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Struggling Fulham and Crystal Palace do battle on Monday in what is an early season 6-pointer.

Fulham will head into the game buoyed by their 1-0 win over Stoke and Martin Jol wants his side to build on that win and move away from the relegation zone starting against believes Crystal Palace on Monday.



Latest Odds : Palace 7/4, draw 23/10, Fulham 7/5
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Palace currently sit second bottom of the table after just win so far this season and are currently on a run of four successive defeats however despite their poor form Jol believes that the Eagles can pose a significant test to his Fulham side.

“It’s not easy to go away from home to play against these teams,” Jol said

“If you saw Crystal Palace away against Liverpool (a 3-1 defeat for Palace) in the second half, they could have scored more goals than one. Of course, it was 3-0 going into the second half but they could have scored two or three.

“They’re a strong team and it will be difficult but I think we’ve got the qualities and the players to get a result. It’s the Premier League, so it will be difficult, but hopefully we’ll get the points because we need these points to get up the league table.”

Jol should be include to include Brede Hangeland after he recovered from a back injury sustained in the win over Stoke while Scott Parker and Dimitar Berbatov also in line to feature.

Ashkan Dejagah could also feature after the winger played in Iran’s 2-1 win over Thailand on Tuesday, and Jol has tipped the 27 year old to push Damian Duff and Brian Ruiz for a starting place once he is fully fit.

“I’ve got, as I said before, a few options on the flank – especially on that flank – so first he must be 100 per cent fit,” he said.

“I told him a couple of weeks ago that I want him to be the number one but, of course, I want Damien Duff to be the number one, I want Bryan Ruiz to be the number one.”

Meanwhile Palace captain Paddy McCarthy is closing in on a return to first team action after 18 months on the sidelines with a groin strain, but won’t feature on Monday.

The influential defender will be part of the squad as Palace manager Ian Holloway looks to add some influence and experience to the dressing room

He said: “Paddy is well on the way to getting back. I hope he will be ready in about three weeks. It was always going to be a gamble including him in our 25, as to whether he would be ready or not before January.
“We felt Paddy would have more influence in the dressing room than Florian Marange, and we thought he might be fit a little earlier.

“But whether or not he is fit, we need his type of people. His attitude has been sensational. He always believes we are going to get better and stronger.

“He has had a couple of breakdowns in training, and now I hope there won’t be any more.”

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.