Swansea travel to the Cottage in fine form - Game preview - Swansea (h)

SWANSEA, WALES - MAY 16: Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates the third Swansea goal during the npower Championship Play Off Semi Final Second Leg between Swansea City and Nottingham Forest at Liberty Stadium on May 16, 2011 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

"We would like more points," was a very abrupt request of manager, Martin Jol, ahead of Saturday's tie at home to Swansea City. The theory behind it is flawless, of course, but there is a widely held belief around the Premier League at the moment that Brendan Rodgers and his Welsh outfit are a side not only skilled, quite exquisitely, at their footballing craft, but also adept at picking up points when most required. They sit in eleventh place, on the same number of points as us, eclipsing the success of fellow promoted side, Queens Park Rangers, and in doing so have set a standard of football that far closer resembles Arsenal, Barcelona and the like than it does their previous, Championship fellows.

It's to be applauded, of course, and Jol did as much: "There are a few clubs in England that use that style of play," the Ducthman said.

"Swansea always try to play. They play it out from the back and the keeper is almost like a 12th player so you could honestly say that I admire them for that.

"Brendan Rodgers is someone who has got that philosophy, which is different and is why I rate him very highly because it is not easy."

And neither, you have to feel, will it be easy beating Swansea.

For all their fluidity, though, only 12 of their 36 points have been taken on the road and that, coupled with our respectable home form, could well be the difference here.

The Welsh outfits three away victories have come against West Bromwich Albion, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa, all, arguably, sides that like to play attractive, free flowing football. In that sense, maybe the test for Fulham on Saturday will be harder than it resembles on the surface.

Swansea come into this game off the back of a fine 1-0 win over second placed Manchester City - though City did lead the table before kick off. Relegation is now free from their minds and their form has proved to be all the better for it.

Fulham, too, are improving of late. A run of three straight victories was brought to a halt in injury time last weekend as Andreas Weimann helped defeat the whites by one goal to nil.

The last time this fixture was played out at Craven Cottage, both sides were in the Football League's lowest division, which goes to highlight both clubs' cosmic rise to stardom in recent times. Swansea beat us at the Liberty Stadium earlier in this campaign.

Swansea travel to West London with no fresh injury worries although Nathan Dyer will miss out through suspension. Meanwhile, Steve Sidwell has suffered a setback in his return from injury and is expected to be absent for up to another four weeks. Orlando Sa is also out.

Predicted line-up: Schwarzer; Riise, Hangeland, Senderos, Baird; Dempsey, Dembele, Murphy, Duff; Pogrebnyak, Johnson

Score prediction: Fulham 1-0 Swansea

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