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Everton-Fulham Preview

(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Fulham could go above Everton with a win when the two meet at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

The home side have lost just one in six (to Premier League champions Manchester City) to move close to the top clubs in the table, and the run of form has inspired aspirations of a European place this season.

"We know that it will be a very hard game and that they have a very good team, but at home, we can win against anybody," said Fulham youngster Sascha Riether. "If we win games like this, then getting into Europe is possible, but at the moment we are not, so we have to work on it. We are very close to pushing for the Europa League maybe, but if we are a good team, we win these games - that's what makes the difference.

"It's only a bit more we need to win these kind of games. I don't know what it is we need, but it's something that is missing. Like against Southampton and Man City, we gave away a goal in the last minutes and that's very disappointing. We have to defend free-kicks and corners much better, and we have to train harder to find a way to do better. That must be our work ethic now.

"I hope to play my part again. I'm a little bit surprised at how well it's gone for me so far, but my team-mates have helped me a lot - they speak to me a lot and we are a good group. Not only on the pitch too - we sometimes go out to eat in restaurant. For me, it's been easy settling into the team and I hope that I can do my best and we can go on like that. It's nice to play here."

Everton have slipped up after a terrific start to the campaign, drawing their last three league games, and centre-back Phil Jagielka has admitted that the team need to rediscover their form.

"It's important for us to starting winning more games again," said Jagielka. "We made a fantastic start and while I wouldn't say it has petered out, it's become more of an okay start now. Having said that, our starts are normally horrific, so compared to that it has been terrific! You have to hang on through a difficult period and come out with a point, and we've been able to do that.

"If we can get to the Christmas in the top five or top six, that's somewhere where haven't been in a long time. If we can do that, I'm sure the manager is confident enough he can make us kick on again like he normally does in the New Year and we can finish higher up the league."

Chris Baird and Dimitar Berbatov are doubtful for Fulham with ankle and rib injuries respectively, while Simon Davies (thigh) is out. Kevin Mirallas (ankle) and Darron Gibson (thigh) are injury doubts for the visitors.

Everton beat Fulham home and away in the league last season and also knocked the Cottagers out of the FA Cup. The Toffees scored seven goals in those games, with seven different players scoring the goals. Fulham have won just one in nine against Everton in all competitions. Martin Jol's side have the best goal-difference at home in the Premier League this season. Everton have drawn three straight games. They haven't drawn four in a row since December 2009.

Updated November 1, 2012

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