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Fulham face Man City -- PL Match Preview

last updated Friday 21st March 2014, 8:25 PM


Fulham manager Felix Magath
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On paper this is one of the most sure-fire home bankers of the season.

City look far too good for Fulham. They've won 44 of their last 51 home league games. Aguero and Negredo alone have scored more goals together in all competitions than the whole Fulham team have managed in the league this season.

They're unbeaten in nine games against the Cottagers, who've picked up just two away points in six matches since their Boxing Day success at Norwich. It has to be City.

But then, if they'd not lost similar sure-fire bets at Cardiff, Villa and Sunderland, they would virtually have the title sewn up. Had they not struggled to see off Palace and Stoke at home, they would go into this in the knowledge of an easy Eastlands romp.

Had Chelsea, Wigan and Barcelona not shown the rest how to win at City, then there would be no doubts. But because of those results, Fulham will carry a little hope into the game.

David Stockdale looked a more dependable goalkeeper than Stekelenburg against Newcastle, helping them keep just a fourth league clean sheet of a wretched campaign. They deserved that win.

But they still allowed Newcastle to create chances. City won't be as profligate.

Manuel Pellegrini's side have to win this. Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool away all lurk around the corner. It will be at those grounds where their title express could be de-railed.

The injuries to Aguero have been untimely. But then the re-awakening at long last of Demichelis as a quality defender at Hull was welcome, and the form of Joe Hart has sparkled. I can't see Fulham scoring.

At the other end they have the fluid movement, the caress of a Silva pass, and the brutal finishing power to add to Fulham's relegation woes. An early City goal could open the floodgates.

But even if they have to wait a while for the goal to come that home banker bet will pay out.

    Head-to-head

  • Manchester City are enjoying a nine-match unbeaten run against Fulham in the league, winning the last four. It equals their longest top-flight unbeaten run against the Whites (April 1967 to April 2005).


  • However, Fulham have a good away record against City in the Premier League, winning three matches and drawing four on their last 10 visits.


  • Man City


  • City have responded to the 1-0 home defeat against Chelsea by keeping three successive clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time this season. They last went four league games in a row without conceding a goal in January last year.


  • Manuel Pellegrini's side have scored 11 league goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season, compared to just one for Fulham - which was an own goal by Liverpool's Kolo Toure.


  • They have scored an average of 3.18 goals per Premier League match with Sergio Aguero this season, but 1.70 goals per match without him.


  • They have won the last 21 matches in which David Silva has scored.


  • Fulham


  • Last weekend's victory against Newcastle was Fulham's first under Felix Magath, ending a nine-match winless run and bringing a first clean sheet in 15 league games.


  • Magath's side have only kept four Premier League clean sheets all season, the fewest in the division.


  • They have conceded 65 league goals this season - 13 more than the next-worst side, Cardiff. Fulham have conceded the opening goal in a league-high 21 matches this season.


  • The Whites are enduring a six-match winless streak in away games, conceding 16 goals in that period.
























Source Jonathan Pearce at BBCSports
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