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Fulham welcome Blackburn ~ Match Preview .

last updated Friday 04th March 2011, 1:30 PM

Fulham manager Mark Hughes Fulham boss Mark Hughes made a point on his return to Manchester City last weekend, but the aborted handshake with successor Roberto Mancini shows the manner of his departure still rankles with the Welshman.

Relations with Blackburn, another of his former clubs, should be more cordial, although Hughes did criticise Rovers' surprise decision to axe manager Sam Allardyce earlier this season. The way in which Steve Kean was quickly installed at Ewood Park by the club's ruthless new owners certainly had some parallels with Hughes' sacking at Eastlands.

Kean said in December that a top-five finish was a possibility for Blackburn if they avoided injuries, but with the club's Indian backers providing little support in the transfer window, survival is now the focus for Rovers, who have lost three of their last four. Kean, who spent four years as Chris Coleman's assistant at Fulham, believes his side are 10 points shy of the 42 needed to guarantee safety.

Like Rovers, Fulham begin the weekend four points above the relegation zone, but the Londoners' recent form has seen them pull away from trouble - they have lost only once since New Year's Day.

Mark Clattenburg will take charge of the game at Craven Cottage after escaping censure for his display at Wigan last weekend, when many observers felt he should have shown Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney a red card.

  • Blackburn's 3-0 defeat at Craven Cottage last season is their only loss in their last nine games against Fulham (W4, D4).

  • Fulham have lost only one of their last eight league games, although they have drawn the last three.

  • Clint Dempsey has scored four goals in his last four games against Blackburn.

  • Since leaving Ewood Park, Mark Hughes has taken charge of four games against Rovers, winning two and drawing two.

  • Opta stats show Fulham have converted just 10% of shots into goals this season - the lowest figure in the Premier League.

  • Rovers have won three of 11 league games under Steve Kean (W3, D2, L6).

  • They have lost their last four away games, leaking 13 goals in the process.

  • Rovers have conceded 35 goals away from home this season, the highest figure in the top flight.

  • They have not kept a clean sheet in an away league game since beating Aston Villa 1-0 on the final day of last season, a run of 14 matches.

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

  • Blackburn - Leading goalscorers
    Kalinic: 6 goals (5 league); Mame Diouf: 6 goals (3 league)

  • Referee:Mark Clattenburg

Source BBCSport
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