Premier League preview: Fulham v Sunderland
By Football News
The London club are unbeaten in their past five matches and full of confidence following a thrilling 3-3 draw against Arsenal last weekend.
Fulham trailed by two goals after 23 minutes at the Emirates before Dimitar Berbatov inspired the visitors with a brace and Mark Schwarzer saved a penalty at the death to secure a point.
Berbatov has been instrumental since his arrival from Manchester United on transfer deadline day, with five goals making him an instant favourite among the Fulham faithful.
Fulham, who have scored more goals than any other team apart from league leaders Manchester United, are undefeated in six league games when Berbatov has started.
"Berba is more than important for us, both on and off the pitch," fellow striker Hugo Rodallega said.
"He is a relaxed guy, very intelligent, but also a shy person. When he does speak, it is common sense. I am learning a lot from him and I think we can be very successful during our time here."
Fulham are ninth on the table with 16 points, behind Arsenal on goal difference and one point adrift of Tottenham in seventh place.
Sunderland, just three points above the relegation zone in 16th place, are under increasing pressure following losses to Everton and Aston Villa.
And the Tyneside club could be without Lee Cattermole, Steven Fletcher and Phil Bardsley for the trip to Craven Cottage with all three nursing injuries.
Cattermole missed the 2-1 defeat at Everton with a knee complaint, while Fletcher picked up a knock and Bardsley was absent with a hamstring injury.