0 users online

Fulham at home to Sunderland ~ Match Preview

last updated Friday 04th May 2012, 1:33 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
After the starts to the season that both these clubs endured, it's a testament to their efforts that they are not concerned with the remarkable relegation permutations at the bottom.

This will be Fulham's 53rd game of a season that began back at the end of June in qualifying for the Europa League.

That was a far from ideal scenario, particularly with a new manager in charge - and questions were already being asked when they failed to win any of their opening six games.

Martin Jol has since put his stamp on the team and whatever happens in the last two games, he will be satisfied with his first campaign in charge. Indeed, they are one of the form teams in the league recently, taking 13 points from their last 15, and are fresh from their first-ever top-flight win on Merseyside in the week.

Fulham have already matched last season's points tally under Mark Hughes, and if they could manage to win this one and beat Spurs on the final day, they would record their highest-ever points tally in the Premier League.

After just two wins from their first 13 matches, a comfortable mid-table finish for Sunderland looked a distant prospect. But the upturn in form since the arrival of Martin O'Neill, who has lost just six of his 22 matches in charge, means that the picture looks a lot more positive as are thoughts looking ahead to next season.

Sunderland have only won twice in their last 12 matches but prior to that it was an incredible run of five wins in six that settled everyone's nerves on Wearside.

They are being guided by a manager who is used to looking up - O'Neill has only ever finished in the bottom half of the table once in his eight seasons in the Premier League, and he would see a top 10 finish now as a pleasing achievement.

And they certainly won't be allowed to take their eye off the ball with Manchester United visiting the Stadium of Light on the final day of the season.

  • Four of the last seven meetings between these two sides have been 0-0 draws, including at the Stadium of Light earlier this season.

  • Sunderland have not scored in any of the last five meetings between the teams - and have only scored one goal in the last seven meetings.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham have won four of their last six Premier League games.

  • Fulham have profited from a league-high five own goals this season, including against Liverpool last Tuesday

  • With two matches of this season remaining, Fulham already have as many points as they did at the end of last season (49). Two wins would see them set their highest-ever points tally in the Premier League. Their previous best was 53 points in the 2008-09 season, when they finished 7th, their highest-ever position

  • This will be Martin Jol's 150th Premier League match as a manager.

  • Sunderland

  • Sunderland have drawn five of their last six Premier League matches.

  • The Black Cats have failed to win any of their last six away league games (D3, L3.

  • Three of Sunderland's last five Premier League matches have ended 0-0.

  • Niklas Bendtner has netted five of Sunderland's last 10 league goals but he has never scored against Fulham.

Source Steve Bower at BBCSports
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"