Neither Tottenham Hotspur nor Fulham expected to be in their current positions in the table come December of the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League season. Both have underperformed and underwhelmed, though to very different extents. For Tottenham, who are currently in ninth place, the season began with Champions League dreams and for Fulham, there were hopes of competing for the Europa league, but now they hope just to avoid the drop.
There's plenty of matches left for both teams to affect a turn around and now seems like the perfect place to begin one. Tottenham are coming off of an encouraging performance against Manchester United and will be looking to use that as momentum to propel their campaign forward in the busy months of December and January. The impetus for Fulham's change is likely to be the change in management. Rene Meulensteen has taken over for Martin Jol and this will be the former Manchester United coach's first match in charge of the Cottagers.
Here are the respective teams:
Team v Fulham - Lloris; Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Vertonghen; Capoue, Sandro; Lennon, Paulinho, Lamela; Defoe. #THFC— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 4, 2013
Our subs tonight - Friedel, Naughton, Chadli, Holtby, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Soldado. #THFC— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 4, 2013
Tottenham will be without Mousa Dembele, who has picked up an injury that (surprisingly) no one knew about until just now. As for the rest of the squad, AVB continues with the 4-3-3 look he used against United. Paulinho will play as the most advance of a midfield three. Erik Lamela returns to the starting lineup along with Jermain Defoe.
Fulham are without Brede Hangeland, which could be big for Spurs in their efforts to break down the Fulham defense. Former Spurs players Scott Parker and Dimitar Berbatov are both in the starting line-up.
The match kicks off at 8:00 PM local time (3:00 PM ET) and can be seen live on NBC Sports Live Extra in the US. Those of you in the UK are out of luck as far as finding a place to watch it. Please do not discuss alternative viewing means in the comments. Keep those discussions to Twitter and e-mail.