Mark Hughes may be making baby-stepped stylistic improvements at Stoke, but is yet to drastically change their Premier League form from the Tony Pulis era.
Despite Fulham’s position among the league’s relegation zone and their manager coming under more pressure than the base layer of an overweight cheerleaders’ pyramid, Hughes would be right to feel hesitant about travelling to his former employers.
The Potters are priced at 21/10 to win the game, with a draw rated at 9/4 and home advantage handing Martin Jol’s men the slim 5/4 favourites tag.
Hughes doesn’t make former employers pay
The Welshman they call Sparky is managing his fifth Premier League club, which allows for a decent sample size when analysing how he fares against former employers and the results are not favourable.
Hughes has gone up against a club he’s previously managed 12 times in his career and won only three of them. His record on the road against those teams is even worse, winning just once in seven attempts.
Stoke travel sickness
To compound matters for the former Barcelona player, his latest Premier League charges are woeful away from the hostile atmosphere created at the Britannia Stadium.
Travelling Stoke supporters have had far less effect on their side in away games, inspiring them to a meagre four triumphs on their last 32 trips in the Premier League.
In fact, since becoming a top flight regular in the 2008/09 campaign the Potters have only won 15 of their 95 away games in those five full seasons.
Fulham dominate this home meeting
The final nail in this particular Hughes coffin is the fact that Fulham simply love playing Stoke at home.
The last eight meetings between the two at Craven Cottage have seen the home side finish victorious seven times, with Stoke winning the other match.
A further look back in the history books shows that the red and white stripes have only triumphed twice in 14 visits to the Cottage, and another unsuccessful trip looks in store.