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Fulham v Southampton - Match Preview

last updated Friday 14th March 2003, 12:21 PM
Fulham Manager Jean Tigana Fulham lying 13th in the league and eliminated from all cup competitions may have less to play for than their visitors on Saturday.

In contrast Southampton go into the Loftus Road clash off the back of a morale boosting FA Cup quarter-final win and challenging for a UEFA Cup place. It will be interesting to see whether it is the fired-up Saints or the care-free Cottagers that come out on top on Saturday.

Assistant boss Christian Damiano believes Fulham will come back from their enforced two-week break 'refreshed' for the remainder of the season.

They will have been out of action for a fortnight when they take to the field against the FA Cup semi-finalists on Saturday - their first competitive game since the 1-0 victory over Sunderland on 1 March.

However, Damiano feels the break was much needed, admitting it allowed some players to catch their breath after a lengthy season, which began back in July with the Intertoto Cup.

He said: "We did have some rest last week, but now our schedule is back to normal as we prepare for the Southampton game on Saturday. This two-week break has been good for us, we have been able to do the aerobic work that is fundamental for the physical foundation of the players and at the same time we have been able to do the repetition work that was necessary on the technical side."

The Cottagers have had a quiet build up to the game, preparation that will suit the calm persona of Jean Tigana.

Source: 4thegame

Latest League Table
Latest Form Table
Latest Squad Stats
Latest disciplinary Stats

Craven Cottage
on Loftus Road -
Premiership 15 Mar 03
Fulham Soton Div
Games Played 29 29 29
Goals 33 30 37
Ave Goals Per Game 1.14 1.03 1.28
Shots (excluding blocked shots) 324 351 319
Ave Shots Per Game 11 12 11
Ave Shots on Target Per Game 5 5 5
% Shots On Target 44% 42% 43%
% Goals To Shots 10% 8% 11%
Short Passes 7975 6576 7461
Long Passes 3554 3496 3474
Total Passes 11529 10072 10935
Ave Passes Per Game 398 347 377
% Overall Passes Completed 71% 68% 72%
Ave passes completed
per game
282 236 271
Total Crosses 637 718 676
Ave Crosses Per Game 22 25 23
Crosses Completed 26% 25% 25%
Ave cross completion
per game
6 6 6
Goals Conceded 35 28 37
Ave Goals Conceded Per Game 1.21 0.97 1.28
Tackles 931 766 828
Tackles Won % 74% 72% 72%
Ave tackles completed
per game
24 19 21
Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions 1222 1331 1328
Ave Blocks, etc., Per Game 42 46 46
Fouls 423 410 405
Ave Fouls Per Game 15 14 14
Yellow Cards 45 33 45
Fouls per yellow 9 12 9
Red Cards 6 3 3
Cipher's stats extract shows that offensively Fulham have scored more league goals than Southampton, have a bigger percentage of on target shots and a better goals to shot ratio. James Beattie has scored 18 of the Saints 30 league goals with Fernandes and Ormerod joint second with 3 each.

The Cottagers are more active in the middle of the park completing 20% more passes and over 25% more tackles per game. In relation to crosses although the Saints attempt about 10% more than Fulham the number of completed crosses is the same for both squads with Saints scoring from six headers in comparison to Fulham's three.

Defensively the Saints have conceded seven fewer goals than Fulham and are more active in terms of blocks, interventions, etc.. Southampton have one of the best away defensive records in the Premiership but one of the worse away scoring records culminating in having lost seven away games in comparison to Fulham's eight.

Matchday Referee

Paul A Durkin - Portland, Dorset
Referee Paul DurkinPaul Durkin is the grand old man of the Premiership, even though, at 45, he's not technically that old. The Dorset born ref has now turned professional, but previously listed his occupation as 'administrator'.

Durkin has been a Premier League referee since its inception back in 1992, and is one of the most respected amongst managers and players. His handling of 1999/2000's crunch tie between Manchester United and Arsenal drew particular praise, especially when the heated affair drew only one booking.

As you'd expect from one of the veterans, Durkin has been refereeing for some time - starting his career back in 1974 and progressing to the Football League in 1987. Highlights so far have been the 1998 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Newcastle and taking charge of matches during 1998 World Cup Finals in France.

26-01-2003 FA Cup Fulham 3-0 Charlton 3 1
Bookings: Jensen, Konchesky, Young (Charlton) - Fish sent off 86 (Charlton)

28-12-2002 Premier Fulham 0-1 Man City (Cards 1-0)
Bookings: Jensen (Man City)

07-12-2002 Premier Fulham 1-0 Leeds (Cards 7-0)
Bookings: Davis, Legwinski, Wome (Fulham) Bakke, Fowler, Wilcox, Woodgate (Leeds)

23-09-2002 Premier Fulham 0-0 Chelsea (Cards 1-0)
Bookings: Ouaddou (Fulham)

2002/ 2003
Mr. Durkin's score sheet Av Premiership Ref score sheet
Total Match Avg Total Match
Games 16 12
Fouls 409 25.56 338 28.01
Penalties 2 0.13 3 0.22

2.44 38 3.10
Reds 1 0.06 2 0.19
Fouls per Yellow 10.5 9.0

Mr. Durkin is whistling slightly less and issuing fractionally less yellows than he did last season

Naughty Saints are Chris Marsden(M) with 8 yellows while James Beattie(A) and Wayne Bridge($) have 4. On average Southampton players have been yellow carded every 12th foul in comparison to 9 for Fulham players!

Steed Malbranque leading goal scorer


Southampton Boss The Saints have dominated the headlines with their cup run. The excitement and energy oozing from the south coast club this season is epitomised by, and largely due to, manager Gordon Strachan.

Saints chairman Rupert Lowe has heaped praise on Strachan, insisting the Scot has proved all his doubters wrong.

Strachan took over at St Mary's following Stuart Gray's sacking early last season and has resurrected the Saints' fortunes, pulling them clear of a relegation battle in their last campaign and now is leading them in the fight for a European place and to a FA Cup semi-final.

Lowe said: "We're moving in the right direction and he has done a tremendous job since he came. Some people said he wasn't the right man for Southampton Football Club but he has proved them wrong and we hope that he will be here for a long time to come."

The fiery Scot is full of enthusiasm and will ensure his players fight to the bitter end. Fulham can expect a highly charged game on Saturday despite The Saints exertions of recent weeks. They will need to match their opponents Saints in every department if they are to get anything from the game.

The reverse of this fixture back in October was a breath-taking affair as James Beattie bagged a hat-trick to complete Southampton's sensational comeback, wiping out Fulham's 2-0 lead and leaving the Cottagers shell-shocked after a 4-2 defeat at St Mary's.

A repeat would be a delight for the neutral and Saints fans alike, but Tigana will want his 'refreshed' players to show a lot more steel and grab the three points needed to take them over the magic '40 point' mark.

Source: 4thegame

For much of this season Southampton have been genuine contenders to claim a place in the UEFA Cup next season. Now with so many clubs chasing a European spot, the Saints best route into Europe may well be via the FA Cup.

Fulham have had the benefit of two weeks rest to recharge the batteries after a ridiculously long season that started back in June. The squad should now be fairly refreshed and with a few players returning from injury will be confident of beating the Saints.

Gordon Strachan will of course demand his players don’t lose their focus in the league with a Cup semi against Watford to look forward to. However, as has been so often in the past clubs still involved in the latter stages of the Cup often slip a little in the league.

Where Southampton may enjoy some success at Loftus Road is from balls crossed in from wide areas. The home side are without their first and second choice keepers and must therefore hand Martin Herrera his full debut.

It wouldn’t be the greatest surprise if James Beattie finds the net at least once with his head. Whether that is enough to force a victory is another matter. A point-a-piece may be the most likely outcome.

Best High Street price for a Fulham win is 6/5 with all except Hills while 71/50is available at the Betfair exchange.
Betting odds Fulham Draw Soton
Coral 6/5 11/5 9/5
Hills 1/1 11/5 11/5
Ladbrokes 6/5 9/4 7/4
SuperSoccer 6/5 9/4 9/5
Stanley 6/5 11/5 15/8
Betfair 71/50 12/5 15/8
All prices subject to fluctuation(particularly Betfair).

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