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Fulham visit Birmingham ~ Match Preview .

last updated Friday 13th May 2011, 1:56 PM

Fulham manager Mark Hughes Birmingham would have hoped to have been able to relax ahead of their penultimate game of the season but a run of just one point from the last 12 has left the League Cup winners still looking nervously over their shoulder.

There's no doubt that the excursions of their first major trophy in 48 years coupled with a run to the quarter finals of the FA Cup has taken its toll. Since their memorable day at Wembley they've managed just two victories from 10 games.

Continue reading the main story Mark Hughes has now been able to stamp his own authority on the team I watched them at Newcastle last week where the game changed on the sending off of Liam Ridgewell and subsequent penalty. They weren't really a goal threat and it's easy to see why they are the joint lowest scorers in the league. There were some tired legs at St James' Park and those who are available will have to dig deep to try and secure the point they need for safety.

Fulham's second half of the season has been excellent and it's clear that Mark Hughes has now been able to stamp his own authority on the team. No-one saw Monday's heavy defeat to Liverpool coming, particularly as they have looked well organised and strong defensively.

There's always going to be speculation about Hughes with his track record, but I'm sure Fulham fans will have been pleased by his public commitment to the club this week and will look forward to next season with real optimism.

  • Birmingham have won 31 and Fulham 25 of the 83 previous matches between these clubs.

  • Fulham have lost on only two of the club's last nine trips to St Andrew's.

  • They have conceded one goal on each of their last four visits.

  • Birmingham have lost three of their last four matches.

  • Since lifting the Carling Cup at the end of February, they have won only two of their 10 subsequent league games.

  • A win for the Blues would be their 50th league victory under manager Alex McLeish.

  • Fulham have won four out of their last eight matches.

  • Prior to Monday's 5-2 thrashing by Liverpool, Fulham had kept clean sheets in three of their previous five games.

  • The next goal Fulham let in will be their 500th conceded in the Premier League.

  • Bobby Zamora is in line for his 350th career league appearance.

  • Birmingham - Leading goalscorers
    Gardner: 9 goals (7 league); Zigic: 8 goals (5 league)

  • Fulham - Leading goalscorers
    Dempsey: 13 goals (12 league); Zamora: 6 goals (4 league)

  • Referee: Peter Walton

Source Steve Bower at BBCSport
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