Late show at the Cottage

  • By: Chris Hammer
  • Last Updated: November 18 2012, 15:54 GMT

Chris Hammer previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Fulham and Sunderland and believes there could be a late goal scored at Craven Cottage.

Fulham have a good home record this season

Fulham v Sunderland - 1600 GMT

The form guide suggests Fulham should pick up yet another home victory when they face struggling Sunderland in Sunday's only Premier League encounter.

Martin Jol's side have enjoyed an encouraging start to the season and while they've proved to be a tough nut to crack on their travels - as further highlighted by last weekend's 3-3 draw at Arsenal - it's been their results at Craven Cottage which have helped them cruise into the top half of the table.

Earlier in the season they brushed aside Norwich and West Brom 5-0 and 3-0 respectively while a 1-0 triumph over Aston Villa and a 2-2 draw with high-flying Everton picked up the momentum following a narrow 2-1 defeat to champions Manchester City.

They will also head into this clash in good spirits having earned that dramatic point at the Emirates Stadium thanks to Mark Schwarzer's penalty save although the way they initially bounced back from 2-0 down also pleased Jol and their supporters.

However, it was another three goals conceded and there's only two other teams in the top flight - QPR and Southampton - who have shipped more than their 19 from 10 games so far this season.

Also it's important to bear in mind they were much the second best against Everton in the previous game and Steve Sidwell's last-gasp equaliser handed them an extremely lucky point when really the Toffees should have been well out of sight.

Therefore if you scratch the surface, Fulham don't look as hot favourites as the league table suggests and this could in fact be an ideal opportunity for Sunderland's strikers to rebuild their confidence in front of goal.

The Black Cats head into the encounter languishing down in 16th spot following a run of three straight defeats while they are without a victory since picking up their only league triumph this season with a 1-0 win over Wigan at the end of September.

On the slight plus side they have drawn six games which shows they are obviously no pushovers while they came close to a shock success at Everton last time out before two late goals saw them lose 2-1.

A draw is certainly not beyond Martin O'Neill's men as they desperately try to arrest this poor run and I feel that's worth backing.

Meanwhile, another easy observation to make about Fulham's games this season is there's an incredible amount of late goals scored by either side.

In total 11 goals have been netted after the 81st minute, with eight games featuring this occurrence. These stats would of course been 12 and nine respectively had Mikel Arteta converted his spot kick last weekend.

Paddy Power offer 6/4 that a goal is scored from the 81st minute until the end so I feel that's also worth taking with small stakes.

Verdict: Fulham 2 Sunderland 2

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