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Fulham at home to Sunderland :- Match Preview

last updated Friday 16th November 2012, 6:50 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
With over a quarter of the season gone, it seems fans of free-scoring Fulham can be optimistic of what lies in store over the coming months, while Sunderland and their supporters have had to reset their goals.

Going into the weekend, the Cottagers are the league's second-highest scorers with 24 goals from 11 games. Dimitar Berbatov and Alex Kacaniklic have swiftly replaced Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele as fan favourites.

Martin Jol's side were unlucky not to pick up all three points at Arsenal last weekend and the manager believes he knows how to improve matters still - by stemming the flow of goals conceded from set pieces: "If you see, for example, (games at) Reading, Southampton, Arsenal - 60 or 70 per cent of these goals were set plays, corners and free-kicks... We knew exactly what Arsenal were doing but they still scored, so we have to be a bit tougher.

"We have to put that right because it is awful if you score three goals away from home at Reading or Arsenal and you still don't win. It is frustrating."

Sunderland lost back-to-back games for the first time this season with defeat at Everton last weekend. Adam Johnson became only the second Black Cats player to score this term, and the paucity of goals has put extra pressure on Sunderland's defence.

Manager Martin O'Neill is hoping that Johnson's goal can kickstart Sunderland's season: "There are a group of teams gathered where there is not a great deal of points differential.

But we can talk about it every single week here - we need to win some football matches and the sooner we do that, the better. We have to look at points on the board now at this stage and start galvanising ourselves."

With West Brom and QPR to follow at home, could this run of three matches be where Sunderland's season starts to turn?


  • Fulham have won five of their eight Premier League encounters with Sunderland at Craven Cottage, including a 2-1 win towards the end of last season. The now-departed Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele were both on target that day.

  • Fulham are unbeaten in their last six league matches against Sunderland, keeping clean sheets in five of them.

  • Sunderland's only triumph at Fulham during the Premier League era was a 3-1 victory in April 2008.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham's tally of 24 league goals is bettered by only by league leaders Manchester United (29), however they have also conceded 19 goals - only Southampton (29) and QPR (20) have let in more.

  • Martin Jol's side have drawn four of their last five games, including each of their last three.

  • No Premier League club has dropped more points from winning positions than Fulham this season (14).

  • Dimitar Berbatov has scored five goals in seven league matches for the club.

  • Sunderland

  • Martin O'Neill's side have won just one of their last 18 league games.

  • Adam Johnson's goal at Everton last week was the first scored by a Sunderland player in 444 minutes (7hrs 24min) of Premier League football.

  • The Black Cats have had both the fewest shots at goal (58) and on target (15) in the Premier League this season, they've also made the fewest ball touches in the opposition penalty area this season (121).

  • Steven Fletcher has fired five goals in nine league games for the club but has not scored since the Black Cats' 1-0 win over Wigan on Sep 29th - Sunderland's only league win this campaign.

Source BBCSports
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