Game preview - Wolverhampton Wanderers (h)

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: New Wolves manager Terry Connor looks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Sports Direct Arena on February 25, 2012 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The last time Wolverhampton Wanderers decided to pay a visit to Craven Cottage, Moussa Dembele was still an enigmatic figure in South West London. Yet, in the midst of a hot-tempered game, in which Bobby Zamora broke his leg and Mick McCarthy was consistently, and rather vociferously, condemned by Fulham fans for his overly aggressive tactics, the Belgian truly placed himself firmly in the realms of the top-drawer footballer, pulling the home side back onto level terms and then setting the Cottage alight with a last minute free kick.

Victory was not so resplendent, in this game at least, because of the three points gained - and it was our first league win of the campaign - but due to the nature of the performance. Wolves battled and fought to such a great extent that to genuinely play football was proving a difficult proposition, but Fulham persisted and got their reward. This time around, McCarthy is no longer in charge and the Midlands club provide an entirely different test.

Terry Connor is their current manager, appointed after a disappointing search for McCarthy's successor. There was talk of Steve Bruce, Alan Curbishley and the like, but no deals came to fruition and Connor, the assistant manager at the time, took the reigns.

Despite the promotiom, he still appears to be a reputable choice - albeit with no managerial history to fall back on. In that sense, Martin Jol will be venturing into the relative unknown on Sunday afternoon, but, if their 2-2 draw with Newcastle is anything to go by, persistence and vigour should not be an issue for Connor's men. At 2-0 down, some sort of desire returned to the Wolves players and a dramatic comeback ensued. Whether McCarthy could have been so influential, only the players know.

Fulham had a game of an entirely different empathic nature last time out. The Whites gained only their second away win of the season but the fact it was over Queens Park Rangers, who host both our former manager Mark Hughes and former striker Bobby Zamora barely ten miles down the road, made the result that little bit sweeter. It was also the Cottager's second successive victory, having come after a fragile 2-1 defeat of Stoke City.

Earlier in the season, Fulham were humbled at Molyneux and fell to a 2-0 loss. Kevin Doyle and Matt Jarvis were the difference, though a lack of composure in front of goal for the away side added to frustrations on the day.

Wolves have some returnees to their line up, with Steven Fletcher fighting for a role up front while Wayne Hennessey and David Edwards, both missing from the Wales squad for Gary Speed's memorial friendly against Costa Rica, will be in contention.

Fulham have confirmed that new signing Mahamadou Diarra will be ready to play, although not team place is a guarantee. Jol described the Mali international as a player that "has extra quality". Meanwhile, Dickson Etuhu and Stephen Kelly are doubts and Steve Sidwell and Zdenek Grygera are definite absentees.

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

Score prediction: Fulham 3-0 Wolves

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cottagers Confidential

You must be a member of Cottagers Confidential to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cottagers Confidential. You should read them.

Join Cottagers Confidential

You must be a member of Cottagers Confidential to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cottagers Confidential. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker