Fulham V Stoke at Craven Cottage - Match Preview

Richardson to miss Stoke match

Fulham midfielder Kieran Richardson will miss the visit of Stoke despite nearing a return from a calf injury.

Richardson has not played since the 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on January 19 but has returned to training.

Sascha Riether is back in the squad after he missed the 0-0 draw at Norwich a fortnight ago, having been taken ill the night before the match. Long-term injury worries Mahamadou Diarra (both knee) and Kerim Frei (pelvis) remain out.

Manager Martin Jol believes Tony Pulis should be admired for his physical style of football, despite describing Stoke as a "near rugby team" earlier this season.

Jol made that comment in November after seeing his side beaten 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium.

Ahead of the return fixture Jol maintains his team had been bullied that day, but believes Pulis deserved credit, rather than any inferred ridicule, for it.

"In that game yes. They tried to bully us," he said.

"It was annoying for me. That is what I told my players at half-time and in the second half they did it again, so nothing changed.

"They play a style which is probably difficult for any team to play against.

"He (Pulis) feels that this is the way to do it and the way for him to be successful.

"I always admire that. I respect that. You have a lot of teams that have no style, in Europe for example.

"They play 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 4-4-2 and they change their style all the time and I don't like that.

"I like the people who make their choice and stick to their choice and hopefully they are successful with that."

Brek Shea and Marc Wilson are both set to feature in Stoke's squad.

Winger Shea, who has been recovering from a foot operation, is yet to be included in a Potters matchday party following his January move from FC Dallas, while full-back Wilson's last involvement with the first team was when he broke his leg against Sunderland in October.

The pair are now fit for selection, as is forward Cameron Jerome, despite suffering a knock to his knee, but striker Michael Owen is a doubt after he felt a problem with his thigh in training.

Pulis admits he is concerned by his team's away results this season.

The Potters head into Saturday's match with a record which shows six defeats, six draws and only one victory from their 13 top-flight fixtures on the road.

Pulis believes this season his side have put in some of the best away displays since gaining promotion to the division in 2008.

"I think we have played better away from home this year than we have in all the previous years we have been in the Premier League, and we just haven't had the results," Pulis said.

"It is something that does concern you. We have a smashing group of lads who work really, really hard and we just need a little bit of luck as much as anything else.

"Away from home this year I think we have looked a lot more solid, even against the bigger clubs.

"We have gone to Arsenal (their last away game, on February 2) and two or three years ago we would be living on a prayer.

"This year when we went there, we were beaten by a deflected free-kick (in a 1-0 defeat).

"I personally think we played really well and didn't deserve to lose that game. But we haven't had the breaks and you need them, especially away from home."

Source: PA

Source: PA