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Fulham v Man Utd: Match preview

last updated Friday 23rd February 2007, 11:04 AM
Team Fulham Man Utd
Games Played 27 27
Goal Attempts
Goals 29 63
Ave Goals per game 1.07 2.33
Shots (excl blocked shots) 242 406
% Shots on Target 41% 47%
% Goals to Shots 12% 16%
Short Passes 6,901 11,850
Long Passes 1,869 1,921
Overall Pass Completion % 65% 81%
Total Crosses 609 713
Cross Completion % 27% 25%
Goals Conceded 41 18
Ave goals conceded per game 1.52 0.67
Tackles 664 631
Tackles Won % 73% 75%
Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions 1273 1110
Fouls 385 325
Yellow Cards 44 40
Red Cards 2 0

Manchester United aim to go nine points clear at the top of the table, while Fulham are looking to bounce back from last week's FA Cup thrashing, live on Sky Sports 1.

After putting themselves in a strong position to qualify for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, United will now be hoping to tighten their grip on the domestic crown.

With Chelsea involved in the Carling Cup final this weekend, the leaders can forge further clear, with Sir Alex Ferguson labelling it 'knock-down time'.

Ferguson must decide whether to stick with the XI who started the 1-0 win over Lille in midweek as next Tuesday's FA Cup replay with Reading affords him the chance to give his fringe players a go.

Cristiano Ronaldo left Lille with a sore foot, although the injury appeared more as a result of kicking a water bottle holder in frustration, than from a tackle.

If Ronaldo has not recovered from that complaint, then Park Ji-sung is the likely option to come in on the wing.

Edwin van der Sar returned from a broken nose to keep a clean sheet against Lille, so will continue in goal, with Tomasz Kuszczak likely to come back in against Reading next week.

Perhaps Ferguson's biggest decision of late is who partners Wayne Rooney up front, with Henrik Larsson currently favoured over Louis Saha.

Fulham have conceded 12 goals in their last three matches against United and were also thumped 4-0 by Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup last weekend.

Chris Coleman is determined to see a spirited response from his players and there will also be a desire to avenge the 5-1 defeat at Old Trafford on the opening weekend of the season when United scored four times in the first 20 minutes.

The Cottagers are likely to bring Liam Rosenior back into the team after the full-back missed his first game of the season against Spurs.

Rosenior's expected return at right-back will see Moritz Volz either make way or restored to the midfield role he has been operating in recently.

Coleman does have increased options in midfield, with Alexei Smertin now match fit and Michael Brown available again after suspension.

But in attack, Coleman is without Vincenzo Montella, who was sent off late on against Spurs for swinging an arm at Robbie Keane.

Source Mark Buckingham at SkySport
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