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Fulham visit Aston Villa -- PL Match Preview

last updated Friday 04th April 2014, 12:26 PM

Fulham manager Felix Magath
Fulham manager
Felix Magath
His Wiki page
Felix Magath
The term "must-win game" is overused, but this match is just that for Fulham, who are five points adrift of safety with six games to play.

They have to win their remaining three home matches - against Norwich, Hull and Crystal Palace - but even then will probably need at least one away victory to have a realistic hope of survival.

Villa's home record is poor - in fact, only Fulham have lost more times in front of their own supporters - and the visitors have to go for it.

The Londoners played well in patches against Everton last weekend but when their opponents turned up the heat, Fulham folded.

While they may be relieved they don't have to face Villa's injured top scorer Christian Benteke, Fulham have their own problems up front, where they lack experience. Moussa Dembele, 17, led the line against the Toffees, while 19-year-old Cauley Woodrow began the previous match at Manchester City.

There has been speculation over the future of boss Felix Magath, who somehow has to lift his players. However, I don't think team spirit has been helped by the managerial chopping and changing, with first Martin Jol and then Rene Meulensteen being replaced.

Aston Villa have lost their last two games 4-1 despite scoring the opening goal, and their campaign has been blighted by inconsistency. They are probably one win from safety, but I'm not sure their results represent progress from last season.

Villa's home form remains a conundrum for Paul Lambert. They gave a reminder of their counter-attacking menace in last month's 1-0 win against Chelsea, but were brought back to earth eight days later by Stoke.

A Villa victory would leave Fulham on the brink of the drop, but a rare away win would give Magath's men belief they can still pull something out of the fire.


  • Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last 14 home league games against Fulham, whose last win was a 3-2 victory in a Division Two game on 3 March 1973.

  • However, Fulham did win an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Villa Park in 1999, recording a 2-0 victory.

  • Home and away, the Londoners have only lost one of their last seven games against Villa (W2, D4).

  • The last five meetings have produced a total of just six goals.

  • Aston Villa

  • The only club to have lost more Premier League home games this season than Villa (nine) is Fulham (11).

  • Paul Lambert's side have lost five of their last eight league games (W2, D1).

  • They have conceded four or more goals in back-to-back league games for the first time since December 2012, when they lost 8-0 to Chelsea and 4-0 to Tottenham.

  • Villa have conceded 54% of their goals in the first half - the highest proportion in this season's Premier League.

  • Fulham

  • The Whites have conceded 70% of their goals in the second half - the highest figure in the division.

  • They have conceded 22 goals in the final 15 minutes of Premier League games this season - more than any other side.

  • Fulham have exactly the same number of points after 32 matches as they did in 2007-08, when they won four of the last six matches to stay up on goal difference.

  • The Londoners have the lowest tally of clean sheets in the Premier League this season (four).

  • Fulham have only won one of their last 12 league matches (D2, L9).

  • They have used more players than any other team in the Premier League this season (37).

Source John Motson at BBCSports
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