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The Time Is Now

Fulham at home to West Brom :- Match Preview

last updated Friday 14th September 2012, 11:27 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
It's always debatable as to whether the timing of the international break has been inconvenient for a club side, but for Fulham you do get the feeling that the two weeks off may have been opportune.

Though the new season began encouragingly with a five-goal demolition of Norwich, three successive defeats, including an immediate exit from the League Cup, quickly dampened the initial fervour.

That their most recent reverse occurred only hours after the departures of Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele did little to alleviate any anxiety.

A thoroughly forgettable first 45 minutes at West Ham was hardly the ideal way to begin life without two of their most influential players of recent times.

Fulham appear to be in a state of transition. Of the 48 goals that helped secure a second successive top-10 finish last term, 36 of them were scored by players no longer at the club and five others were own goals!

There is, though, still genuine cause for optimism. Martin Jol has boasted that the signing of Dimitar Berbatov is the "biggest in the history of Fulham".

He was able to harness the talent of the mercurial Bulgarian during their time together at Tottenham, and the 2010-11 Premier League golden boot winner will surely be fired-up, having been given just five league starts last season at Old Trafford.

West Brom will arrive for Berbatov's home debut with "boing-boing" a-plenty. Under new boss Steve Clarke they've held Spurs and comfortably seen off the Merseyside Blues and Reds.

Seven times last season they were victorious on their travels, a record only Europe-bound clubs could better. They will certainly not want for confidence when this intriguing fixture commences.


  • Both of last season's meetings ended in draws.

  • Fulham have won five of their six previous Premier League games at home to the Baggies, keeping clean sheets in four of those matches.

  • West Brom's last league win at Craven Cottage was a 2-1 victory on 7 October 1967.

  • Since then their record reads P13, D5, L8, with just three goals scored.

  • Fulham

  • The Cottagers have lost their last three games in league and cup, all away from home.

  • Martin Jol's men are unbeaten in their previous five Premier League games at Craven Cottage (W4, D1), winning the last three. Their most recent defeat there was a 3-0 loss to Swansea on 17 March.

  • Since January 2011, Dimitar Berbatov has only scored one Premier League goal away from Old Trafford. It came in a 5-0 win away to Fulham in December 2011.

  • Opta statistics show that Fulham have hit 80% of shots on target this term, more than any other Premier League side.

    West Brom

  • The Baggies have made their best start to a top-flight season since 1978-79, when they won their first three fixtures.

  • They have lost just one of their previous eight league games (W4, D3, L1).

  • Steve Clarke's side have conceded one league goal this season - only Arsenal have a better record in the English leagues.

Source Alistair Mann at BBCSports
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