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Fulham away at Bolton ~ Match Preview

last updated Saturday 07th April 2012, 12:10 AM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
I sincerely hope that Bolton at home to Fulham will be a lot better game this time than it's been all too often in recent years. The last two meetings have ended 0-0 (with not a lot happening), three of the last four have finished 0-0, and the overall run stands at five goalless draws in 10 Premier League games between the clubs at the Reebok!

Never mind all that though. I'm looking forward to going to a ground that's a much happier place now than it has been for much of the season. Having lost eight of their first nine home league games, Bolton have been beaten only once in their last six.

They have won three of those, including the last two - with the victory over Blackburn a fortnight ago being a particularly poignant occasion. After gathering quietly to observe the well-wishes outside for Fabrice Muamba, Bolton's fans were then the loudest they've been all season to help lift the team to a win that was a celebration of his incredible recovery.

The team itself has recovered too, with three straight Premier League wins for the first time since December 2006. More importantly, they've all come against direct rivals in the battle to stay up. With that form - and having displayed such dignity and managerial strength around the Muamba situation - there's little wonder that Owen Coyle has been named Manager of the Month. He'd certainly have got my vote.

On the face of it, there's not a lot left for Fulham in a long season that started for them at the end of June. Apart from finishing as high in the table as they possibly can though, Martin Jol would surely like to see an improvement in away form before they pack up for the summer.

No team has fewer away wins (two) or fewer away points (11) than the Cottagers - and their meagre tally of eight goals scored is easily the lowest around. It's something that's been a problem for the club for too long - they've won just five of their last 52 away league games.

Both teams are unbeaten this season when they've scored first. I just hope one of them does!


  • Fulham are unbeaten in their last nine league fixtures against Bolton (W5, D4) since a 2-1 away defeat in February 2007.

  • Three of the last four meetings at the Reebok Stadium have ended goalless.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham's victory over Norwich last weekend ended a run of three consecutive league defeats without scoring. They have the joint-worst away record in the Premier League, winning just twice and earning 11 points out of a possible 45.

  • The Cottagers are unbeaten when opening the scoring this season (W8, D3).

  • They have conceded 17 goals in the final 15 minutes of league games this season, more than any other top-flight team.

  • Clint Dempsey needs one goal to surpass Louis Saha's club record of 13 goals in a single Premier League season, set in 2003/2004.

  • Damien Duff will be making his 350th career league start.

  • Bolton

  • The Trotters have won three successive league matches for the first time since a five-match winning streak in December 2006.

  • Owen Coyle's side have scored seven goals in those last three games, having only mustered a single goal in their previous five league fixtures.

  • They are unbeaten in matches in which they opened the scoring (W7, D1) but have the division's worst record when conceding the first goal (W2, L19).

  • Bolton have picked up the fewest points in the Premier League against top-half opposition: seven in 16 matches.

  • They have conceded more set-piece goals (18) than any other team in the Premier League this season.

Source Guy Mowbray at BBCSports
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