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Fulham face Birmingham ~ Ch. Match Preview MD16

last updated Friday 06th November 2015, 8:50 PM

Team News

Fulham vrs Birmingham

Championship Match Day 16 1516 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 7th November 2015    KO: 15:00

Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire)

Fulham Manager Kit Symons
Fulham Manager
Kit Symons
Kit Symons
His Wiki page
Fulham welcome the Blues to Craven Cottage having seen their recent unbeaten spell come to an end in midweek but with striker Moussa Dembele firing on all cylinders, they will back themselves to get back to winning ways.

Birmingham City travel to Fulham on Saturday afternoon not only looking to end a run of three games without a win, but also score their first goal since October 20.

When Fulham lost 3-0 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of September, there may have been concerns at Craven Cottage regarding the possibility of spending a second successive campaign trying to move away from the relegation zone.

However, a five-game unbeaten spell, which included a goalless draw away at Middlesbrough and two four-goal hauls against Reading and Bristol City respectively, has ensured that the West Londoners continue to remain within touching distance of the top 10, despite their defeat to Burnley in midweek.

Losing 3-1 at one of the division's in-form sides should not be met with too much negativity, with Kit Symons's men still in the game until a third goal in added-on time, but it is important that they head into the next international break on a positive note.

Aside from the Wolves setback, their form at home has been fairly encouraging.

Their only other defeat came against Brighton & Hove Albion, who remain unbeaten, and their last home outing saw them register a 4-2 victory over a Reading side who had arrived at Craven Cottage having won four of their last five matches.

The major plus point for Symons over the past three weeks has been the form of Dembele, who has five goals to his name during that period.

The form of the 19-year-old has reportedly resulted in interest from the Premier League but Symons will be keen to keep his player's feet on the ground as he strikes up a potentially key partnership with Ross McCormack.

Birmingham manager Steve Clarke
His Wiki page
Much has been made of Birmingham City's terrific start to the season, with the Blues considered a surprise occupant of a top-six place since the opening weeks of the campaign, but manager Gary Rowett now faces a fight on his hands to temper expectations at St Andrew's.

After their 1-0 victory away at Bolton Wanderers, Birmingham reached as high as second in the standings - a position considered unthinkable at the start of the August - but since that match, they have lost two of their three games and failed to score a goal.

The West Midlands outfit have been far from a free-scoring side this season - they have scored more than twice in a game on just one occasion - but the flat performances against both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers will be worrying for Rowett, who would have expected a solid return from those two games.

On a positive note, Birmingham remain in a playoff spot ahead of the next batch of fixtures, but a five-point margin has now been established between themselves and what is slowly turning out to be a runaway top five and defeat at the weekend could see them fall as low as ninth.

With the international break lurking, this feels like an important fixture for the club.

Failure to leave Craven Cottage with at least a draw would undo a considerable amount of their hard work during the opening 15 games, and leave the club chasing teams who possess more resources to strengthen their promotional charges during the January transfer window. Birmingham


  • The head-to-head record between the two clubs over 84 matches is close, with Birmingham registering 30 victories and Fulham narrowly behind with 27 wins.

  • Despite the Blues holding the advantage from an historical perspective, the Cottagers are unbeaten in the five most recent meetings, with just one defeat being suffered in eight outings.

  • Birmingham have not won at Craven Cottage since 2004, when they edged a five-goal thriller in the Premier League.

  • Fulham have won 2, drawn 5 and lost 3 of the last 10 stagings of this fixture, outscoring their opponents by 8 goals to 8.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham have won 40%, drawn 25% and lost 35% of their last 20 home games.

  • In their last 20 home matches, Fulham have scored 1.8 goals per game and conceded 1.8 goals per game on average.

  • In their last 20 home games, 77% of the 35 goals scored by Fulham have come in open play, whilst 23% have come from set-pieces.

  • Fulham have conceded in 85% of their last 20 home games.

  • Fulham last kept a clean sheet at home 4 games ago.

  • In their last 20 home games, Fulham have scored the first goal 10 times and conceded the first goal 10 times.

  • No player has attempted more passes this season than Jamie O'Hara (1,040)

  • Fulham have conceded more headed goals in this league campaign than any other club in the Championship (8).

  • The Cottagers have the best conversion rate in the league (19.85%).

  • Birmingham

  • Birmingham have won 40%, drawn 30% and lost 30% of their last 20 away games.

  • In their last 20 away matches, Birmingham have scored 1.4 goals per game and conceded 1.2 goals per game on average.

  • In their last 20 away games, 52% of the 27 goals scored by Birmingham have come in open play, whilst 48% have come from set-pieces.

  • Birmingham have conceded in 60% of their last 20 away games

  • Birmingham last kept a clean sheet away from home 2 games ago.

  • In their last 20 away games, Birmingham have scored the first goal 12 times and conceded the first goal 7 times.

  • Birmingham City have played the fewest number of passes in the league (5,017).

  • The Blues' defenders have scored more goals than any other team in the Championship (6) - having a 32% share of Birmingham's total league goals.

Source Darren Plant at SportsMole/BBCSports/KickOff
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