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Match Preview - Man City v Fulham 27.03.04

last updated Friday 26th March 2004, 1:21 PM
Fulham Manager Chris Coleman

Fulham Manager Chris Coleman travels up to Manchester to take on City, with both teams looking to recover from disappointing results last weekend.

"They're a typical Kevin Keegan side - they play at a good tempo, they're a great passing side, create lots of chances and let the opposition have lots of chances as well. We're all expecting a very tough game."

Chris Coleman knows it will be tough task and like Keegan will be looking for his side to respond in the right way. Coleman cut a despondent figure after watching his side slip to a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge last Saturday.

Despite the score-line, Fulham never really threatened to take something from the game after appearing devoid of a cutting edge upfront.

Coleman conceded that his charges had not deserved to take anything from the visit to their West London neighbours.

'We got what we deserved, nothing," declared the Fulham chief. It was a lacklustre display.

"In the second half we had one shot at goal and that was not on target. We paid them too much respect. They are a good team but they did not deserve the respect we showed them.'

Coleman will have his troops pumped up for the game, and with City looking to pull away from the bottom three Saturday promises to be an intriguing encounter.

Fulham captain Lee Clark is looking forward to meeting up again with Keegan on Saturday.

Clark, who played under Keegan at Newcastle, said: "Kevin is someone I hold in the highest regard. He is probably the best manager I've played for and I've played for some great managers in my time.

"I've got enormous respect for him. I think City are a good side, they've got good players and they've got a good manager in charge of them.

"They've been playing well without getting any luck. I watched them play against Leeds - they dominated the game from start to finish and lost, and that sounds the way a lot of their games have gone.

Man City ManagerCity's preparation has not been ideal with Kevin Keegan undergoing hospital treatment this week to alleviate an inflamed nerve in his back.

After battling through back pain for the past two months, the 53-year-old former England manager was forced to have a cortisone injection just hours after his team lost 2-1 to Leeds.

He missed most of this week's training but is expected to be back in the dug-out for Saturday's encounter with Fulham.

Keegan will be a frustrated patient given his team have again dropped to the brink of the relegation zone but long-time number two Arthur Cox will took charge of first-team affairs for the week.

The defeat on Monday, plunged them back into relegation contention following their 4-1 victory over local rivals Manchester United the previous week. They are 16th in the table, just three points above the relegation zone with nine games of the season remaining.

Regarding on the pitch matters Keegan will be hoping for change in fortunes, after another luckless Premiership performance at Elland Road.

King Kev had no doubts about whether the Blues deserved all three points or not after dominating the game against Leeds last night.

"It is like making a recording over and over again. We were the best team last night and we have lost again. We have done that a lot of times this year. I just think we have been unlucky. People might put that on my gravestone.

"I felt sorry for the lads, they deserved something. They played some good football and competed well with Leeds. The best team went away with nothing but that is football sometimes.'

City are likely to come out firing against Fulham as they look to put the Leeds defeat behind them. The Cottagers have proved all season they are up for the challenge and they will be quietly confident going into the game.
source: 4thegame

Mark Pembridge Mark Pembridge celebrates his goal against the Blue S
Come On You Fulham
Stats from Premiership games
City of Manchester stadium
in rainy Manchester
Premiership 30 - 27 Mar 04
Pos Man City Fulham Pos Div
Games Played 16 29 29


Goals Scored 7 41 42 5 39
Ave Goals Per Game   1.41 1.45   1.39
Shots 4 348 319 8 311
% Goals To Shots 10 12% 13% 8 12%
Shots On Target 6 150 153 4 136
% Shots On Target 14 43% 48% 2


Ave Shots Per Game   12 11  


Ave Shots On Target Per Game   5 5   5
Total Passes 6 11340 10501 10 10618
Ave Passes Per Game   391 362   379
Total Crosses Made 4 781 566 19 692
Ave Crosses Per Game   27 20   25
Goals Conceded


42 40 11 39
Ave Goals Conceded Per Game   1.45 1.38   1.39
Tackles 5 883 994 1 822
Tackles Won 3 660 737 1 600
% Tackles Won 2 75% 74% 3 73%
Ave Tackles Won Per Game   23 25   21
Clean Sheets 18 5 9 10


Fouls 19 350 424 8 414
Average fouls per game   12 15   15
Yellow Cards 8 46 53 14 50
Fouls per Yellows 6 7.6 8.0 13 9.4
Red Cards   3 3   2
Figures in the Pos columns indicate position in League
Cipher stat flash
Fulham face a difficult proposition on Saturday when they try to gain their first away win at Man City since 1984 as despite Keegan's squad's comic efforts since the injection of £50m their performance is starting to improve
  • Man City have scored just one less goal than Fulham however in the last 6 games City have scored 10 against Fulham's 6. The Cottegers still maintain the edge in terms of accuracy but the edge is disappearing with each game.
  • In the middle of the park Man City have made more passes than Fulham and also more crosses with The Cottagers being below average on both counts.
  • Defensively Man City are on par with Fulham conceding a similar number of goals but Fulham still maintain a better clean sheet record Even when we look at tackling, a Fulham strong point, The Cottagers superiority over City has disappeared with KK's squad becoming the top Premiership tacklers in the last 6 games and Fulham 8th
If the recent stats are taken at face value Man City have performed better than Fulham in most area's of the game. So a tough game for Fulham but on the day the lads could remember what they did in their last league game in Manchester.

* FULHAM have the weakest defence of the ten clubs in the top half of the Premiership. They've won only three League games away from Loftus Road, losing the last two, and have not claimed a maximum on the road in nine attempts since the 3-1 victory at Manchester United on 25 October.
* Chris Coleman's side have slipped from fourth place on Boxing Day to ninth and virtually out of contention for a Champions League qualifying spot. But they're still well placed to improve on their Premiership best finish of 13th.
Fulham last won on Manchester City soil by the odd goal in five in an old Second Division fixture on 1 September 1984. They haven't picked up a top flight maximum on City turf since another 2-3 success on 29 March 1963. The Cottagers are hoping to avoid a fourth successive away defeat against City having lost consecutively in the Second Division, First Division and Premiership, conceding 11 goals and scoring one in the process.
* Won 49 Premier League points under Chris Coleman.
* Won 549 points in top flight football.
* Lost last two away against Manchester United (2-1 in the FA Cup Quarter-final) and Chelsea in the Premiership.
* Lost the last two away Premiership matches, both by 2-1 margins, against Wolves and Chelsea.
* Failed to score in five top division matches. Only Arsenal (two) and Chelsea (three) have failed to find the net less often.
Man City
* Man City manager Kevin Keegan faces his former club Fulham, with Man City standing a mere two places and three points above the drop zone.
* The Light Blues have managed just two wins from 18 Premiership outings, but will take heart from the fact that they have 30 points from 29 games. In each of the last two seasons when relegated from a 20-club top flight they had just 26 points at this identical stage.
* City are defending an unbeaten record against Fulham in the Premiership.
* Won only three home League games against Aston Villa, Bolton and Manchester United. Only Leicester have claimed maximum points in front of the home fans less often (twice).
* Drawn seven times in Premiership matches at the City of Manchester Stadium. Only Leicester have finished all square more often at home (eight).
* Lost the lead more often that any other club in top flight matches (11 times).
* Hold the fourth weakest home record in the Premiership. Only Bolton, Leicester and Blackburn are beneath them.
source: bbci
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