Premier League Preview: Stoke City v Fulham
By Football News
Felix Magath knows there is no margin for error for his relegation-threatened Fulham side when they travel to Stoke City on Saturday.
The London club would have moved out of the bottom three in the Premier League had they not surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Hull City last weekend.
Fulham's failure to secure three precious points ensured they are second-bottom of the table with only two games remaining and in serious danger of dropping out of the top flight after a 12-year stay.
Wily German Magath was billed as a specialist at avoiding relegation when he replaced Rene Meulensteen in February, but the 60-year-old is danger of losing his impressive record of never experiencing the drop as a manager.
Fulham are just a point adrift of fourth-bottom Sunderland - who travel to Manchester United on Saturday - and third-bottom Norwich City, but Gus Poyet's in-form side have a game in hand.
Aston Villa and West Brom, four and five points better off than Fulham respectively, could still be caught but their terrible goal difference ensures that they will surely not catch West Ham and Hull City.
A confident Magath, whose side face London rivals Crystal Palace on the final day, believes his side are more than capable of winning at the Britannia Stadium.
He told the club's official website: "You have to take sit as it is, for me it's a good situation because we know we have to win.
"We are used to it, in my opinion we have nothing to lose. We only can win so we have to go and win that game. The players realise it and I'm confident they will make a good game.
"For me, it (keeping Fulham in the Premier League) would be my most successful achievement.
"I have never been relegated and I'm a bit afraid of the situation, I don't know how it feels to be relegated. I am afraid."
Magath is hoping key midfielder Steve Sidwell is passed fit after he suffered a kick on the knee against Steve Bruce's side.
It remains to be seen if striker Kostas Mitroglou (knee) is able to play any part in Saturday's crunch clash.
While Fulham are fighting for their lives, Stoke are striving to secure a top-10 finish in the Premier League for the first time.
The Britannia Stadium has remained a fortress in Mark Hughes' first season in charge, with Stoke suffering only three home defeats.
One of those losses came against Tottenham last weekend, with captain Ryan Shawcross sent off early in the second half in a 1-0 setback.
Shawcross serves a one-match ban, while Robert Huth (knee) and Matthew Etherington (back) remain sidelined.