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The Arizonan

Fulham away at Norwich ~ Match Preview

last updated Friday 30th December 2011, 3:21 PM

Fulham manager Martin Jol
Fulham manager
Martin Jol
Martin Jol
Norwich City fans will have painful memories of their last game against Fulham. It was May 15th 2005 and they headed to west London knowing a win would preserve their Premier League status, even a draw might be enough.

They lost 6-0. Little was said on the army of coaches that returned to Norfolk as Nigel Worthington's team were relegated after just one season in the top-flight.

Of course it was to get worse before it got better but things looks pretty impressive at the moment. Despite Tuesday's defeat to Tottenham, the Canaries are seven points clear of the relegation zone and if they can beat Fulham they'll be in the top-half of the table at the half-way point of the season.

Success at Carrow Road is crucial to their long-term prospects and this game certainly falls into the 'can win' bracket.

Fulham are notoriously bad travellers with just thirteen wins on the road in the last six-and-a-half seasons (123 matches)! Their brilliant Boxing Day point at neighbours Chelsea was a much needed morale boost following their pre-Christmas mauling from Manchester United but they remain frustratingly inconsistent.

The constant uncertainty over the futures of Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson can't help matters although on the positive side Clint Dempsey is scoring regularly, Bryan Ruiz is showing signs of his quality and stand-in goalkeeper David Stockdale was superb at Stamford Bridge.

I expect he'll be in for another busy afternoon as only the top four have scored more goals at home than Norwich. In Grant Holt they possess the archetypal cult-hero - not your typical Premier League striker but a real handful and his recent goal at Everton is probably the best individual effort I've commentated on this season.

As for a prediction, I can't see past a 1-1 draw, perhaps fitting as '11 draws to a close.


  • This is the first meeting between the two sides since Fulham's 6-0 Premier League win in May 2005 at Craven Cottage.

  • Fulham are unbeaten in their last six league matches against Norwich, winning each of the last four without conceding a goal.

  • Norwich's last win against the Cottagers was a 2-1 triumph at Carrow Road in the old second division in March 1986.

  • This will be only the third time the sides have met in top-flight football.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham have won just once away from home in the league this season - a 2-0 victory at Wigan in October.

  • They have scored just five goals away from home in the Premier League - the worst record in the division.

  • Clint Dempsey has scored in each of Fulham's four league wins this term.

  • If selected, Damien Duff will be making 400th English league appearance. Duff and Danny Murphy are both one short of 50 Premier League goals.

  • Norwich

  • Paul Lambert's side have won just one of their last five Premier League games.

  • The Canaries are looking to avoid back-to-back home defeats for the first time this season.

  • No side in the division have scored more headed goals this term than Norwich (11). Strikers Steve Morison (four) and Grant Holt (three) have contributed seven of those 11 goals.

Source Martin Fisher at BBCSports
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