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Preview: Fulham v Portsmouth
07 Jan 2010 - 14:49:19
Fulham will have to take on crisis-club Portsmouth without Bobby Zamora after the in-form striker suffered an injury in the midweek 3-2 defeat at Stoke City.
The former West Ham United, Brighton and Tottenham forward, who has scored 11 goals this season, dislocated a shoulder following a challenge with Stoke's Abdoulaye Faye and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
To add to manager Roy Hodgson's woes, Brede Hangeland suffered a recurrence of his knee injury during the Britannia Stadium loss while John Paintsil sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury in last month's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.
Simon Davies is struggling with an ankle problem as the Cottagers aim to win their first league game since thrashing Manchester United 3-0 before Christmas.
Despite the midweek setback, the Cottagers remain in the top half of the table and have won six of their ten home league matches, with confidence high that they will be able to improve on that record against rock-bottom Pompey on Saturday.
Portsmouth have lurched from one crisis to another this season, with chief executive Peter Storrie admitting earlier this week that Avram Grant would probably lose several more players from an already wafer-thin squad this month.
Pompey face the very real threat of going into administration, have reported debts of £60million and face the threat of a winding-up petition by HM Revenue and customs.
Younes Kaboul has been strongly linked with a return to France, while David James, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Nadir Belhadj could also leave Fratton Park this month.
On the pitch, Grant's side have failed to build on last month's 2-0 victory against Liverpool, losing to West Ham and Arsenal as well as being held to a 1-1 draw by Coventry City in the FA Cup last weekend.
Last term at Craven Cottage, Fulham beat Pompey 3-1 with Erik Nevland scoring a late brace after Andy Johnson had given Hodgson's side the lead. David Nugent grabbed the visitors' consolation goal.
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