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Fulham v Spurs - Match Preview

last updated Tuesday 10th September 2002, 11:15 AM
Fulham Manager Jean Tigana Jean Tigana's side have come through a taxing summer. The Franco Baresi saga unsettled many players, while uprooting to play at neighbours QPR during Craven Cottage's redevelopment is hardly an ideal situation.

On the playing front though, Fulham have started promisingly enough. Key additions to the squad such as Junichi Inamoto and Facunda Sava have settled in well, the team has been performing consistently and have already clinched the Inter Toto Cup to qualify for this season's UEFA Cup.

One of the key players in that run was Frenchman Sylvain Legwinski. A former Tigana prot駩e at Monaco, Legwinski has already fired seven shots at goal in the Premiership - more than any other player at the club - and scored twice. Combined with his two goals in Europe, that total is already higher than his figure for last term and makes the 28-year-old the joint-top scorer in the Premiership.

Overall, Tigana's players have been one of the most clinical sides in the Premiership, which will gratify the Frenchman whose side was often accused of having no cutting edge last season. The Cottagers have scored with 18% of their shots to date - the third-best ratio in the top-flight - while Spurs have netted with just 14%.

  Fulham Spurs Div Avg
Games Played 3 4 3
Goals 6 6 4
Ave Goals Per Game 2.00 1.50 1.33
Shots (excluding blocked shots) 34 44 32
Ave Shots Per Game 11 11 11
% Shots On Target 38% 30% 44%
% Goals To Shots 18% 14% 13%
Short Passes 832 913 801
Long Passes 431 388 360
Total Passes 1263 1301 1161
Ave Passes Per Game 421 325 387
% Overall Pass Completion 76% 71% 74%
Total Crosses 79 102 65
Ave Crosses Per Game 26 25 22
Completion 35% 30% 26%
Goals Conceded 4 3 4
Ave Goals Conceded Per Game 1.33 0.80 1.33
Tackles 97 95 79
Ave Tackles Per Game 32 24 26
Tackles Won % 82% 73% 72%
Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions 99 203 119
Ave Blocks, etc., Per Game 33 51 40
Fouls 47 59 42
Ave Fouls Per Game 16 15 14
Yellow Cards 8 8 5
Red Cards 0 0 0
stats from opta
Spurs Manager

Glenn Hoddle's continued failure throughout the summer to attract big name players to White Hart Lane resulted in the media branding Tottenham as the laughing stock of the Premiership, while the fans were hardly thrilled with the situation either.

However, the transfer deadline day capture of Robbie Keane coupled with the club's unbeaten start to the season has improved morale considerably at Spurs ahead of their second London derby of 2002-03 against Fulham.

Hoddle will be hoping that Keane's introduction up front will rectify his goalscoring problems. Despite being restricted to three brief substitute appearances for Leeds before his move south, the former Inter Milan man was able to open his goalscoring account with a deft chip against Manchester City. And if he can produce the form he is capable of for Spurs, there should be plenty more goals to come.

At the back, Spurs have been fantastic. They have conceded only three goals in four games, while their defenders have made a Premiership-high total of 175 defensive clearances. They should also feel confident of extending their unbeaten run at Loftus Road, having beaten Fulham home and away in 2001-02.

Source:Rupert Webster from Planet football

Ref Mark Halsey Matchday Referee:
Mark Halsey, Welwyn Garden City

Mark Halsey enjoyed a fairly meteoric rise to the Premier League referees list having only taken up the profession in the 1988/89 season. The 41-year-old self-employed driver - or white van man - caught the refereeing bug in the Hertfordshire County League, before joining the football league as a linesman in 1993.

Halsey came into the Premiership with a reputation as a lover of injury time. He was in charge of the 1998/99 Division Two play-off final in which Manchester City scored in the 95th minute to equalise with Gillingham, before winning the match on penalties.

His first season in the top flight was relatively controversy free, averaging 3.1 bookings per game in the 16 matches he took charge of. Since then, Halsey has become one of the league's most respected referees and took charge of over 20 matches last season.

(Ed. - Ref Halsey reffed 3 Fulham games last season the League Cup 1-2 home defeat against Spurs, our 2-0 home victory over Blackburn, he booked Malbranque, Marlet and Melville, and the 1-0 home defeat against West Ham in which he booked Finnan. Last season only 5 ref's dished out more red cards than Mr Halsey)
Mr. Halsey's score sheet Average Premiership Referee score sheet
Total Match
Total Match
Games 21 16
Fouls 612 29.14 472 29.81
Penalties 5 0.24 3 0.19
Yellow cards 64 3.05 49 3.07
Red Cards 4 0.19 3 0.19

Betting odds Fulham Draw Spurs
Coral 11/8 11/5 8/5
Hills 7/5 21/10 8/5
Ladbrokes 11/8 11/5 8/5
SuperSoccer 6/4 21/10 8/5
Stanley 11/8 11/5 13/8
UKBetting 7/5 2/1 15/8
Spurs are a bit of a bogey team for Fulham, with the historical records showing 53 meetings between the two clubs and Fulham gaining just 5 victories.

However despite the records the Bookmaking fraternity have the Cottagers as marginal favourites to win on Wednesday evening.

On the stats so far Fulham do seem to be in front on most aspects apart from blocking and clearances. This would seem to indicate that Spurs have a problem stopping the ball reaching their backline although with their low goals conceded figure the backline is holding up so far.

Both sides have much to play for but The Cottagers should be able to take all three points.
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