Sheffield United-Fulham Preview

Scott Parker believes there could yet be major twists and turns in the fight to avoid relegation as Fulham prepare for another mammoth game against Sheffield United.

Fulham secured just their third Premier League win of the season last week at Everton and closed to within six points of safety with a disappointing draw against Burnley.

With 17th-placed Newcastle United not in action until Sunday, Parker's men could now trim the deficit further.

Regardless of a result on Saturday, though, Parker foresees a situation where a team in trouble could quickly turn their season around.

"I do believe that you're looking at teams in this division, and I include us, that can win football matches," he said.

"So, while it can look very bleak one week, I do believe that we can go and win two or three on the bounce."

He added: "We're very confident. The confidence is very high and it's been that way for large parts of the season.

"It is a big game for us this weekend and we understand that, we know what's at stake, and we know what we need to do."

Sheffield United are bottom, a whole 14 points behind Newcastle, but manager Chris Wilder is not yet entertaining talk of plans for the Championship and potential transfer departures.

"You have to have an eye of what might happen, of course, but only a little one," he said.

"I want to keep everybody and be nice and strong and see if we have an opportunity. If the inevitable does happen, as we're not in a great position at the minute, then we keep and go again.

"But there's still a fight and fire in the belly of me and the players that we can win games between now and the end of the season."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Fulham - Bobby De Cordova-Reid

Fulham's home form has been a concern, but De Cordova-Reid has at least performed at Craven Cottage. He is the only Fulham player with more than one league goal at home this season, his three just one shy of equalling his tally last term in the Championship (four).

Sheffield United - Rhian Brewster

Brewster was Sheffield United's big hope for this season, but his fortunes have mirrored the team's. Still waiting on his first goal for the club, Wilder's patience appears to be wearing thin. Brewster has been an unused substitute in two of the Blades' past three league games and must take his chance if another comes along on Saturday.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Fulham have lost just one of their past eight league games against Sheffield United (W4 D3), going down 2-0 at Bramall Lane in January 2007 in the Premier League.

- Sheffield United have won just one of their past 12 away league games against Fulham (D3 L8) and are winless in their past five visits to Craven Cottage since a 3-2 win in September 1985.

- After a run of 196 consecutive home league matches without a goalless draw, three of Fulham's past six home Premier League games have ended 0-0. They last had more home goalless draws in a single league season back in 2001-02 (five).

- Sheffield United have only won two of their 27 Premier League games in London (D8 L17), winning at Chelsea in October 1992 (2-1) and Crystal Palace in February 2020 (1-0).

- Fulham have scored just seven goals in 12 home Premier League games this season (W1 D4 L7), fewer than any other club. The only two teams with fewer goals after their opening 12 home Premier League games of a season were Everton in 1998-99 (three) and Huddersfield Town in 2018-19 (five).