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Fulham face Everton -- PL Match Preview

last updated Friday 28th March 2014, 5:50 PM


Fulham manager Felix Magath
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I've seen some comparisons between Ross Barkley and Diego Maradona since the Everton player's goal at Newcastle in midweek. Saying he is Maradona-esque is a bit strong, but if I was England coach Roy Hodgson I'd take him to the World Cup.

I think there is space for an emerging youngster in the squad and he has got so much ability. He could play at the top of the diamond, with Steven Gerrard in that same deep role that he plays at Liverpool.

That debate is a little way off just yet; first Barkley and co have got to concentrate on the pursuit of Champions League qualification at Fulham.

The momentum for a top-four finish is with Everton rather than Arsenal. While Roberto Martinez's side have won four league games on the trot, Arsenal's 2-2 draw with Swansea midweek made it one win in four.

Everton will be desperate to make it five consecutive victories to send them into next weekend's home meeting against the Gunners with their confidence sky-high.

This game is no less important for Fulham. Felix Magath has spoken about their winnable fixtures in the run-in. Home games against Norwich, Hull and Crystal Palace do look inviting, but they would love to get the ball rolling with at least a point out of Saturday's game.

Having three managers has certainly not helped them this season, and the players must be a bit confused by the chopping and changing. They can take some solace from the fact that they have already beaten Everton at home this season - albeit in the League Cup way back in September.

However, I do fear for Fulham, mainly because their recent record has been so poor. One win in 11 matches is far from ideal when you're trying to avoid relegation.

Martinez has added a touch of flair to an Everton team that were already very compact - not good news for a Fulham side that has shipped 70 goals and counting this season.

    Head-to-head

  • Fulham have only lost two of their 12 Premier League home games against Everton (W8, D2, L2). However, only one of those victories has come in the last five attempts.


  • Everton's 4-1 win over Fulham in the reverse fixture continued the Cottagers' miserable winless league record at Goodison Park (D4, L22).


  • Fulham


  • Fulham have only won one of their last 11 league matches.


  • Their 1-0 victory over Newcastle in their last home fixture was only their fourth clean sheet of the season.


  • Only Sunderland (12 points) have a worse home record than Fulham this season (13 points).


  • Fulham have conceded the first goal in a league-high 22 of their 31 matches this season.


  • Last week's 5-0 defeat by Manchester City was the first time Fulham had failed to score in seven league games.


  • Darren Bent has scored four goals in his last six games against Everton.


  • Everton


  • Everton have won four Premier League games in a row for the first time since March 2008.


  • Only Chelsea (four) have lost fewer games than Everton this season (five).


  • Everton's 3-0 midweek win at Newcastle was their first in six away fixtures (D2, L3). They scored more goals against the Magpies than they managed in those five previous matches (two).


  • It was also a first clean sheet on their travels since their 1-0 win at Old Trafford on 4 December.


  • Ross Barkley has scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time.


  • Gerard Deulofeu has two goals and three assists from his five Premier League starts - one of which came in the reverse fixture in December.


  • Romelu Lukaku has scored in three of his last four Premier League games.
























Source John Motson at BBCSports
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