FT: Fulham 1 Stoke 0

Fulham hold out for the win then as Stoke fail to fashion a chance late on. They should feel fortunate with this victory, and it should serve as a massive boost to Martin Jol and his players.

GOAL! Huge goal for Fulham! Poor play from Stoke in the centre of the park gives Fulham the chance to break. Kasami picks up the ball and lashes it into the area to an unmarked Bent, who does brilliantly to evade a defender and Begovic to slot home.

79
Reither blasts through the Stoke defence on a 70-yard run, and his shot is well saved by Begovic.

71
A nervy second or two for dominant Stoke as Shawcross attempts to hook a long ball back, but it lands straight into Begovic's hands.

67
Ireland is found unmarked in the area but his volley is lashed just wide.

66
Huth again proves dangerous from the corner, heading just over.

65
Cameron cuts inside and unleashes an effort, but it deflects out for a corner.

63
Dimitar Berbatov is really struggling out there for Fulham, and Darren Bent eventually comes on for him as the home side's last sub.

63
Arnautovic gets in behind the Fulham defence with a great run but the finish is poor and he's offside.

62
Assaidi's trickery will be plenty for Fulham to handle and he opens the space up for Arnautovic, but his effort is tame.

60
Off comes Etherington for Stoke, with Assaidi on to replace him.

60
Sidwell stretches the play out wide and a great ball in from Ruiz finds Berbatov, but it's a good save.

Whelan's first action on the pitch is to go into the referee's book for a late challenge.

Glenn Whelan replaces Wilson for Stoke.

Karagounis is Fulham's second change, replaced by Derek Boateng.

54
Karagounis' powerful delivery is headed away by the first man.

54
A free-kick right on the edge of the Stoke penalty area is awarded after Berbatov is felled.

49
Yet another penalty appeal but it's exactly the same result as before as Berbatov is pulled down.

46
A half-time switch will change Fulham's system a little as Hangeland comes off for Richardson.

45
Fulham kick off the second half then, which side will capitalise on their bright first 45 minutes?

Veeraj Sharma: "I think Stoke are the ones most likely to win the game. Introduction of Adam in the second half should help. Fulham seem to be low on confidence and Stoke are also keeping the ball very well."

What are your thoughts on that first-half? Who looks most likely to take all three points? Don't forget to let me know either by Twitter at MattStead91, or via e-mail at Matthew.Stead@bskyb.com.

Even first half then as both sides look well-matched. Two penalty shouts for Stoke and one for Fulham, while Robert Huth had a header cleared off the line for the visitors.

45
End-to-end last minute in the first 45 as first Ruiz tumbles over in the Stoke area to no avail, and Ireland breaks quickly but his pass to Arnautovic isn't good enough.

38
Fulham really starting to exert a bit more pressure now after early Stoke dominance. Still no real chances for either side however.

33
Great work from Berbatov, Kasami and Duff works space for Sidwell to fashion a shooting chance, but it's well over.

32
Sidwell tries to slip Ruiz in but it's a great block from Huth.

32
Arnautovic races through again but he tries to cut inside and is blocked off by a defender.

28
Huth's header is cleared off the line from the corner. Stoke are definitely on top so far.

27
Arnautovic takes the free-kick. It hits the wall and goes out for a corner.

25
Walters races through for Stoke, past Amorebieta. The Spaniard seems to clip Walters but he carries on. He clips him again and Walters goes down in the area, but a free-kick is awarded with Amorebieta booked.

24
Fulham are struggling with Stoke's passing. There's always an option on the ball for a Stoke player at the minute.

23
Ruiz looks lively for Fulham, racing down the left and winning a corner.

20
Stoke look very good so far. They're passing the ball around calmly and all Fulham can do right now is chase shadows. No opening presented itself just yet however.

17
After a second viewing, it certainly does seem like a penalty. Senderos went in rashly.

16
Ireland goes to ground in the Fulham area but the referee awards a goal kick.

13
A free-kick deep into Fulham's half brings Stoke's first chance as Arnautovic strikes a loose ball first time from the air, but a Stoke player deflects it away.

10
No innocent party there, but also no bookings. Play goes on but PIeters isn't exactly Mr Popular at Craven Cottage.

9
Controversy early on as Kasami lashes out at Pieters. The Stoke defender goes down far too easily, but Kasami shouldn't have lashed out.

8
Straight into the wall, but Fulham maintain possession. A great passing sequence releases Kasami down the right, but he's offside.

7
Free-kick awarded about 30 yards out for Fulham, Ruiz and Karagounis are stood over it.

6
Both sides are enjoying periods of possession, but there's nothing doing in terms of chances.

2
Fulham seem content with passing the ball around early on just to get a feel of the game. Stoke sitting back.

1
Stoke kick us off then as Mark Hughes makes his first return to Craven Cottage since his stint at Fulham manager.

Punters appear to be steering clear of betting on Fulham against Stoke. Fulham are in a desperate run of form at Craven Cottage securing only one point in their previous seven Premier League home games but remain favourites to end that run today. The Whites have a good record against the Potters having won their last three in a row, including a 1-0 success in February, which is the last time the hosts secured a clean sheet. It's 6/1 for a repeat of that scoreline and 11/4 for the hosts to win to nil.

What are your thoughts having seen the line-ups? Do you make Fulham or Stoke the favourites? Which player could decide the game? Don't forget to let me know either by Twitter at MattStead91, or via e-mail at Matthew.Stead@bskyb.com.

TEAM NEWS
For Stoke, Jones is dropped as Ireland comes in for Mark Hughes' men. Mark Arnautovic starts through the middle.

TEAM NEWS
Fulham make four changes in total then, as Parker, Bent, Richardson and Kacaniklic are replaced by Senderos, Karagounis, Duff and Ruiz in the starting XI.

TEAM NEWS
Stoke: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters; Walters, Ireland, Wilson, Nzonzi, Etherington; Arnautovic. Subs: Sorensen, Adam, Assaidi, Whelan, Palacios, Jones, Crouch.

TEAM NEWS
Fulham: Stockdale, Riether, Hangeland, Senderos, Amorebieta, Duff, Karagounis, Sidwell, Ruiz; Kasami, Berbatov. Subs: Etheridge, Richardson, Taarabt, Rodallega, Zverotic, Boateng, Bent.

This game may previously have been a write-off before it'd begun, what with Fulham's imperious home form and Stoke's typically poor away form. Both sides look very different to those stereotypes this season though, so it'll be an interesting clash. We'll have team news coming up soon.

A Stoke side with a new manager and new ethos is next up for the struggling Cottagers. Mark Hughes has his side playing more expansive football than that seen under Tony Pulis, and two wins from their opening games leaves them in 15th place.

Fulham welcome their visitors as a side in dire straits. Boss Martin Jol is under considerable pressure as they sit in 18th with just one win.

Hello and welcome to this afternoon's live commentary on the Premier League clash between Fulham and Stoke at Craven Cottage.

Updates will appear...

Premier League Fixtures

Saturday, 16 August 2014
12:45
Man Utd v Swansea  
15:00
Leicester v Everton  
QPR v Hull City  
Stoke City v A Villa  
West Brom v Sunderland  
West Ham v Tottenham  
17:30
Arsenal v C Palace  
Sunday, 17 August 2014
13:30
Liverpool v Southampton  
16:00
Newcastle v Man City  
Monday, 18 August 2014
20:00
Burnley v Chelsea  
Saturday, 23 August 2014
12:45
A Villa v Newcastle  
15:00
Chelsea v Leicester  

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Arsenal 0 0 0
2 A Villa 0 0 0
3 Burnley 0 0 0
4 Chelsea 0 0 0
5 C Palace 0 0 0
6 Everton 0 0 0
7 Hull City 0 0 0
8 Leicester 0 0 0
9 Liverpool 0 0 0
10 Man City 0 0 0
11 Man Utd 0 0 0
12 Newcastle 0 0 0
13 QPR 0 0 0
14 Southampton 0 0 0
15 Stoke City 0 0 0
16 Sunderland 0 0 0
17 Swansea 0 0 0
18 Tottenham 0 0 0
19 West Brom 0 0 0
20 West Ham 0 0 0

Updated Fri, 25 Jul 2014

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