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Date: 8th December Venue: Craven Cottage Kick off: 1:30pm

Aston Villa visit Craven Cottage as Rene Meulensteen looks for his first win as Fulham boss.

Team News

Brede Hangeland remains Fulham’s main injury concern, with their captain doubtful for the match due a sciatic nerve problem.

The centre back has been absent for over a month now and the Cottagers are still unsure when he will return.

Aston Villa will have to contend without Charles N’Zogbia (achilles) and centre-back Jores Okore (knee).

Key Stats

Aston Villa have the third best away form in the league after picking up 12 points in seven games on the road.

Fulham have the joint worst home defence in the Premier League having conceded 13 goals at home this season.

The London side are also on a six game losing streak after losing 2-1 to Tottenham at home in midweek.

Aston Villa’s top scorer Christian Benteke is without a goal since since September and was dropped for the side’s 3-2 victory at Southampton.

Likely Line-Ups

Fulham

Stekelenburg, Riether, Senderos, Hughes, Riise, Dejagah, Parker, Sidwell, Kacaniklic, Kasami and Berbatov

Aston Villa

Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Clark, Westwood, El Ahmadi, Agbonlahor, Delph, Weimann and Kozak.

Match Preview

Aston Villa’s impressive away form makes this a difficult second game in charge for Meulensteen.

Fulham’s new manager lost his first game at the helm against Tottenham on Wednesday, despite the Cottagers going 1-0 up.

After are poor performance away to West Ham last weekend there were at least some positives for Meulensteen following the defeat.

His side demonstrated a willingness to fight and compete against Spurs, an attitude that will be crucial if they are to survive this season.

Aston Villa come into this encounter off the back of an impressive victory over high-flying Southampton.

This Villians won 3-2 at St.Mary’s, meaning they have now won more games away from home than at Villa Park.

The big talking point from Paul Lambert’s team’s triumph was the dropping of top scorer Benteke for Libor Kozak.

The Czech striker scored against the Saints and therefore can expect to keep his place on Sunday.

While Aston Villa have been lethal away from home, Fulham looked to have improved under Meulensteen and they should be good enough for a point.

Prediction: 1-1

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