Premier League Preview: Swansea City v Fulham
By Football News
Swansea City will regard the visit of Fulham as an opportunity to arrest an eight-game winless run in the Premier League.
That alarming dip in form has seen Michael Laudrup's side drop to within three points of the relegation zone, having enjoyed an eight-point cushion in early December, when Fulham were 18th.
Rene Meulensteen's side have since climbed one place but the gap to Swansea is just two points and Fulham can go above their hosts for the first time since August with victory on Tuesday.
But away days have provided Fulham with little reason for cheer this season, particularly since the 4-1 win at Crystal Palace in October.
Fulham have played seven away matches in the top flight since that triumph, winning just one and conceding 22 goals in the process.
A laboured 1-1 draw at League One Sheffield United in the FA Cup underlined Fulham's difficulties on the road, although Meulensteen made 11 changes for Sunday's game.
Swansea's recent home form will offer the visitors some cause for optimism, however, with Laudrup's men having lost their last three at the Liberty Stadium.
The hosts may cite mitigating circumstances, though, having played Everton, Manchester City and Tottenham in that run.
Nonetheless, if Swansea are unable to halt the slump soon, they will be in danger of losing their Premier League status after three years in the top flight.
November's meeting between the two saw Swansea run out 2-1 winners, Jonjo Shelvey netting the winner in the last 10 minutes.
Wilfried Bony was the Welsh club's hero on Saturday as he came off the bench at half-time to score twice and secure a 2-1 FA Cup triumph over Birmingham City.
With six goals in his last six games, the Ivorian is likely to start against Fulham, but Laudrup has several injury concerns.
Shelvey (hamstring), Michu and Jose Canas (both ankle) are definitely out, while midfielders Nathan Dyer (ankle) and Jonathan de Guzman (calf), as well as goalkeeper Michel Vorm (knee), could come into the reckoning.
The visitors, having made so many changes at the weekend, will be comparatively fresh, with Fernando Amorebieta (knee) and Matt Briggs (hernia) their only absentees.