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Fulham welcome Reading ~ Ch. Match Preview

last updated Friday 16th January 2015, 2:40 PM


Fulham Manager Kit Symons
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It is the visitors who hold the narrow advantage over their weekend opponents, and they will also go into the match with the greater confidence having shown improvement under new boss Steve Clarke.

A respectable goalless draw against high-flying Middlesbrough last time out made it four matches unbeaten, while they have kept back-to-back clean sheets having only managed one in their previous eight outings before that.

However, the Royals have only won one away game since August and just two all season, managing a meagre nine points from a possible 36 on the road.

Nick Blackman is pushing for a start this weekend having replaced Pavel Pogrebnyak before the hour against Middlesbrough, while Jem Karacan could be involved from the bench again.

Reading will take heart from the reverse fixture between these two sides, when they ran out 3-0 winners at the Madejski, while their last visit to Craven Cottage saw them put four past Fulham.

Kit Symons's side were not exactly defensively sound in midweek either, playing out a 3-3 thriller with Wolverhampton Wanderers in an FA Cup replay that saw Ross McCormack net a 122nd-minute equaliser before the Cottagers won the resulting shootout.

That goal-rush was uncharacteristic of a Fulham side that had failed to score in their previous four outings before that, and they will be hoping that their renewed proficiency in the final third continues this weekend.

The Cottagers have lost their last three league games and have not scored in the Championship since before Christmas, a run that has seen them slide back down to within five points of the relegation zone.

They have not lost four on the bounce without scoring since September 1971 and will be desperate to avoid that unwanted record on Saturday.

They have been very hit-and-miss at Craven Cottage so far this season, though, and need McCormack and Hugo Rodallega to return to form if they are to gain a bit of consistency.

Those two should lead the line for this match, while Lasse Vigen Christensen is pushing for a start in midfield.

    Head-to-head

  • Reading won the previous meeting this season 3-0 at the Madejski Stadium in September.


  • The Royals are unbeaten in the last three meetings, winning the last two. Fulham's last victory was 2-0 at the Madejski Stadium in the Premier League in April 2008.


  • Reading have won two of the last three meetings at Craven Cottage, losing the other.



  • Fulham


  • Kit Symon's side have lost their last three games in the Championship. Their last league win was 4-0 against Sheffield Wednesday on 20 December.


  • They have won only one of their last four games at Craven Cottage in all competitions, drawing one and losing two.


  • Fulham have scored 1 goal or less in 12 of their last 20 home games, going on to win 3, draw 1 and lose 8 of these matches.


  • In their last 20 home games, 10 of the 28 goals scored by Fulham have come from forwards, 10 from midfielders and 7 from defenders.


  • In their last 20 home games, 68% of the 28 goals scored by Fulham have come in open play, whilst 29% have come from set-pieces.



  • Reading


  • Steve Clarke's side are unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions, winning two. Their last defeat was 1-0 against Watford at home on 20 December.


  • Reading have lost only one of their last four away games in all competitions. Their only defeat on the road since November was 6-1 at Birmingham in the Championship on 13 December.


  • Reading last kept a clean sheet away from home 8 games ago.


  • Reading have scored 1 goal or less in 13 of their last 20 away games, going on to win 2, draw 2 and lose 9 of these matches.


  • In their last 20 away games, 10 of the 26 goals scored by Reading have come from forwards, 10 from midfielders and 6 from defenders.


  • In their last 20 away games, 73% of the 26 goals scored by Reading have come in open play, whilst 27% have come from set-pieces.


  • Reading have conceded in 85% of their last 20 away games.
























Source Barney Corkhill at SportsMole/BBCSports/KickOff
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