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Fulham face Everton -- PL. Match Preview

last updated Friday 13th December 2013, 2:43 PM

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen
Fulham manager
Rene Meulensteen
Rene Meulensteen
If you'd been asked in August "who will be the only team to have lost just one Premier League game come the middle of December" how many of you would have said Everton?

Thought so, me neither. The fact that they have says a lot about Roberto Martinez's ability to improve an established squad so soon, and how willing the players have been to take on new ideas.

The new Blues boss had a solid foundation from which to build, but has added cleverly to it. They are a team that are very hard to beat and have lost just three of their last 26 league matches.

The next question is - how long can it continue? The fact that their three loan players Romelu Lukaku, Gareth Barry and Gerard Deulofeu are around all season gives them a fighting chance. Add that to the development of Ross Barkley and all signs look positive.

The challenge now is to win when everyone expects them to, just as they did in their last home game when they hit Stoke for four.

Prior to that, the last team to concede that many in the league at Goodison were Fulham in April 2012, but visiting coach Rene Meulensteen will be more concerned with the here and now.

The victory over Aston Villa last time out was absolutely huge after six straight league defeats. Had they lost again, with this match and a home game against Manchester City on the horizon, some would have feared the worst.

In stark contrast to Everton, Fulham have lost 16 of their last 23 league matches. Whether they can get a positive result on Merseyside may depend on which Dimitar Berbatov turns up. If it's the one from the win over Villa their chances are far stronger.

In a season full of surprises, a Fulham win at Goodison would be another one.

Everton are a fortnight away from being a year unbeaten at home. They won't relinquish that easily.


  • Fulham have never won a league game at Everton (D4, L21).

  • They have lost their last 20 meetings at Goodison Park - scoring just 10 goals to Everton's 51.

  • Their last victory at Goodison Park was by 2-1 in an FA Cup fifth-round tie in February 1975.

  • Everton

  • Everton are unbeaten at Goodison Park this year (W11, D5). The last time they went a calendar year unbeaten at home was 1962.

  • Everton have lost the fewest games in the Premier League this season (one).

  • The Toffees have drawn four of their last six games, keeping four clean sheets.

  • They are the only Premier League side yet to lose after conceding the opening goal (W1, D3).

  • Steven Pienaar scored his seventh and final goal of last season the last time these sides met in April - he has only scored once in 14 games since.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham avoided a club record seventh consecutive top-flight defeat by beating Aston Villa last time out.

  • Only Norwich (28) and Sunderland (30) have conceded more league goals than Fulham (26) this season.

  • Fulham's starting XI against Aston Villa was the oldest named by any side in the Premier League this season (31 years and 25 days).

  • The Cottagers have lost all eight of their games against top-half opposition this season.

  • Only West Ham have taken fewer points (five) from their last eight matches than Fulham (six).

Source Steve Bower at BBCSports
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