Stoke could be without defender Andy Wilkinson. Wilkinson had to come off in the first half of Monday's 1-1 draw at West Ham due to a back problem and has undergone a scan. If he is ruled out, his replacement at Upton Park, Ryan Shotton, is likely to deputise once again at full-back. Midfielder Dean Whitehead is back available after being suspended for the match against the Hammers, but striker Michael Owen is not expected to be ready to make his return from a hamstring complaint, while midfielder Rory Delap (hernia) and defender Marc Wilson (broken leg) remain sidelined.
Fulham will again be without a number of key players. Alex Kacaniklic and Bryan Ruiz are both out for the next two weeks with hamstring injuries picked up against Sunderland, while Mickael Tavares and Kieran Richardson miss out with similar complaints. Fulham can call upon Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Chris Baird (ban) again, although captain Brede Hangeland (ban), Simon Davies (hip) and Kerim Frei (loan return) are also unavailable. David Stockdale, Marcello Trotta and Alex Smith left the club on Thursday's loan deadline day.
Tony Pulis: "I think Berbatov has been the outstanding buy for me and is playing at the top of his game. In the games I've watched, he's been absolutely outstanding. He looks like he's really enjoying himself and has found a home where he's the main player. Looking at him, he's showing the class he possesses. It will be worth the admission just to see him play. You have to say he's one of the best players in the Premier League on form. He can win games on his own and has been a great signing for manager Martin Jol. It's his touch and his movement, and he sees a pass. He's first-class."
Martin Jol on the absence of Brede Hangeland due to suspension: "We have to cope with it. We have to come up with different solutions. We don't have another Hangeland. We have Philippe Senderos and hopefully, if he is still fit, he will come in and replace him. Hopefully Aaron Hughes and the players we have got are strong enough because I saw them against West Ham. It is quite a challenge."
Stoke City have scored just seven goals in their eight Premier League games against Fulham and failed to score in four of those matches.
In the last five Premier League meetings between Fulham and Stoke, all six goals that the Whites have scored have been in the first hour and five of them in the opening 33 minutes, while all four netted by Stoke have been scored in the final 15 minutes of games.
The Potters have conceded just one goal and kept four clean sheets in their last five Premier League games at the Britannia Stadium.
Stoke are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League home matches, though they have won just five and drawn seven in that run.
Fulham are unbeaten in their last four Premier League away games; only twice before, August 2004 (six games) and November 2006 (five games) have they been on a longer run without defeat on the road.
No team has ever drawn three consecutive away matches in the Premier League having scored at least three goals in each game, or drawn four consecutive away games having netted at least twice in each match. Fulham’s last three away results are 2-2 at Southampton, 3-3 at Reading and 3-3 versus Arsenal.
Only two teams have ever drawn more of their opening 12 Premier League games than Stoke have this season (7) – Leeds in 98/99 and Norwich in 04/05 (both 8).
Games at the Britannia this season have produced only five goals, fewer than any other Premier League ground.
Fulham have conceded exactly three goals in five of their games this season and in three of the last four.
Only Tottenham have led in as many Premier League games as Fulham this season (10).
Stoke 6/5, Fulham 12/5, Draw 23/10.
- Sports & Recreation
- Premier League