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Fulham away at Man Utd ~ Match Preview

last updated Friday 23rd March 2012, 10:28 PM


Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
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Martin Jol
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In 2003, Martin Jol came close to joining Manchester United to work as Sir Alex Ferguson's number two . Nine years on, the Dutchman will be loathe to offer a helping hand to United's title charge, but the form book suggests his Fulham side are unlikely to offer much assistance to the blue half of Manchester.

In just under half a century, Fulham have avoided defeat at Manchester United only once. They have conceded 15 goals on their last five trips to Old Trafford, and were thrashed 5-0 in December's reverse fixture at Craven Cottage.

If they are to cause an upset, it's a fair bet that Pavel Pogrebnyak will have a big part to play. The Russian has history against United, having scored the opening goal when Zenit St Petersburg beat United to lift the European Super Cup in 2008 .

Pogrebnyak has netted five times in as many games since joining Fulham in January, but will be a free agent in the summer when his short-term deal with the club expires. However, Jol says he is confident of signing the 28-year-old on a permanent basis.

Manchester United's only significant signing in the last transfer window was tempting 37-year-old Paul Scholes out of retirement, a move that Patrick Vieira, now Manchester City's football development executive, says "shows a little bit of weakness".

That remark brought a stinging rebuke from Ferguson, who was quick to cite City's willingness to recall Carlos Tevez as evidence of "desperation" at Eastlands. It's debatable just how much impact such verbal sparring will have on events on the pitch, but it's clearly something the United manager relishes: "We are all going to play our hand - I have plenty of ammunition that way."



    Head-to-head



  • This is the 77th meeting between the clubs. Manchester United have won 44 times, Fulham 14 and there have been 18 draws.


  • The Red Devils have won their last eight league and cup games against Fulham at Old Trafford, scoring a total of 22 goals.


  • Fulham have avoided defeat away to Manchester United only once in 49 years - that was a 3-1 Premier League victory in October 2003, when Lee Clark, Steed Malbranque and Junichi Inamoto scored for the visitors.



  • Man Utd


  • The Red Devils have scored 73 goals from 29 league games, the most by any top-flight club at this stage of the season since Tottenham in 1963-64.


  • The last time United had scored more at this point was the 1957-58 campaign, when they had 74. Their 29th league match that season was the first following the Munich air crash.


  • United already have 70 points - just five fewer than their final tally when they won the Premier League in 1996-97. Their current points total would have been enough to win the title that season, as runners-up Newcastle gained just 68 points.


  • Wayne Rooney has scored 10 goals in his last eight league and cup games.


  • United have claimed 25 points from a possible 27 since losing back-to-back games at the turn of the year.



  • Fulham


  • Martin Jol's side have scored just eight away goals - the lowest tally in the top flight.


  • They have lost their last two league games, failing to score in both matches. The last time they lost three in a row without scoring was in January 2010.


  • The Cottagers are unbeaten in the 10 Premier League matches in which they opened the scoring this term, winning seven of those games. Only two other clubs are unbeaten after scoring first - Manchester United and Bolton.
























Source BBCSports
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