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Fulham visit Bournemouth ~ Ch. Match Preview

last updated Thursday 25th December 2014, 6:45 PM

U21's Manager Kit Symons
Fulham Caretaker Manager
Kit Symons
Kit Symons
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Bournemouth will be coming up against a Fulham side full of confidence having picked up a resounding victory on Saturday, putting four past the usually stingy Sheffield Wednesday defence.

That made it back-to-back victories for the first time in over two months for the Cottagers, putting them within striking distance of the top half coming up to the midway point in the season.

Kit Symons will be particularly pleased with consecutive clean sheets for the first time since February 2013, although they do still have the joint worst defensive record in the league.

Things are improving away from home, however, with Fulham having won their last two games on the road, and another maximum point haul on Boxing Day would give them three consecutive away victories in the same season for the first time since 2008.

However, they have won just two of their last 16 league matches against Bournemouth and rarely would have come up against a Cherries outfit this strong.

They will be hoping that Ross McCormack has not been unsettled by speculation over his future, with the striker having had a hand in eight goals in his last nine games for the club, scoring three and setting up another five.

He is once again expected to lead the line alongside Hugo Rodallega in what could be an unchanged side for Symons.

Bournemouth will be looking to ensure that they end Boxing Day top of the pile when they host Fulham at The Goldsands Stadium this Friday.

The Cherries currently lead the way in the Championship, but anything other than a draw in the early kickoff between Brentford and Ipswich Town would see them start their own match second in the table.

However, Eddie Howe will know that, whatever happens elsewhere, Bournemouth will hold top spot if they do their own job, and they will be confident of picking up another victory.

The Cherries emphatically consolidated their position as both league leaders and the league's top scorers with a 6-1 victory away to Blackpool on Saturday, making it 11 goals in their last two Championship outings.

The win would have especially pleased Howe considering their exit from the League Cup at the hands of Liverpool last Wednesday, their only defeat in 14 matches in all competitions.

They remain unbeaten in 12 in the league, the longest run in the division and one that includes nine victories, while they haven't lost a Championship game at home since the middle of September.

The omens are good for the second half of the season too, with the last six teams to have been top of the Championship on Christmas Day going on to win automatic promotion.

Steve Cook, Harry Arter and Tommy Elphick have all started every league match for the club this season and are expected to maintain that record on Friday, while Matt Ritchie will also keep his place having scored five goals in his last five league games.


  • This is the first meeting since a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth in the old Division Two in March 1999.

  • Bournemouth are unbeaten in the last four meetings, winning two. Fulham's last win was 3-1 away in the old Division Two in January 1994.

  • Fulham have won only one of the last seven meetings at Bournemouth, drawing two and losing four.

  • Bournmouth

  • Bournemouth have won nine of their last 12 games in the Championship, drawing three. Their last league defeat was 2-0 at Derby on 30 September.

  • Bournemouth lost their last home game 3-1 against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup on 17 December - their first defeat in nine home games.

  • Bournemouth have won 55%, drawn 25% and lost 20% of their last 20 home games.

  • Bournemouth have scored first in 85% of their last 20 home games.

  • Fulham

  • Fulham have won three of their last four games, losing the other. Their only defeat since 21 November was 5-0 against Watford at home on 5 December.

  • Fulham have won their last two away games, against Brighton and Leeds.

  • Fulham have won 20%, drawn 20% and lost 60% of their last 20 away games.

  • Fulham have scored first in 25% of their last 20 away games.

Source Barney Corkhill at SportsMole/BBCSports
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