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Fulham at Norwich:- Match Preview

last updated Friday 08th February 2013, 4:14 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
Were there ever words so sweet as 'mid-table security'? Norwich and Fulham would love to be rolling the delicious syllables around their tongues in May; that would constitute a job well done.

I've been lucky enough to see Norwich beat both Manchester United and Arsenal at Carrow Road this season, as well as their thrilling narrow defeat by Manchester City.

After a sticky start under Chris Hughton, their defence stiffened encouragingly once Michael Turner had been partnered with Sebastien Bassong, and the midfield is creative with a nice twist of Alexander Tettey steel. But putting the ball in the net has been a bit of a problem all season.

They have scored more than once in only five Premier League matches this season, and have netted just one goal in their last five league and cup games. Can Luciano Becchio do for Norwich what Adam Le Fondre is doing for Reading? We shall see.

Like Norwich, Fulham are good to watch and, at their best, capable of an upset along the way, but they have won just three of the last 17 in the league and sit above Norwich only on goal difference.

The know-how of Martin Jol should see them through, but there is a lingering feeling that they are underachieving this season; their 5-0 win over the Canaries on the opening day has certainly proved to be a false dawn.

There is no question that Dimitar Berbatov has enough star quality to make up for the loss of both Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele and his performance against West Ham was one of the best I have seen this season until his hamstring gave way.

However, his goal tally of eight is decent rather than brilliant and when he is out of the side, as against Manchester United last weekend, there is little chance of the spectacular from anyone else.

I am confident that both these clubs will still feature in the big league next season and that should keep the wolves from the door - but there may be a few more furrowed brows before that mid-table finish is assured.


  • Fulham are unbeaten in their last 11 league and cup games against Norwich, winning nine of those matches.

  • The Canaries' last victory against the Whites was a 2-1 win at Carrow Road in a second division match on 29 March 1986.

  • Norwich have never beaten Fulham in a top-flight game.

  • Norwich

  • The Canaries are winless in their last eight Premier League games (D3, L5). They have drawn three of their previous four matches.

  • Only one of the last four penalties Norwich have conceded have been successfully converted (two saved, one missed).

  • The Norfolk side have won only one of their last 11 league games against London opposition (W1, D6, L4). That was their 1-0 victory against Arsenal on 20 October.

  • Grant Holt has only scored one goal in his last 17 league and cup appearances.
  • Fulham

  • Martin Jol's men have gone 11 top-flight matches without keeping a clean sheet.

  • They have won three of their previous 17 league games.

  • All but two of Dimitar Berbatov's eight Premier League goals for Fulham have come in the first half of matches.

Source Steve Wilson at BBCSports
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