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Fulham at home to Aston Villa :- Match Preview

last updated Friday 19th October 2012, 5:58 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
This fixture opened last season's campaign for these two clubs and they have enjoyed different fortunes since.

The goalless draw was Martin Jol's first match in charge of Fulham and he has steadily built on the solid foundations at the club.

He'll face a different Scotsman in the opposite dug out at Craven Cottage, as Paul Lambert looks for just his second league win since succeeding Alex McLeish.

It's been a tough challenge for the new Villa boss, with five points from 21 representing their worst start since 1986.

There has to be a touch of realism to their expectations.

Some of their new faces have come from lower divisions and some from abroad, and they have to be given time to gel and adjust to the demands of the top flight.

They joined a squad that won just seven matches last season and recorded the club's worst Premier League points tally.

Scoring goals has been a problem and even Darren Bent has lost his place in recent weeks, while they'll be hoping that Christian Benteke can follow up his goal for Belgium against Scotland this week with another one in the Premeir League to help them get any sort of result.

That is far from straight forward at Craven Cottage though, where Fulham are traditionally strong and only four teams won last season.

They also pushed the champions all the way in their last home game.

They have won four matches already and will still be frustrated that figure isn't five after events at Southampton last time out.

I watched them win at Wigan last month and they look more of a threat in front of goal this season with the likes of Berbatov, Rodallega, Petric and Ruiz.

Villa haven't won away since January and will need to be at their very best to prevent Fulham having another profitable day in front of goal.


  • Fulham have only won three of their 22 Premier League meetings with Aston Villa. All of those victories have come at home. The goalless draw between these sides on the opening day of last season was the fifth stalemate in their last eight encounters at Craven Cottage.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham have won nine and drawn two of their 13 home matches in 2012, earning 29 points out of a possible 39.

  • Martin Jol's have scored 15 goals this season, a tally bettered only by Manchester United (17) prior to this weekend's matches.

  • However, they have already dropped eight points from winning positions - only Southampton (11 points) have a worse record.

  • Only Barcelona (66.7%) have a better shooting accuracy than Fulham (63.5%) across Europe's top five leagues this season.

  • Aston Villa

  • Five points after seven matches is Villa's worst start to a top-flight season since 1986-87, when they were relegated.

  • They are winless in their last 12 Premier League away matches spanning 10 months (D5, L7).

  • Only Sunderland and Norwich have scored fewer goals than the six mustered by Villa in their seven Premier League matches.

  • They have not conceded a first-half goal in their last five league matches - but let in eight second-half goals during that time.

Source Steve Bower at BBCSports
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