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Fulham vs. Burnley Preview: Three questions with Up the Clarets

Burnley looks ready to bounce right back up after being relegated. First on points and with the best goal differential in the division. But they aren't unbeatable. We sit down with Up The Clarets to just how Fulham could prevail in this match.

Is this a good face or a bad face?
Is this a good face or a bad face?
Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Cottagers Confidential: Top of the table, best goal differential in the league, is there anything that hasn't gone right for you this season?

Up the Clarets: I don't think we were too sure how things were going to go this season. When we kicked off we were without five of the ten regular outfield players from last season. Danny Ings, Kieran Trippier and Jason Shackell had all moved to other clubs while both Dean Marney and Ashley Barnes had suffered cruciate ligament injuries. Shackell wasn't initially replaced, Matt Lowton was brought in to replace Trippier but missed the first part of the season with injury and the replacement for Ings was Jelle Vossen who failed to impress in the opening games and was sold at the end of the summer transfer window.

It was a slow start but then picked up as far as the home win against Fulham, but we had a hiccup after that game, failing to win any of the next six and losing three of the next eight. We have certainly got back to some form since and that's lifted us right back up there into what now is beginning to look like a top four.

CC: How has this team changed since the time you destroyed Fulham early in the year?

UTC: It's playing with more confidence I'd say, the likelihood is, provided both Joey Barton and David Jones pass fitness tests, that we'll kick off at Craven Cottage with the midfield and strikers as we had for the home game. It's at the back where things have changed with Lowton now in the side along with Stephen Ward. Those two have taken the full back positions with Ben Mee, previously at left back, now in the centre.

CC: Burnley has only suffered five defeats all year. Does the team have a weakness? Is there anyway to set up a squad to try to beat them?

UTC: All teams have weaknesses but we play to our strengths and that's working hard as a team. We have the best manager in the league, I certainly wouldn't swap him for anyone else, and the team spirit at Burnley surely cannot be bettered anywhere. That makes us difficult to beat but certainly not unbeatable. To beat us a team has to first at least match the energy we put into a game. I don't think you'll find a fitter side in the league.

CC: Predicted Lineup and score?

UTC: Provided Barton and Jones come through OK we'll likely line up: Tom Heaton, Matt Lowton, Michael Keane, Ben Mee, Stephen Ward, George Boyd, Joey Barton, David Jones, Sam Vokes, Andre Gray.

As for a result, there should be goals given the two sides ability to score them. We need another win so I'm going to go for either a 2-0 or 2-1 victory.