Premier League Preview: West Brom v Fulham
By Football News
Felix Magath starts his quest to salvage Fulham's Premier League status against a West Brom side yet to win a game under Pepe Mel.
Former Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Schalke coach Magath was appointed as Fulham's third manager this season last Friday, taking over from Rene Meulensteen, who was relieved of his duties after just over two months in the role.
Magath assumes control with the London club rock bottom of the table after suffering defeat in 18 of their 26 league games this term.
The German has just 12 matches to save Fulham from the ignominy of the drop, but should be hopeful of picking up a positive result against a side that has only four Premier League wins in 2013-14.
Mel has improved West Brom's resolve since taking over on January 9, guiding them to admirable draws against Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea.
But for all of those valiant displays, former Real Betis coach Mel has still to experience his first West Brom victory, a run of results that leaves the Midlands club outside of the bottom three on goal difference only.
The two sides played out a 1-1 draw back in September, but Magath is confident that Fulham - who have kept just three clean sheets in the league all season - can keep relegation rivals West Brom at bay on Saturday.
"I am convinced that we have a chance on Saturday to come out of the game with zero goals against us," Magath said.
"We have to concentrate over the next 12 games and especially the game on Saturday against West Brom.
"Avoiding relegation is the most important thing."
Magath refused to comment on the fitness of striker Konstantinos Mitroglou, who has yet to play for the club since his January move from Olympiacos because of a knee injury.
Defender Fernando Amorebieta is a doubt with a similar issue, but goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg should be available, despite sustaining a bruised eye against Liverpool.
Meanwhile, West Brom will be without midfielder Claudio Yacob due to a hamstring problem, while striker Nicolas Anelka is still out with a shin injury.
However, defenders Billy Jones (knee) and Jonas Olsson (hamstring) as well as attacking midfielder Stephane Sessegnon (groin) could all be in line to return for the hosts.
Both West Brom and Fulham are without a Premier League win since beating Newcastle United and West Ham respectively on New Year's Day.