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Fulham at home to Man Utd ~ Match Preview

last updated Tuesday 20th December 2011, 3:34 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
After 16 games last season, Manchester United topped the Premier League and were still unbeaten - staying that way until early February. They've not been as good this season though, have they? Well, perhaps surprisingly, in statistical terms, yes they have been better.

United's 39 points from 16 matches is five more than last year's tally, with three more wins on the board and one more goal scored for good measure.

Little wonder then, that Sir Alex Ferguson is not unduly worried about still being behind neighbours Manchester City in the title race. He said after Sunday's comfortable win at QPR that "the important thing is to be there on New Year's Day", before referencing his team's almost traditional second half of the season improvement. "We'll relish that" should be an innocent enough statement, but sounds menacing when delivered in deep Glaswegian!

Fulham did of course have their own 2-0 win at the weekend, but following up with another victory is something that's been beyond them this season. In fact, they only managed back-to-back league wins once in the whole of last season too.

One piece of recent history that IS on Fulham's side is that Manchester United have failed to win any of their last three games at Craven Cottage. I was there in March 2009 to see a 2-0 home win that involved red cards for Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney, and a fabulous display in goal from Mark Schwarzer. The big Aussie's absence through injury this time is a blow that's been softened by the return of England squad regular David Stockdale from a loan spell at Ipswich, and he is sure to have a busy night.

It'll be a good night too. Craven Cottage comes alive with games like this, and even though I can't see United losing away for the first time in the league this season, they'll have to work hard for whatever they come away with.


  • After being undefeated in their first seven visits to Fulham in the Premier League, Manchester United have not won any of their last three trips to Craven Cottage.

  • Manchester United have won only two of their last five Premier League games against Fulham.

  • This is the 76th meeting between the clubs. Manchester United have won 43 times, Fulham 14 and there have been 18 draws.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham have scored just 18 goals in 16 league matches this season - and six of those came in one match.

  • y have conceded 18 league goals - only Liverpool and the two Manchester sides have let in fewer. Only Manchester United and Swansea have kept more clean sheets than Fulham's seven.

  • Fulham have not conceded a penalty in their last 52 Premier League matches - the last time was in the 2-2 home match against Manchester United in August 2010 when Nani missed from the spot. The last penalty scored against the club was by Mikel Arteta for Everton in April 2010.

  • Each of Fulham's four Premier League victories this season have included a goal from Clint Dempsey.

  • Damien Duff could make his 400th career league appearance.

  • Man Utd

  • The Red Devils have conceded 79% of goals in the second half of matches - the highest proportion in the top flight.

  • Against QPR, Wayne Rooney became the first player to score three Premier League goals in the first minute. He had previously scored in the opening 60 seconds against Wigan (2009) and Aston Villa (2011).

  • United have only lost once in the Premier League this season, and have scored in each of their 16 matches.

  • They have won six of their eight away matches so far this season. At this stage last year they had only won one of their eight away matches.

Source BBCSport
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