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Fulham at home to Reading:- Match Preview

last updated Friday 03rd May 2013, 2:20 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
There is always plenty of debate about the Match of the Day running order.

But even the most partisan of Fulham and Reading fans would have to agree, however reluctantly, that unless this match is a real cracker it could be at the back end of this week's show.

With Fulham in 11th and Reading's relegation back to the Championship now confirmed there hasn't been a lot of pre-match hype, with the media world instead obsessed by Champions League qualification and who will ultimately join the Royals in facing the dreaded drop.

However, being optimistic, it could just be an excellent afternoon at Craven Cottage.

I was at the Madejski Stadium for Match of the Day back in October for an entertaining 3-3 draw between these two teams, in which the Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak was outstanding against his former club.

Nigel Adkins will, as ever, approach this match in positive fashion.

The new Reading manager is still searching for his first victory since taking charge, and will be aiming for all three points from a ground where he achieved a draw with Southampton on Boxing Day.

Fulham's goal against Saints came from Dimitar Berbatov, by a long way their top marksman this season. If he hadn't scored 13 league goals this season the Cottagers may very well have been a far bigger news story this weekend as one of the relegation candidates.

To counteract my optimism for this game, consider a few facts. Fulham haven't scored in four of their last five fixtures, and have taken just one point from their five matches.

Reading are without a victory in 10 games and have scored only five goals in that time. The odds on a repeat six-goal thriller must be long.


  • Fulham have lost just one of their last seven home games against Reading. Their last meeting at Craven Cottage in November 2007 ended with a 3-1 home win.

  • This season's reverse fixture on 27 October ended in a 3-3 draw and left the Royals still searching for their first Premier League win of the season.

  • Fulham

  • The Cottagers have picked up the fewest points in the Premier League this season from a losing position (5

  • Fulham failed to register a shot on target (excluding blocked shots) in the 1-0 defeat at Everton last weekend.

  • Half of Fulham's 14 league goals in 2013 have been scored by Dimitar Berbatov, while there have been three own goals.

  • The 2-2 draw against Sunderland on 2 March was the last time a Fulham player other than Berbatov found the back of the net; Sascha Riether was the scorer.

  • Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer will be making his 550th appearance in English football.

  • Reading

  • Reading are without a win in their last 10 outings (D2, L8). Their last victory came against Sunderland on 2 February.

  • The Royals' clean sheet against QPR last time out was just their fifth of the season, the joint-worst record in the league with Wigan, Aston Villa and Newcastle.

  • They have only won two games this season when they have either been level or ahead at half-time (W2, D8, L9).

  • Ten of Reading's 37 Premier League goals this term have come from substitutes. Ian Harte is on the verge of his 100th appearance for Reading.

Source John Roder at BBCSports
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