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Fulham-Huddersfield Town Preview
Two sides entrenched in the relegation zone get an English prime-time opportunity to potentially earn a much-needed victory.
With a single Premier League win between the two, Huddersfield Town welcome Fulham to John Smith's Stadium on Monday night.
Entering this match day, Fulham (1-2-7) sit atop the three-team drop zone on five points, and two points clear of last-place Huddersfield (0-3-7). It's safe to say both squads are beyond frustrated at this point in the season, but also look at this matchup for them to grab a vital three points.
This will be the lone Premier League game on the docket Monday, and perhaps the prime-time lights in England will provide for incentive for each club to step up their respective games.
"It's obviously a really important game for us, a really important game for Huddersfield, too," Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic told his club's official website. "It's an early six-pointer at the beginning of November. (But) after the game, everything isn't going to be done for either of these two teams."
Fulham, whose lone win came against Burnley on Aug. 26, have been outscored 15-3 during a four-game Premier League losing streak. They also suffered a 2-0 loss to giants Manchester City in League Cup action on Thursday.
Jokanovic has tinkered with his top-flight lineup often thus far in the campaign, and will likely continue to do so. Not only is he changing for tactical purposes, but is looking for players who can possibly give his side a spark and are willing to give their all for the cause.
"I want to encourage my players to not wait for the opportunity," he said. "It's a long season and these people are going to have an opportunity in the future. I want to encourage them to fight to force the situation and show me, 'Gaffer, I am your best choice.' This is what I expect. I want to create some competition between them, and for them to be hurt when they're not in the starting XI."
Whilst Fulham continue to search for another victory, Huddersfield simply want to experience their first on the campaign. The Terriers have managed a league-low four goals and been blanked in each of the last two matches. They recorded seven shot on target last weekend against Watford, but still fell 3-0 for a second consecutive setback.
"It's been a problem all season that we've got into the final third and we've struggled to hit the target or create something," midfielder Philip Billing told Huddersfield's official website. "We just have to stay positive. … The whole club has to believe because in these times you show the character you have. You have to stick together an be positive."
This is the first meeting between the two sides since Fulham outscored Huddersfield 9-1 to do the double in the Championship during the 2016-17 season. In fact, Fulham are 4-2-0, with a 16-4 scoring advantage, over the last six meetings - all of which came in the Championship - against the Terriers.
Updated November 3, 2018