Hull City-Fulham Preview

The Associated Press

Relegation-threatened Fulham need a positive result from Saturday's home match against Hull City to retain any realistic hope of avoiding the drop.

Fulham (9-3-23) are second from bottom and two points from safety with three matches to play. After facing Hull, the Cottagers travel to Stoke City before ending their campaign with a London derby against Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage on May 12.

Midfielder Paul Parker has vowed he and his teammates will do everything they can to help Fulham stay in the Premier League.

"We all understand the responsibility we have as players," Parker told "Ultimately, we're going out there for a lot of people and it's in our hands to try and win games to keep us in the league, so we all understand that responsibility that's needed from us.

"I'd probably be lying if I said the mood around the place was fantastic because obviously when you're down near the bottom of the league it's very tense, very nervy. I'm hoping we can all just stick together and give it one final push, and hopefully have a bit of luck, and see what happens."

The Cottagers gained encouraging back-to-back victories against Aston Villa and Norwich before losing 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday. Steve Sidwell scored Fulham's goal, but also had a penalty saved by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Hull (10-6-8) are 14th in the and six points above the drop zone with four games remaining. Following their trip to Fulham, the Tigers are away to Aston Villa and Manchester United before playing Everton at home on the final day of the Premier League season.

Manager Steve Bruce acknowledges his side are not yet safe mathematically from relegation.

"We've got to make sure we get over the line," Bruce told "We haven't done it yet and we're not safe yet – we've still got a bit of work to do. I always said that ten wins would be enough and it still might be, but it's too close for comfort.

"For a newly-promoted team we've had a terrific season at it. We always knew it was going to be difficult but we're coming into the run-in with a bit of a cushion. I'd rather be in our position that the six teams below us. We've got to see it through now. We've got a big game at Fulham next week and then one at Villa, so it's all to play for."

The Tigers have lost five of their last seven league matches following last weekend's 3-0 home setback to FA Cup final opponents Arsenal. Hull were the better team for the opening 30 minutes at the KC Stadium before Aaron Ramsey and Lukas Podolski struck to give the Gunners a two-goal lead at halftime. Germany striker Podolski added a third 10 minutes after the break to seal victory for the north London side and give them a psychological edge over their Yorkshire rivals ahead of the FA Cup clash at Wembley on May 18.

Fulham hope to have Kieran Richardson (muscle), Sascha Riether (illness) and Mahamadou Diarra (knee) available for Saturday's match, while Hull have fitness concerns over Shane Long (calf) and Sone Aluko (hamstring).

Hull recorded their biggest win in the Premier League when they thrashed Fulham 6-0 at the KC Stadium in late December. Robert Koren scored a brace while Ahmed Elmohamady, George Boyd, Tom Huddlestone and Matt Fryatt also all found the net in the second half.

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