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Match Preview - Fulham v Southampton 07.02.04

last updated Thursday 05th February 2004, 11:52 PM

Fulham Manager Chris Coleman Fulham did not seem to miss Louis Saha too much last weekend.

Although they did need to come back from a goal down at home to Tottenham Hotspur, and Chris Coleman admitted that he was relieved to get a win.

"In the first half we got out of jail because I didn't think we deserved to go in at 1-1," said Coleman. "They coped better with the conditions than us but we upped it in the second half and got the result. This was a big result for us. We are now two wins away from 40 points which remains our first target, and once we get there we can march on and set our sights on something else."

Fulham won 2-1 again on Wednesday night in their FA Cup replay against Everton, it was no less difficult.

Junichi Inamoto looked to have won it for the Cottagers with his second half goal, but Francis Jeffers popped up with another late equaliser to send the game into extra-time.

Fortunately for the home fans, Steed Malbranque restored their advantage and this time they held on to book their place in the next round.

Fulham will hope to do much better than they did on their last trip to St Mary's, in October 2002, when they went 2-0 up after just twenty minutes and then proceeded to self-destruct.

Goals from Lee Clark and Steed Malbranque had seemed to set Fulham on their way to glory, but two James Beattie strikes before half-time levelled the scores and he added another after the break to put the Saints ahead, with Brett Ormerod completing the turnaround to make it 4-2.

Southampton Manager Not many teams come away from Old Trafford furious that they didn't win, but that is exactly how Gordon Strachan felt on Saturday.

His Southampton side had pushed Manchester United close all the way and were aggrieved at the manner of their defeat - a controversial 'offside' goal by Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Strachan could at least take solace in the way The Saints had performed: "At 2-0 most people would have thought the game was over," he said. "With a bit more luck we could even have got in front. I'm proud of my team, but it is a long way home when you have been denied the way we have."

After the game, he was furious with the decision to allow the winning goal to stand: "It was a farce," Strachan told Sky Sports News. "He [van Nistelrooy] was interfering with play. As soon as the ball was touched he was going towards the ball. He was there to try to get one up on us. You might as well scrap offside now if you are not going to rule that offside."

Even the goalscorer felt that the visitors had been unfortunate: "We were lucky to win," admitted van Nistelrooy. "Southampton deserved more than they got. They created a lot of chances, had some good situations in front of goal and Tim Howard made some excellent saves."

However, Southampton did get nothing from the game and they will look to make amends this weekend.

Fulham of course have already been to Old Trafford this season and won.

source: 4thegame

Luis Boa Morte
St Mary's in Southampton
Premiership 24 - 07 Feb 04
Pos Soton Fulham Pos
Games Played 10 23 23 7
Goals 16 23 36 4
Ave Goals Per Game 1.00 1.57
Shots 15 225 256 6
% Goals To Shots 18 10% 14% 5
Shots On Target 14 95 125 3
% Shots On Target 14 42% 49% 2
Ave Shots Per Game 10 11
Ave Shots On Target Per Game 4 5
Total Passes 14 7786 8491 8
Ave Passes Per Game 339 389
Total Crosses Made 3 611 422 19
Ave Crosses Per Game 27 18
Goals Conceded 4 21 33 13
Ave Goals Conceded Per Game 0.91 1.43
Tackles 17 576 798 1
Tackles Won 18 413 597 1
% Tackles Won 11 72% 75% 3
Ave Tackles Won Per Game 18 26
Clean Sheets 5 9 7 12
Fouls 11 320 322 10
Average fouls per game 14 14
Yellow Cards 10 40 40 10
Fouls per Yellows 10 8.0 8.1 9
Red Cards 2 3
Figures in the Pos columns indicate position in Premiership

Cipher stat flash
Fulham return to the Premiership competition, at Southampton, after seeing Everton off in the FA Cup. Fulham have lost, drawn and won in their last 3 visits to Southampton.
  • Southampton, for all the goal scoring reputation of James Beattie and Kevin Phillips are poor in front of goal, so far scoring the same number as Fulham without their ex-idol Louis Saha. They are below average in all aspects of goal chance creation and conversion.
  • In the middle of the park Southampton's squad are again below average and trail Fulham in terms of the number of passes they make.
  • In defensive terms Southampton have conceded 33% less goals than Fulham giving them the 4th tightest defence in the Premiership. They have also achieved a couple more clean sheet than Fulham. Fulham remain the top tackling team in the Premiership with The Saints being one of the worst.
  • As far as fouls and cards are concerned it is hard to see any difference between the two squads.
Chris Coleman's side go into the game three places and three points below fourth spot, without a clean sheet in eight League and Cup games, and aiming to record back-to-back victories for the first time in 16 Premiership outings
* Scored in each of last six League and Cup games - four in the Premiership.
* Picked up just one point from last available 18 away.
* Drawn four times in the top flight.
* Netted in 19 of their 23 games at the highest league level. Only Arsenal (21) and Chelsea (20) can improve on that.
* Failed to score in just two top League games on the road.

The Solent side have picked up just one win from their last seven in League and Cup. They've lost four of their last six Premiership matches and slipped from fourth to tenth in the table.
* They have failed to score in more Premiership matches than any other club firing blanks in a dozen of their 23 games.
* Kept six clean sheets in home top League matches. Only Manchester United can top that with seven.
* Registered five goalless draws in the top division. Only Middlesbrough can match that.
* The total of 23 Premiership goals have been scored by seven different players. No club has fewer scorers in the top League, although Newcastle equal it.
* Conceded just one goal in the last quarter hour of Premiership matches. No other club has shipped so few in that closing 15 minute sector.

Last away game against Southampton
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