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Fulham visit Man City ~Match Preview .

last updated Friday 25th February 2011, 1:24 PM

Fulham manager Mark Hughes The Citizens of Manchester have been notably short of compassion for Mark Hughes, who returns to Eastlands for the first time since his bitter departure 14 months ago.

Manchester City compounded the Welshman's messily-handled sacking by inflicting a humiliating 4-1 defeat on his new club Fulham in November.

Hughes will privately be eager to prove a point - and knows that taking all three would seriously undermine City's minimum target of a Champions League place, let alone their fading title prospects.

Fulham's league form has been good, with only one defeat in seven enabling them to climb out of the bottom three and into mid-table. Conversely, City have lost momentum since going top in January - managing only four points from as many games.

However, they put five past Notts County in the FA Cup last weekend, while Fulham were knocked out of the competition by Bolton and headed for a sunshine break in the Algarve under a cloud. The silver lining for Fulham is the return of England striker Bobby Zamora after a five-month lay-off.

  • The home side has not won this fixture in the last eight meetings since City triumphed 3-1 in November 2006.

  • Fulham have taken seven points from their last three trips to the City of Manchester Stadium.

  • They have only won one of their last four league matches, earning four points out of a possible 12.

  • Roberto Mancini's side are vying for a fifth straight home victory.

  • City have kept an unsurpassed 12 clean sheets in the league this season.

  • January signing Edin Dzeko awaits his first Premier League goal after five matches - a total of 328 minutes.

  • Fulham were in the bottom three on New Year's Day but have since only lost one of their seven league matches (W3, D3, L1).

  • However, they have won just once away from home in the last 31 attempts - 2-0 at Stoke in December last year.

  • Mark Hughes won 36, drew 16 and lost 25 of his 77 league matches in charge of Manchester City from 2008 to 2009.

  • Clint Dempsey has scored three league goals at Eastlands - only Tim Cahill (4) has scored more away goals at the stadium.

  • Manchester City - Leading goalscorers
    Tevez: 21 goals (18 league); Balotelli: 8 goals (5 league)

  • Fulham - Leading goalscorers
    Dempsey: 10 goals (9 league); Kamara: 5 goals (2 league)

  • Referee: Peter Walton

Source BBCSport
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