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Fulham v Tottenham - Match Preview

last updated Friday 22nd March 2002, 5:25 PM
Fulham Manager Jean Tigana Fulham, clearly,have the playing and financial power to remain in the top flight for some time and only Liverpool have attempted more than the 910 tackles that Fulham have got stuck into this season. Manager Jean Tigana clearly believes in hard work as the basis of their style of play and that could mean a few problems for Tottenham.

Once in possession, the Cottagers have completed 77% of their passes which makes them the third-most accurate passing team in the top flight and means that they have found a team-mate with two percentage points more of their passes than Spurs.

With mid-table looking like the final resting places for these two teams at the end of the season you would be forgiven for thinking that this game is of low importance in the great scheme of things. Wrong - both sides have a lot to do between now and the end of the campaign.

Craven Cottage
24th March, 2002
Fulham Spurs Div
Games 30 30 30
Goals scored 30 39 39
Ave goals per game 1.00 1.30 1.30
Shots(ex blocked shots) 321 337 323
Shooting Accuracy 41% 37% 44%
Goals to shots % 9.3% 11.6% 12.01%
Short passes 10226 9672 8607
Long passes 3380 3571 3251
Passes 13606 13243 11858
Pass completion % 77% 75% 74%
Crosses 771 728 733
Crosses completion % 23% 27% 25%
Tackles 910 772 802
Tackle success rate % 74% 73% 74%
Clearances 1297 1453 1411
Goals conceded 36 45 39
Ave goals conceded per game 1.20 1.50 1.30
Fouls 438 408 456
Yellow cards 43 44 47
Red cards 1 5 3
stats from opta
Spurs Manager Glen HoddleTottenham have lost their last four games with an aggregate scored of 13-0 and will be looking to get back on track against Fulham. The Cottagers themselves have impressed this season without really threatening the top end of the table and the work that is done between now and the end of the season will be the foundation of next year.

Matchday Referee:
Paul Durkin from Portland
, Dorset

Paul Durkin is the grand old man of the Premiership as he has been a Premier League referee since its inception back in 1992. So far in other Premiership games Ref Durkin has shown to be a homer with 60% of his cautions going to the visitors. He gives out slightly more yellows than the average and although he has decided on only 5 penalties in his 15 Premiership games that rate is twice as many as the average.

Mr Durkin's busiest game this season was the 1-0 West Ham win at Man U when he dished out 8 yellows, 5 to Man U players and 3 to Hammer players.

Ref Durkin has reffed just one Fulham game this season the 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa back in October when he booked Sean Davis for a foul.

Mr. Durkin's score sheet Average Premiership Referee score sheet
Total Match
Total Match
Games 15 13
Fouls 436 29.07 385 25.65
Penalties 5 0.33 2.54 0.17
Yellow cards 39 2.60 40 2.64
Red Cards 3 0.20 3 0.18
If Tottenham are going to avoid yet another defeat, they are going to have to fire off shots with a greater degree of accuracy. Under the management of Glenn Hoddle this season they have tried to play like Holland but have been shooting like they are wearing clogs. Just 37% of their efforts have hit the target making Spurs the most inaccurate side in that respect in the Premiership.

One player who might be able to help them in front of goal is Daren Anderton. 'Sicknote' might spend more time getting prodded and poked on a treatment table than Jamie Theakston, but once Anderton is on the pitch, he is a superb player and this season he has swung in 65 accurate crosses - the fifth most in the Premiership. On the other side, one player that Tottenham will have to mark closely is Steed Malbranque. The Frenchman has put in just one accurate cross fewer than Anderton and one of these two stars could well have the final say in this match.

Source Planet football by Matt Pomroy
Since 1998
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