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Fulham-Tottenham Hotspur Preview
By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Tottenham Hotspur can secure fourth place in the Premier League on the final Sunday of the season when they welcome Fulham to White Hart Lane for a London derby.
Spurs are in fourth on 66 points, one point behind Arsenal and one ahead of Newcastle United. The Gunners finish away to West Bromwich Albion and the Magpies at Everton.
"It's going to be an exciting last day of the season," Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp said. "We need to win. If we win, at least we know we can't do any worse than fourth if we win so that's what we've got to make sure we do."
The match marks the return of Martin Jol to White Hart Lane since he managed Tottenham from 2004-07. He's keen on helping Fulham finish on 55 points for what would be their highest total in the top flight.
"It will be my first game back at White Hart Lane and it will be nice (to get the record)," Jol said. "There is not a lot of pressure on us and it would be nice to get three points."
Fulham are in ninth place, level with Liverpool on 52 points with Everton one point ahead in seventh.
Tottenham missed an opportunity to move into third place with last Sunday's 1-1 draw at Aston Villa. Spurs were reduced to 10 men on 49 minutes when Danny Rose was sent off, but managed to equalise on Emmanuel Adebayor's penalty in the 62nd minute while finishing with a 21-4 advantage in shots.
"It makes it exciting for the last day of the season, it's all to play for (Sunday)," Redknapp said. "It's so many, so many different permutations now."
Fulham knows all too well about failing to take advantage of a great disparity in shots from their 3-1 defeat to Spurs at Craven Cottage on Nov. 6. The home side held a 28-8 edge, marking their highest shot count of the campaign.
"We know it will be a tough game," midfielder Jake Livermore told Tottenham's official website. "Martin Jol will have his team organised, so we'd love to get an early goal and build on that."
Jol's main job this summer may be to convince United States international Clint Dempsey to stay on. Dempsey is fourth in the Premier League with 17 goals and has scored or assisted on 53 percent of the Cottagers' goals, with only Arsenal's Robin van Persie (56 percent) enjoying a higher ratio within the league.
Fulham have dropped their last four league encounters with Tottenham, and have been outscored 11-1 over five defeats and two draws since their last league victory at White Hart Lane in 2003. The Cottagers own two wins in 37 combined league and cup matches while making the 18-kilometre journey to the Lane.
"I would like Spurs to play in the Champions League, of course, but, on the other hand, if we can get three points that would be good," Jol said. "I am satisfied with what we have achieved and this is probably our best season ever when combining with European football."
Updated May 11, 2012