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Fulham at Man City: Match Preview

last updated Friday 10th April 2009, 7:33 PM

What a difference a season makes. In the corresponding fixture last year, had Manchester City protected their 2-0 half time lead, Fulham would have been playing in The Championship this season.

A remarkable fightback saw Diomansy Kamara snatch a late winner, and pushed Fulham on for survival.

Fast-forward almost a year and Roy Hodgson’s side are two points above their wealthy hosts in the table, who will be on a downer following their Uefa Cup defeat to Hamburg on Thursday.

Team Man City Fulham
Games Played 31 31
Goal Attempts
Goals 46 30
Ave Goals per game 1.48 0.97
Shots (excl blocked shots) 354 301
% Shots on Target 44% 40%
% Goals to Shots 13% 10%
Short Passes 11,229 11,110
Long Passes 1,781 1,897
Overall Pass Completion % 78% 75%
Total Crosses 552 654
Cross Completion % 23% 23%
Goals Conceded 39 27
Ave goals conceded per game 1.26 0.87
Tackles 791 695
Tackles Won % 74% 73%
Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions 1875 1990
Fouls 412 373
Yellow Cards 41 32
Red Cards 4 1
Opta Index

It is still a massive task for Fulham to stay ahead of City come Sunday teatime though, with the home side having racked up six successive home wins, and with the fourth best home record in the league.

The Cottagers also struggle in front of goal on their travels, with only five goals netted in their previous 14 Premier League trips, and three of those came last time out against Bolton in their solitary away win all season.

However, when these two sides meet, there are usually goals, and plenty of them. In their 13 Premier League meetings, they have produced 41 goals, an average of 3.15 per game, so any neutrals thinking of going to a game this weekend would be well advised to head to The City Of Manchester Stadium.

What Robinho would give for just one of those, having failed to add to his account since the turn of the year, whilst Fulham fans will be pleased to see Benjani limp off in Germany on Thursday night, as the striker has scored on both of his appearances for his current club against The Cottagers.

And with Craig Bellamy and Shaun Wright-Phillips also picking up knocks in the same game, the City side could include Martin Petrov for the first time since August after his injury lay-off.

PIVOTAL PLAYER: Robinho - City fans know he saves his best form for in front of his home fans, and surely he has to score again sometime soon? 

Prediction: 2-0

Source Jonathon Rogers at SetantaSport
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