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Fulham v Leicester - Match Preview

last updated Friday 03rd October 2003, 5:33 PM
Fulham Manager Chris ColemanThe Cottagers have started the season better than anyone at the club could have dared hope during the summer.

After the miserable end to Jean Tigana's reign last season, they have flourished under Chris Coleman, claiming a famous victory at White Hart Lane already this year.

That this is only their third home game of the season so far, yet they have lost once, is a sign of how Coleman has turned things around at Fulham.

Another indication is the improvement in form of both Luis Boa Morte and Louis Saha, the pacy pair who tore Blackburn Rovers apart last Sunday as they came away from Ewood Park with a 2-0 win.

Having performed impressively on their travels, Fulham now have three home games in a row against teams in the lower half of the table, and Coleman will want maximum points from them.

Fulham last recorded a home victory over Leicester was in April 1979 when two Gordon Davies goals and one from Les Strong gave them a 3-0 win at Craven Cottage.

This particular match will be Micky Adams' second return to Fulham since being sacked six years ago, so he will want to prove a point with his Leicester team.

When they met in April 2002, it was the last-ever match to be played at Craven Cottage before its redevelopment began, but was hardly one to remember.

The Foxes were dejected, having already been relegated, while Fulham's decline was setting in, and the final score was a disappointing 0-0. The chances of that happening again are remote to say the least, given the way both are playing.

As far as Ref Foy is concerned Chris Coleman will be hoping that he treats his lads as well as Leicester have been treated. So far Fulham players have been yellow carded, on average, every 6 fouls while Leicester players have been yellow carded every 12 fouls. It would be nice to hear why Ref's think that is a reflection of even handedness.

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Cottage on Loftus Road
Premiership 04 Oct 03
Fulham Leicester
Games Played 6 7
Goals 13 10
Ave Goals Per Game 2.17 1.43
% Goals To Shots 18% 13%
Ave Shots Per Game 12 11
Ave Shots On Target Per Game 5 5
% Shots On Target 46% 42%
Offsides 8 15
Short Passes 1525 1346
Long Passes 634 738
Total Passes 2159 2084
Ave Passes Per Game 360 298
% Overall Pass Completion 70% 71%
Ave passes completed per game 252 211
Total Crosses Made 111 167
Ave Crosses Per Game 19 24
Ave completed Crosses Per Game 5 6
% Overall Crosses Completion 29% 27%
Goals Conceded 9 13
Ave Goals Conceded Per Game 1.50 1.86
Tackles 219 187
Ave Tackles Per Game 37 27
Ave TacklesWon Per Game 27 18
% Tackles Won 74% 67%
Fouls 96 115
Ave Fouls Per Game 16 16
Yellow Cards 16 10
Fouls per Yellows 6 12
Red Cards 1 3
Cipher stat flash
Fulham come out best in the stats comparison, scoring more goals, conceding less goals, shooting, passing and tackling more.

The areas that Leicester do better in are offsides, over 50% of them down to Dickov, long passes, crosses, over 50% of them down to Izzet, goals conceded and fouls

Unbeaten in four Premiership matches. Won two and drawn two since losing for the only time this season, 3-1 at Everton on 23 August.
This is only Fulham's third home Premier League game this season. They remain one of seven clubs yet to lose at home in the top League.
Scored in each of the last nine Premiership matches, since the 2-0 defeat at Leeds on 22 April.
Lost last two Premiership games. Last suffered three League defeats on the bounce 19 months ago. That was when the Foxes lost six in a row between 23 January and 2 March 2002 in their relegation season from the highest League grade.
Scored one goal in each of their three away Premiership games - all of which were lost.
One of eight clubs yet to secure an away maximum in the top flight this term.

Fulham midfielder Luis Boa Morte will be looking forward to running at the Leicester defence

Micky AdamsAfter an impressive 4-0 mauling of Leeds United and a creditable performance in their defeat at Anfield, Leicester must now pick themselves up again following last weekend's visit of Manchester United.

The Foxes had started that game well, with confidence clearly flowing through them, but two quick goals, from Roy Keane and Ruud van Nistelrooy, sent them on the slippery slope to disaster. They did improve in the second half however, and must try to take that into their trip to Fulham.

They have had the confidence boost of praise from Sir Alex Ferguson to help them along the way, as assistant manager Alan Cork revealed this week: "It was disappointing the way we conceded four goals at the weekend because we've not normally defended that badly. But we did have chances and I spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson afterwards and he said 'you are always going to score goals'. That's a compliment from Manchester United, the fact they were worried about us scoring against them."

However, Leicester's immediate concern will be trying to stop Fulham scoring against their defence, which looked very shaky at the Walkers Stadium last Saturday.
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