Fulham V Everton at Craven Cottage : Match Preview
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Jol targets morale-boosting win
Fulham boss Martin Jol is seeking a morale-boosting Capital One Cup victory in the all-Premier League clash with Everton at Craven Cottage.
The Cottagers will bid to respond from Saturday's 2-0 west London derby loss at Chelsea by ending a six-match winless run at home.
The last time Fulham were in action at Craven Cottage they were on course for victory over West Brom, only to concede a stoppage-time equaliser which led to a smattering of booing from the home support at the full-time whistle.
"We need a win," said Jol, whose side beat Sunderland on the opening day and defeated Burton in the Capital One Cup second round for their only wins of the campaign.
"It's good for the spirit of the team if we get back to winning games.
"We played three away matches in the first five in the league. That wasn't easy.
"Against Arsenal (at home), for example, we would like to have got a result and we didn't.
"The West Bromwich game was very important for us and they scored in the final minute of added time. That was a draw."
While many top-flight bosses use the League Cup as an opportunity to rotate their squad, Jol is planning to send out a full-strength line-up which could be bolstered by the returns of striker Dimitar Berbatov, defender Aaron Hughes and midfielder Bryan Ruiz.
Berbatov (hamstring), Hughes (thigh) and Ruiz (ankle) missed the trip to Stamford Bridge, along with defender Matthew Briggs (hernia) and first-choice goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (shoulder), who are both still out.
"In our situation I would like to play as many (first-choice) players as possible," Jol said.
In contrast, Everton manager Roberto Martinez is ready to put faith in his squad as he plans to rotate players for the tie.
However, the Spaniard will not be fielding a second-string side as it is likely midfielder Darron Gibson will make his long-awaited return from injury.
He also insists loan-signing Romelu Lukaku is fully fit after a head injury and is raring to go again after scoring in the 3-2 win at West Ham.
Martinez believes the fact they are facing fellow Premier League opposition will make it slightly easier in terms of preparation but he will be resting some of his more important players regardless despite there being almost a week until their next league match on Monday.
"It is good we have extra time to recover from the league game but it is more from the West Ham game to the cup game that we have to take into consideration how players are," he said.
"I'm quite pleased we have an extra few days to recover for the Newcastle game but clearly this squad for the Carling Cup game will be based on the efforts of the previous two games.
"I think every game that you play in an official manner is an important game but what is important is that we understand we have to share the demands within the squad and I do feel this squad is ready to cope with that.
"It is that competition I am interested in. I expect a real good performance whichever team is on the pitch.
"We are desperate to get through but it will be a great opportunity for certain players to show what they can do - and even more after what has happened in the last two games raise competition within the squad.
"The squad is big enough to be able to give the time to the players who need to recover.
"To be successful in the cup you need to accept the challenge."
Striker Arouna Kone could also be involved after being left out at West Ham as he was not entirely right after a knee problem.
"He was 95% at the weekend and we didn't want to take the risk. Kone has a 99% chance he will be available," said Martinez.
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