tom Cairney and Terence Kongolo both remain absent with knee injuries.
Stoke will be without Nick Powell as a result of a thigh injury suffered against Swansea nearly two weeks ago in the first midweek round of league matches this season.
Tyrese Campbell is still ruled out with a knee injury.
- Fulham have won three of their last five league meetings against Stoke (W3, L2).
- Stoke are winless in their last five league visits to Craven Cottage (L5), scoring once and conceding seven goals.
- Six of Fulham’s nine league goals this season have been scored by the combination of Aleksandr Mitrovic and Fabio Carvalho, with three goals apiece for both players.
- Stoke have lost just one of their last five away matches (W2, D2, L1).
- This is the first match involving Fulham in all competitions to be refereed by Jarred Gillett.
Fulham come into this match in fantastic form because they look packed with depth and a hard-working style of attacking football, which is going to pose some issues for Stoke because Fabio Carvalho and Aleksandr Mitrovic have already formed a dangerous partnership up front.
Michael O’Neill’s Potters however have made considerable improvement with more attacking football which seems to be paying dividends, yet this feels like a match where they are going to have to adopt a counter-attacking style as their defensive resolve will definitely be tested.
Do that then a draw could be a solid return given their recently poor record at Craven Cottage otherwise this will be a Fulham victory with ease.
Prediction: Fulham 2-1 Stoke
Result: Fulham 3-0 Stoke