Fulham hope to turn things around under new manager Rene Meulensteen, who replaced Martin Jol following the club's listless loss to West Ham. The next test for the squad comes against Tottenham, which have questions of their own to answer.
The Cottagers' managerial change didn't come as a major surprise given the side's struggles in the early going. They lost nine of their first 13 league fixtures, which left them in the relegation zone, and the brass decided to act now while there was still time to dig out of the hole.
Tottenham got off to a solid start but have slipped to the middle of the table. It's a run of mediocre form highlighted by a 6-0 loss to Manchester City. Spurs must turn things around quickly if they want to keep pace in the European race.
Let's check out all the key information for the midweek Premier League clash, followed by a breakdown of the top storyline and a match prediction.
Where: Craven Cottage in London, England
When: Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. ET (8 p.m. GMT)
Watch: Premier League Extra Time
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Match Forecast (via Bloomberg Sports)
Tottenham: 54.9 percent
Fulham: 20.6 percent
Draw: 24.5 percent
Top Storyline: Which version of Tottenham will show up to Craven Cottage?
Meulensteen would love to get his stint at Fulham off to a winning start. If Tottenham play like they did against Manchester City, the Cottagers' chances would obviously increase dramatically. Spurs' performance in that aforementioned huge loss was forgettable to say the least.
Andre Villas-Boas' group deserves credit for bouncing back from that result, though. It could have easily sent Tottenham's entire campaign into a tailspin. Instead, they were able to score a Europa League win over Tromso and a draw with Manchester United.
So the main uncertainty heading into the match is what Spurs squad will fans see on Wednesday. The one which was humiliated by in-form City or the one which pushed forward with confidence in the last two matches. The answer will decide the outcome.
The early portion of the campaign has shown Tottenham doesn't have that singular dominant force capable of taking over matches. It's a role previously filled by Gareth Bale, and none of the offseason additions have stepped into it—at least not yet.
So Spurs need a complete team performance to win matches. It's an approach that can be successful, especially when you consider Tottenham's depth. But in moments like early against City where they could have used somebody to provide some stability, the lack of a main superstar is noticeable.
For Fulham, it's important to put some early pressure on before Aaron Lennon, Roberto Soldado and Co. can settle in for Tottenham. If the Cottagers can strike within the first 15 minutes, the onus will be on Spurs to respond, and it's something they haven't done particularly well this season.
Fulham will lean heavily on veterans like Damien Duff and Scott Parker to lead the way during the transition period. They must try to control play in the midfield, taking some pressure off a back line that's been under siege all campaign.
That said, this is a match Tottenham should win. The positive signs they have shown over the past two matches are enough to overlook the City debacle. Expect an inspired performance from the Cottagers, but it will come up just short in the end.
Tottenham 2, Fulham 1