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Fulham away at Man City:- Match Preview

last updated Friday 18th January 2013, 8:51 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
Back when the trees had leaves and temperatures zoomed as high as, why it must have been almost 20 degrees sometimes, Fulham made their best start to a Premier League season since 2003.

All was well by the Thames; Martin Jol was jovial and rosy cheeked, Dimitar Berbatov's gloves were stowed safely in his cupboard and sometimes the Bulgarian even broke into a coltish trot.

Now in the winter chill, Berbatov's hands are mittened, Jol's exasperated breath clouds like fog in front of his troubled brow and Fulham are perhaps in danger of a lowest-league finish since they avoided relegation thanks to goal difference five years ago.

Younger readers can take it from me that old joints begin to creak when the weather turns, and seven of Jol's starting XI against Wigan last weekend are the wrong side of 30. That makes them mere slips of boys compared to me, but is there a danger that collectively they are beginning to have less horsepower than a cheap frozen beef burger.

Their cup replay at Blackpool on Tuesday, complete with extra-time, would only have tested those sinews further.

Manchester City's thoroughbreds had no such midweek commitment, and came through a footballing and psychological hurdle at Arsenal last Sunday. Unfazed by Manchester United's earlier win against Liverpool, and helped by Laurent Koscielny's red card,

City took the points they needed at the Emirates. This weekend it's Roberto Mancini's chance to apply some mental pressure by playing first, before United's Sunday tester at Tottenham. If things really go City's way a short-term 10-point gap could have been cut to just four.

But hold on a second - like reports of spring in January, that forecast could be premature. Fulham have taken exactly the same number of points as City from their 10 Premier League trips to the blue half of Manchester; they might just get something again.


  • Manchester City's 3-0 win over Fulham at home last season was their first victory over the Cottagers at the Etihad Stadium in five matches.

  • In 10 visits to play Manchester City in the Premier League, Fulham have lost just three times, winning three and drawing the other four.

  • Man City

  • City are yet to lose a league game after opening the scoring this season (W11, D1).

  • The 19 Premier League goals City have conceded this season is 10 fewer than Manchester United's total of 29.

  • The two Manchester clubs have missed five penalties this season, only one fewer than the rest of the Premier League put together.

  • Fulham

  • They have managed just two wins in their last 14 league matches.

  • Martin Jol's side have kept one clean sheet in their last 15 league and cup games.

  • Fulham's substitutes have contributed eight league goals this term, more than any other top-flight side.

Source Steve Wilson at BBCSports
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