Tottenham will need to overcome an in-form Dimitar Berbatov if they are to end a two-match losing streak when they take on Fulham.
While Tottenham advanced to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, they did so after a 4-1 loss away to Inter Milan, the second-straight defeat for Andre Villas-Boas’ team in all competitions.
Fulham have not won away to Tottenham since 2003 but will head to White Hart Lane for Sunday’s English Premier League clash with plenty of confidence as their star striker Berbatov has scored three goals in his past four matches.
That includes goals in the past two games with the 32-year-old Bulgarian having scored Fulham’s opener in their 2-2 draw with Sunderland on March 2, while also notching the winner in a 1-0 triumph over Stoke City the week before.
Berbatov and his manager Martin Jol will be excited at the prospect of taking on a Tottenham defence that have conceded eight goals in their past two matches with the defeat in Milan preceded by a 3-2 loss to Liverpool.
But Villas-Boas should also be confident his potential attacking quartet of Gareth Bale, Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Clint Dempsey can take advantage of Fulham’s poor defensive record, which sees them with the eighth-worst defence in the Premier League.
With goals likely, the London derby promises to be an exciting clash, although there is much more on the line for Tottenham.
Fulham sit 10th on the Premier League table with 33 points, seven points behind ninth-placed Swansea and well out of contention for next season’s continental competitions.
Tottenham, by contrast, are third in the standings, two points ahead of Chelsea, who sit fourth with a game in hand.
A win for Villas-Boas’ team could see them move within two points of Manchester City, if the reigning champions lose to Everton on Saturday.