The bottom sides in the Premier League meet in a classic relegation six-pointer at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday.
19th-placed Cardiff City have endured a 400-minute goal drought ahead of Saturday’s visit by basement-boys Fulham, who themselves hold the worst defensive record in the league this season.
The two bottom sides in the division are leading candidates for relegation to the Championship, with Fulham sat at the foot of the table on 21 points – one fewer than Cardiff City.
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Despite their predicament, Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this week hailed the fighting spirit of his side. The Bluebirds have three defeats and a draw in four matches since a 2-1 victory over Norwich City at the start of February in which Kenwyne Jones’ 50th-minute strike still represents the club’s last tally.
"We’re fully committed to the last 10 games, though I can stand here talking all day long – we need points on the board," Solskjaer told Cardiff City’s official website. "Saturday is a big, big game."
The former Manchester United star is not the only one treating this weekend as a cup final. Fulham midfielder Scott Parker is keen to see his side end an eight-match winless run that includes six defeats and 20 goals conceded.
"This is probably the biggest game of the season for us," Parker said. "We need to get three points really, we certainly need to come out of the game with points. It’s massive."
Fulham’s German manager Felix Magath is the third man to take charge of the Cottagers this season. He guided them to a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion in his debut game, before last Saturday’s 3-1 home loss to leaders Chelsea.
"When a new manager comes in, it takes a little bit of time to get used to what they want from you and their philosophy and how they want to play really," Parker said. "I’m sure we’re still going through a bit of an adaption phase."
Wilfried Zaha was an unused substitute for Cardiff in Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, but Solskjaer may insert the Manchester United loanee to try to enliven Cardiff’s attack. Fraizer Campbell has gone five straight matches without finding the target.
Fulham have conceded 62 goals and their difference of minus 34 is the worst in the league. Cardiff have the league’s worst attack with 19 goals from 28 matches and are at minus 30.
"You get to this point in the season and you have two teams that are down at the bottom fighting for their lives, I don’t think you are going to get a classic game," Parker said. "You’re going to get one full of energy, desire. In terms of quality, I don’t know how much quality."
The Bluebirds won 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Sept. 28 for their first away Premier League victory. Jordon Mutch scored the winner with a curling strike in the second minute of injury time.