The proverbial six-pointers don't usually come around until the second half of the season, but considering the position that Crystal Palace find themselves in and the pressure that Martin Jol is on, at Fulham, Monday's English Premier League game comes as close as any.
Dimitar Berbatov will be the danger man when Fulham take on Crystal Palace in the English Premier League
Crystal Palace, with only three points all season, will look for some home comforts when they host struggling Fulham at Selhurst Park.
"What we have been doing lately hasn't been good enough and we have got to do better," said Palace manager Ian Holloway, whose side have won just one game all season. "That doesn't scare me, that is a fact and we have got to do it very, very quickly."
While Holloway's job is under threat at Palace if the poor run continues, Jol has also come under tremendous scrutiny at Fulham after his side's rather underwhelming start to the season, which sees them just off the bottom three with seven points from ten games.
The Dutchman knows Fulham cannot afford to drop points against Palace, but does not expect his side to boss the game at Selhurst Park.
"If you look at the Premier League, even when you're in the bottom three at Christmas that doesn't mean that you'll go down," he explained. "I can remember the Crystal Palace manager doing an unbelievable job at Blackpool -- I think he was in the top eight and they still got relegated after Christmas.
"He played a different system, a very progressive 4-3-3, and he did it again with Crystal Palace. So I still feel that the man is doing a good job but the results aren't going for them and hopefully Monday will be the same.
"I think Crystal Palace started off well and then, of course, had a few difficult oppositions to play so they didn't have the rub of the green and were a bit unfortunate, like us, and that's why they are where they are."
Team News: Damien Delaney, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Danny Gabbidon and Paddy McCarthy are doubtful for Crystal Palace, while Fulham expect to welcome back influential duo Dimitar Berbatov and Scott Parker, after they limped off against Stoke and Cardiff respectively. Aaron Hughes is also expected to be available following the defender's return to training on Friday.
Key men: Crystal Palace: Palace skipper Mile Jedinak is key to keeping the side ticking over from midfield, and if the Australian can control the tempo of the game, then Palace will be successful.
Fulham: The two forwards Berbatov and Darren Bent need to put away the chances when presented.
Where to watch
Expected lineups: Crystal Palace: Speroni; Ward, Mariappa, Delaney, Moxey; Dikgacoi, Campana, Jedinak; Puncheon, Chamakh, Gayle.
Fulham: Stekelenburg; Riether, Amorebieta, Hangeland, Richardson; Parker, Sidwell; Kasami, Berbatov, Kacaniklic; Bent.
Prediction: 2-1 to Fulham
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