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Fulham welcome Ipswich ~ Ch. Match Preview MD31

last updated Friday 13th February 2015, 9:35 PM


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Fulham go into the match against Ipswich having begun to slip back down the table in recent weeks and, with those below them starting to pick up more regular points, the nervous glances over their shoulders are becoming more frequent.

Indeed, Tuesday's late 3-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers saw them drop to within five points of the relegation zone having only managed two wins in their eight league matches since Christmas.

The saga over Bryan Ruiz's future at the club came to an end as FIFA blocked his move to Levante, which means that manager Kit Symons could have the Costa Rican midfielder available this weekend.

Despite languishing down in 18th place going into the match, Fulham could climb into the top half of the table with a victory should other results also go their way, and they will be confident of getting at least something from the match in front of their own fans.

The Cottagers have only been beaten twice in their last 11 home league matches, a run that stretches back to September. However, they will be tested at Craven Cottage over the coming weeks, with Ipswich, Derby County and Bournemouth their next three visitors.

Long-term injury absentee Tim Hoogland is nearing a return but is unlikely to be fit enough to start this weekend's match, with Symons keen to take the right-back's recovery slowly.

At the other end of the field, Hugo Rodallega and Ross McCormack are expected to lead the line once again despite Cauley Woodrow pushing for a start.

Ipswich Town travel to Craven Cottage on Saturday looking to reestablish themselves among the frontrunners for an automatic promotion place in the Championship.

The Tractor Boys breathed new life into their bid for a return to the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, a result that will go down as one of their most important of the season to date.

Daryl Murphy and Luke Chambers were on the scoresheet as Ipswich came from behind at Portman Road, ending a costly run of form that had seen them pick up just one point from matches against bottom-six trio Brighton & Hove Albion, Wigan Athletic and Rotherham United.

The damage from that form may have already been done, with five points now separating them from league leaders Middlesbrough, but with two of the top three not in Championship action this weekend, Mick McCarthy's side have the chance to put some pressure back on the teams above them.

Inconsistency away from home has been Ipswich's main barrier to a title charge this season, with five wins, six draws and four defeats on the road so far, including losses in their last two away outings.

By contrast, they have the best home record in the division, so if they find a way to string a few positive results together away from home then they should be challenging for the top two come May.

McCarthy is hopeful that David McGoldrick will be back available in time for the match, while new signing Dylan Connolly has also been included in the matchday squad.

Tyrone Mings could be recalled having started on the bench against Wednesday, but Luke Hyam remains sidelined and will play no part.

    Head-to-head

  • Ipswich won the earlier meeting this season 2-1 at Portman Road in August.


  • Ipswich are unbeaten in the last 10 meetings in all competitions, winning six. Fulham's last win was 10-1 at Craven Cottage in the old Division One on Boxing Day 1963.


  • Five of the last six meetings at Craven Cottage have been drawn, with Fulham winning the other. Ipswich's last win there was 2-1 in the old Division One in February 1962.



  • Fulham


  • Fulham have not won any of their last five games in all competitions, losing three. Their last win was 3-2 against Nottingham Forest at home in the Championship on 21 January.


  • Fulham have won two of their last three home games in the Championship, drawing the other. Their last league defeat at home was 2-0 against Brighton on 29 December.


  • Fulham have won 45%, drawn 25% and lost 30% of their last 20 home games.


  • In their last 20 home games, 15 of the 31 goals scored by Fulham have come from forwards, 10 from midfielders and 6 from defenders.


  • Fulham have scored in 75% of their last 20 home games.


  • Fulham have scored first in 65% of their last 20 home games.



  • Ipswich


  • Ipswich won 2-1 against Sheffield Wednesday at home on Tuesday - their first win in four games.


  • Ipswich have lost their last two away games, against Brighton and Rotherham. Their last win on the road was 3-1 at Millwall on 17 January.


  • Ipswich have won 35%, drawn 30% and lost 35% of their last 20 away games.


  • In their last 20 away games, 16 of the 28 goals scored by Ipswich have come from forwards, 5 from midfielders and 7 from defenders.


  • Ipswich have scored in 75% of their last 20 away games.


  • Ipswich have scored first in 45% of their last 20 away games.
























Source Barney Corkhill at SportsMole/BBCSports/KickOff

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