- Venue:Craven Cottage
- Referee:Walton, P
Full Time: FULHAM 0-1 STOKE. The final whistle goes and Stoke take a hard-fought three points away from Craven Cottage. This one could have gone either way and Fulham will be disappointed to have lost.
Fuller is replaced by Lawrence.
Fuller is cautioned for dissent after he is flagged offside.
Hughes' frustration gets the better of him and he hacks down Tuncay. Unsurprisingly, he is duly cautioned.
As we move into injury time the home side are pilling the players forward!
Can Fulham get back into this one? Stoke look set to see this game out at the moment.
Etherington is withdrawn as Diao comes on to bolster the midfield.
Paintsil makes way for Okaka.
FULHAM 0-1 STOKE. Tuncay picks out ETHERINGTON arriving in the box and he slots it home from close range to give Stoke the lead. That was a composed finish.
Paintsil goes in hard and firm on Tuncay and wins the ball in the Stoke half before quickly unleashing a snap shot at goal but sends it into row Z.
Dempsey tries his luck from range but the strike is rising all the way and goes high into the stands.
Stoke reply with a flowing attacking move on the left. Higginbotham comes forward to join in the attack but his cross is too long and sails out of play.
Murphy clips a corner into Etuhu who outjumps his marker and heads towards goal but Begovic is perfectly positioned to catch without moving his feet.
Sidibe makes way for the Turkish international Sanli Tuncay. Can he provide the craft to break down the Fulham defence?
Dempsey chips the ball into Gera and the Hungarian comes in with a flying volley but Begovic turns it wide with a superb reaction stop. Total football all around!
Another fumble from Schwarzer this time from Fuller's low ball. Again he gets away with it but he appears a little shaky in the last few moments.
Schwarzer gathers an Etherington cross and launches a counter attack. Fulham keep possession and slip the ball into Murphy but his shot is deflected wide.
Etuhu drives forward into space and can't resist the shot from range but he drags it well wide with a very disappointing effort.
Delap's long-throw is once again flicked on by Fuller at the front post but this time the ball drops into the arms of Schwarzer.
Etherington crosses again from the left and Schwarzer fumbles but the Australian keeper gets away with it.
Excellent play from Etherington as he breaks beyond Paintsil and whips the ball in but he has very little to aim at and the cross is dealt with easily.
Shawcross is cautioned. That's for a series of totting up offences particularly on Dempsey.
Gera delivers the ball low to Dempsey but he is quickly shut down in the box by Shawcross who toe-pokes the ball away from the American in a dangerous position.
Trademark long-throw from Delap finds the head of Fuller who flicks a glancing header towards the far corner but it grazes the outside of the post and goes wide. Best effort so far!
That's better from Stoke! Fuller holds off the challenge of Hangeland, turns him and runs at goal before unleashing a strike towards goal but it goes wide.
Apparently Damien Duff is suffering from a slight calf problem. Let's hope its nothing serious and that he is available for the Europa League Final.
Erik Nevland enters the fray. Damien Duff is the player to make way.
The second half is underway.
Half Time: FULHAM 0-0 STOKE. The half-time whistle goes and the teams go into the break level despite Fulham having the better of the play and the chances.
Robert Huth is booked for unsporting behaviour.
Gera plays a raking pass out to the left hand side and picks out Konchesky who drills it back across the box but Dempsey can't get anything on it.
Dempsey plays the ball into Gera and gets the return on the edge of the box. The American steadies himself and shoots first-time but the strike is straight at Begovic.
Stoke appear to have very few ideas in attack and another long ball is dealt with. This time it's Paintsil rising to head the ball away from Etherington.
Dempsey races in behind but Huth comes across showing great anticipation and forces the ball out of play to put an end to the attack.
Shawcross sends it long towards Fuller and the Jamaican does well to hold off the defenders and bring it under control but he has no support and is dispossessed.
This has been far from a classic so far despite Fulham's best efforts to build some momentum. Once again a period of possession and pressure is wasted by the homeside with Konchesky's wayward diagonal ball.
Stoke have a chance to work the Fulham defence with a corner after Etherington's cross was blocked behind. The ball is played in but it is comfortably dealt with by the Fulham defence.
Stoke gift the ball back to Fulham far too easily after a misplaced pass by Pantsil. Fuller races with Hangeland to keep a ball in play and pushes the big defender to the floor but he is instantly up after clattering into the advertising boards.
Duff breaks down the left hand side and whips the ball in low, Gera meets it but can't keep his shot down and it flies harmlessly over the crossbar.
Davies delivers a corner from the left hand side and it falls kindly for Duff in the box but he drags his effort wide of the left hand post.
Wilkinson gifts a corner to Fulham as he miscontrols it out of play. Fulham work the corner short and Gera looks to shoot but cannot force it through the crowd and the hopeful cries for a penalty are denied.
Davies links up with Knochesky with a neat one two on the left hand side but the fullbacks cross is a poor one and the opportunity is wasted. Encouraging signs though.
If there were any doubts that this game may be a tentative exhibition style match they have been put to bed by Sidibe as he clatters into Davies. No caution for the frontman and Davies is OK to continue.
The long throw does come in but Mark Schwarzer is alive to the danger and he punches it away.
Stoke's first move of the game ends with the ball worked wide to Whitehead but his cross is comfortably headed away by Hangeland. However the Delap long-throw is now an inevitability.
A quiet start to the game with Fulham retaining possession without too much pressure from the Potters midfield but a well orchestrated offside trap wins Stoke possession.
The game is underway.
Fuller and Sidibe start in attack for Stoke City with Etherington and Delap playing from wide. Whelan and Whitehead will operate from central midfield with Shawcross partnering Huth at centre-back.
Roy Hodgson's side takes on a familiar form with the ever presents Duff, Murphy, Dempsey, Hangeland, Pantsil and Konchesky all featuring. Schwarzer will keep goal and Gera will support Dempsey in attack.
Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Delap, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Fuller, Sidibe
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies, Dempsey, Gera
Hello and welcome to Craven Cottage where Fulham will take on Stoke. Both sides will be playing with the freedom of knowing they are safe and Fulham will be high in confidence given their recent European exploits.
Fulham face Stoke at 8pm on Wednesday, May 5th.
Fulham have the small matter of an upcoming Europa League Final on their minds as their Premier League season winds down with a penultimate game against Stoke City.
But despite Roy Hodgson being likely to rest some key players with half an eye on the game against Atletico Madrid on May 12, there is bound to be a celebratory mood around Craven Cottage in the last home game before the trip to Hamburg.
What's more, there's also still a possibility of finishing in the top ten domestically as the Cottagers, in 11th spot currently, are just one point adrift of Blackburn.
Sunday's 3-2 victory over West Ham was secured despite the absence of the rested Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff, Brede Hangeland, Aaron Hughes, Zoltan Gera and Danny Murphy, and Hodgson looks set to again go with his fringe players.
The likes of Stefano Okaka and Erik Nevland will start, but these second-string players have proved in recent weeks that they are more than capable of performing in the Premier League.
Only Andy Johnson (knee) is unavailable to the west London club through injury.
The Cottagers have lost just one of their nine games - one in five domestically - and cannot be written off despite their continental distractions.
Stoke arrive in the capital with tenth place and the prestige of a top-half finish also still a possibility.
Saturday's goalless draw with Everton has left them 12th in the table and victory at Fulham would see them leapfrog both the Cottagers and Blackburn into tenth place.
However, it has not been plain sailing in recent weeks for the Potters amid reports of dressing room unrest between manager and players.
Amady Faye (groin) and Thomas Sorensen (elbow) are out for the season and will be joined by striker Dave Kitson, who missed the Everton game following an astonishing weekend interview in which he was highly critical of manager Tony Pulis.
Pulis has no fresh injury concerns so looks set to stick with the same side that held Everton, but he is still looking for a first win in five games.
Stoke were 3-2 winners when these two sides met at the Britannia Stadium in January.
They raced into a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to goals by Tuncay, Abdoulaye Faye and Mamady Sidibe.
Fulham fought back but a reply from Damien Duff on the hour and a late second from Clint Dempsey was not enough.
Stoke City took advantage of Fulham's distractions to win 1-0 at Craven Cottage after Roy Hodgson's team threw away another good performance by switching off late on.
Matthew Etherington thrashed home the winner in the 83rd minute but the home side will undoubtedly carry on singing 'que sera, sera' ahead of next Wednesday's Europa League final.
Hodgson recalled Dickson Etuhu, Danny Murphy, Brede Hangeland, Aaron Hughes and Damien Duff after resting them at the weekend, with every Fulham player knowing a place in the starting eleven for next week's historic game is up for debate. The difference between the two sides, therefore, was startling early on.
Zoltan Gera continued to solidify his place alongside Bobby Zamora, who was rested again for this match, looking much more threatening than strike-partner Clint Dempsey, who hasn't featured in Europe on the last three occasions.
Just under 20 minutes in, the Hungarian checked his run back a step to receive a low cross inside the area from Duff and thrashed a shot just over from ten yards out.
Fulham's passing became more assured as the first half wore on and Stoke were left crying for the ball, with needless free-kicks given away out of frustration.
Approaching 40 minutes in, Gera combined with Dempsey in a well-crafted one-two, splitting the centre-backs, and sent a disappointing low drive straight at Asmir Begovic.
Stoke must have had a right going over from Tony Pulis at half time as they emerged almost unrecognisable from the first period. Etherington was certainly fully-charged by now and twice beat players down the left flank before flashing dangerous crosses in front of Mark Schwarzer.
Fulham finally broke loose in the 69th minute when Dempsey latched onto a deep ball to the far post and forced a magnificent save from Begovic who spread his body to deflect the volley wide.
But Etherington finally punished the home side on the left after a cross from Ricardo Fuller on the opposite side touched Tuncay on the way through, and the 28-year-old crashed a left-foot volley off the near post and in.
Shots off target