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Fulham at home to Man City ~ Match Preview

last updated Friday 16th September 2011, 11:40 PM

Fulham manager Maarten Jol
Fulham manager
Maarten Jol
Maarten Jol
After Roberto Mancini's often cautious approach last season, who would have predicted Manchester City's free-flowing and emphatic start to the season?

To say they have hit the ground running is an understatement and the depth and quality of the squad was evident this week when five changes were made for their first-ever game in the Champions League - the returns of messrs Dzeko, Nasri, Barry, Kolarov and Zabaleta hardly weakened them.

Fulham's season began in the Europa League qualifiers on 30 June and this will be their 14th competitive fixture since - only time will tell whether that has been a help or a hindrance.

This is City's first test of combining the rigours of a high-pressure midweek Champions League game followed by a testing away trip in the Premier League at the weekend. If they are to win a Premier League title, then a fixture such as this one at Craven Cottage is where they must pick up points as they return to the capital three weeks to the day after scoring five at White Hart Lane.

In stark contrast to City's first four games, Premier League life for Fulham so far under Martin Jol has been low key and mostly frustrating with just two points and two goals.

Their failure to convert chances in both the Premier League and Europa League so far will be a concern. There should be goals in the Fulham squad with the likes of Bobby Zamora, Andy Johnson and Mousa Dembele - even more so if big-money buy Bryan Ruiz can adjust to life in a new country quickly, but they need to get the points on the board quickly.

Fulham's season began in the Europa League qualifiers on 30 June and this will be their 14th competitive fixture since - only time will tell whether that has been a help or a hindrance.

Incredibly, Martin Jol has won all six games against Manchester City as a manager. If he makes it seven, it would raise a few eyebrows.

  • City have not lost any of their last five visits to Craven Cottage (W3, D2) and are looking for a third consecutive win there.

  • In the last seven league games between Man City and Fulham, 11 of the 12 goals the Whites have scored have been netted in the second half, while 10 of the 13 City have scored have come in the first half.

  • Both Fulham and Manchester City have scored in each of the last 15 meetings in all competitions. The last time either failed to score came in a 0-0 draw at City in March 2004.

  • Fulham have scored just two league goals this season - Manchester City strikers Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero have 12 betweeen them.

  • Fulham have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games at Craven Cottage, though they have drawn the last three in a row.

  • They have not won any of their last four Premier League home matches. If they fail to beat Manchester City, it will equal their previous worst record of five home matches without a victory, set on four previous occasions - most recently from November to December 2010.

  • Damien Duff has scored in his last two away games against Man City.

  • Martin Jol has a 100% winning record against Manchester City - winning all six previous matches

  • City have won both their away games in this season's Premier League but are yet to keep a clean sheet away from home.

  • They have scored 15 goals in just four league matches.

  • City's best ever top-flight winning sequence was nine games between April and September 1912.
Last season: Man City 1 Fulham 1, Fulham 1 Man City 4.

Last five league matches: Fulham D D L L D; Man City W W W W W.

Top scorers: Bryan Ruiz (Fulham) 4; Edin Dzeko (Man City) 7.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (England).

Source BBCSports
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