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Fulham face Derby ~ Ch. Match Preview MD34

last updated Friday 27th February 2015, 9:54 PM


Fulham Manager Kit Symons
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Fulham would have had pre-season aspirations of challenging the likes of Derby for the Championship title following their relegation from the Premier League last season, but things have not worked as planned for Kit Symons's side.

A 3-0 defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday night left the Fulham boss "fuming" as their winless run extended to eight matches in all competitions.

The Cottagers have picked up just two points from the last 18 available in the league and find themselves languishing down in 20th place as a result, only five points clear of the relegation zone. Their home form has kept their heads above the water so far, but they are yet to win in three outings at Craven Cottage this month and face the second of three consecutive home matches against teams currently in the top four this weekend.

Tim Hoogland was named on the bench for the midweek match as he edges ever closer to full fitness, but this weekend is likely to come too soon for Fernando Amorebieta to feature.

Bryan Ruiz started a Fulham game for the first time since Boxing Day against Wolves and could retain his place in the side, but Scott Parker is likely to be recalled having sat out on Tuesday.

Championship leaders Derby County will continue their title charge on Saturday as they face Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Rams have taken control of the fascinating battle at the top of the table, capitalising on those around them dropping points to move two points clear of second-placed Middlesbrough and five ahead of third-placed Ipswich Town.

Back-to-back victories have stretched Derby's unbeaten streak in the league to seven matches, with Tuesday's comfortable 2-0 triumph over Charlton Athletic consolidating their position at the top.

That win would have been particularly pleasing due to the clean sheet that came with it - Derby's first in six matches, having conceded 10 goals in the previous five.

Steve McClaren's side have drawn their most recent two away games but are unbeaten in their last five on the road, while only three teams in the division have a better record on their travels this season.

They have only won one of their last 10 league visits to face Fulham, but already have an emphatic victory at Craven Cottage under their belts this season.

The Rams came from two goals down to thrash the Cottagers 5-2 in the League Cup back in October, having already recorded a 5-1 win over the West London outfit in the reverse league fixture.

Goals are unlikely to be an issue again this weekend with Darren Bent stepping up to the plate in Chris Martin's absence, scoring seven goals in his last nine games for the club.

Martin is nearing a return to action but may not be fit in time for Saturday, while George Thorne could be rested having started twice already this week following a long injury lay-off.

Simon Dawkins has already scored three times against Fulham this season but faces a difficult task in getting back into the team ahead of the in-form Tom Ince and Jesse Lingard, the latter of whom scored on his full debut in midweek.

    Head-to-head

  • Derby won the last meeting 5-2 at Craven Cottage in the Capital One Cup in October.


  • Derby also won the earlier league meeting this season 5-1 at the iPro Stadium in August.


  • Derby are unbeaten in the last four meetings in all competitions, winning the last two. Fulham's last win was 4-2 at Craven Cottage in an FA Cup replay in February 2005.


  • Derby's win in October was their first in eight meetings at Craven Cottage in all competitions.



  • Fulham


  • Fulham have not won any of their last eight games in all competitions, losing five. Their last win was 3-2 against Nottingham Forest at home in the Championship on 21 January.


  • Fulham lost their last home game 2-1 against Ipswich on 14 February - their first defeat in four games at Craven Cottage in the Championship.


  • Fulham have kept a clean sheet in 25% of their last 20 home games.


  • Fulham have scored 1 goal or less in 11 of their last 20 home games, going on to win 2, draw 2 and lose 7 of these matches.


  • Fulham have conceded in 75% of their last 20 home games.



  • Derby County


  • Derby are unbeaten in their last seven games in the Championship, winning five. Their last league defeat was 2-1 against Nottingham Forest at home on 17 January.


  • Derby are unbeaten in their last five away games, winning three. Their last defeat on the road was 2-0 at Middlesbrough on 13 December.


  • Derby have scored in 80% of their last 20 away games.


  • Derby have conceded 1 goal or less in 13 of their last 20 away games, going on to win 9, draw 3 and lose 1 of these matches.


  • In their last 20 away games, 84% of the 31 goals scored by Derby have come in open play, whilst 13% have come from set-pieces.


  • Derby have scored in 80% of their last 20 away games.
























Source Barney Corkhill at SportsMole/BBCSports/KickOff
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