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MATCH PREVIEW ~ Fulham welcome Aston Villa ~ Prem MD 25 ~ 23/24

last updated Friday 16th February 2024, 2:02 PM

Match Preview

Fulham v Aston Villa

Premier League Match Day 25 23/24 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 17th February 2024    KO: 15:00

Referee: Lewis Smith (Lancashire)

Fulham manager Marco Silva
Fulham manager
Marco Silva
Marco Silva
His Wiki page
Aston Villa coach Unai Emery
Aston Villa coach
Unai Emery
His Wiki page
Fulham having won six of their past nine home Premier League matches welcome an Aston Villa side playing catch-up in the race for Champions League qualification in a Premier League game on Saturday at Craven Cottage.

Last time out the Cottagers snapped a six-game losing sequence by getting the better of Bournemouth 3-1 while the Villans fell short in a 2-1 loss to Manchester United last weekend.

Thriving in the Fulham frontline since the late January acquisition of Chelsea-owned Armando Broja, Rodrigo Muniz continues to keep the Blues loanee at bay, following up his strike against Burnley with a pivotal brace in the beating of Bournemouth on February 10.

Bobby Decordova-Reid had drawn first blood with just five minutes on the clock at Craven Cottage, before Muniz registered twice either side of a smart finish from Marcos Senesi, but the Cherries defender had only reduced the deficit for a couple of minutes before Muniz restored the hosts' two-goal cushion.

By picking off the Cherries, Fulham marched to their first Premier League victory of 2024 - not since their beating of Arsenal on New Year's Eve had they come up trumps in a top-flight fixture - while also ending a six-match winless streak in all tournaments stretching back to their FA Cup success over Rotherham United on January 5.

Marco Silva's troops leapfrogged Bournemouth into 12th place in the Premier League table thanks to their eighth top-flight success of the campaign, seven of which have come at their Craven Cottage headquarters, where they have also notched two-thirds of their 33 top-flight goals this season.

Five of Fulham's last seven Premier League contests on familiar territory have now ended in victory, and the Cottagers also boast a 100% win rate in top-flight home games when scoring this season; their five winless matches at Craven Cottage in the 2023-24 Premier League have all come when Silva's men have drawn a blank in front of goal.

In contrast, Aston Villa have now been condemned to a trio of successive Villa Park losses despite making the net bulge in all of them, falling to 3-1 defeats versus Newcastle United and Chelsea before turning their attention to last Sunday's visit of Man United.

Unai Emery's side were behind with just 17 minutes on the clock as Rasmus Hojlund found the mark for the fifth Premier League home game running, and even though Douglas Luiz swept home a second-half leveller for the hosts - coupled with a peculiar shimmy celebration - super sub Scott McTominay popped up with another decisive contribution in the opposition box.

The Scotsman's 86th-minute header denied fifth-placed Aston Villa the chance to rise back above Tottenham Hotspur - who sit one point better off than Emery's team in the fourth and final Champions League position - and Man United have now cut the gap to their European rivals down to just five points.

As the walls of their Villa Park fortress crumble, though, Villa have found defensive solace on the road, where they are yet to concede a goal in four games in 2024 and demolished Sheffield United 5-0 on February 3, their only win from their last six matches in all competitions.

Middlesbrough, Everton and Chelsea have all failed to breach Villa's net as the hosts in 2024, and the Lions have come out on the correct end of the scoreline in four of their last five meetings with Fulham, although the one blot on their notebook in that time was a 3-0 Craven Cottage beatdown last season.

Head to Head

  • Fulham have won six of their past seven home games against Aston Villa in all competitions, losing the other.

  • However, Villa have won four of the five most recent Premier League meetings, with the exception being a 3-0 loss at Craven Cottage last season that resulted in Steven Gerrard being sacked as head coach.

  • Aston Villa have won their past nine Premier League games against teams from London, beating Fulham twice in that run. In top-flight history, the only team to string together 10 consecutive wins against London sides were Liverpool between March 2019 and June 2020 (a run of 11).
  • Fulham are on a three-match unbeaten run in the top flight, winning one and drawing two. The Cottagers have won five of their past seven home league matches (D1, L1), scoring 18 goals in those victories.

  • Marco Silva's side have faced 46 shots in their past two home fixtures - 21 versus Everton and 25 against Bournemouth - which amounts to a third of the efforts they've faced on home soil home this season.

  • Rodrigo Muniz has three goals in his last two Premier League games after failing to score in his first 10 appearances.

  • Armando Broja has scored just once in his last 21 Premier League appearances, with that goal coming in Chelsea's 2-0 victory at Craven Cottage in October.

  • Since November 27th, only three teams have scored more Premier League goals than Fulham (23). By contrast, no side has failed to score in more games in the division in that time than the Cottagers (5, level with Sheffield United).

  • Fulham have faced 46 shots in their past two home Premier League games (21 vs Everton, 25 vs Bournemouth), with that making up 33% of the shots they’ve faced on home soil this season (46/141). The last team to face more than 20 shots (21+) in three home games in a row in the Premier League were Norwich City between August 2019 and October 2019 (four in a row).
Aston Villa
  • Aston Villa have lost three of their past four games in all competitions, winning the other. However, they are unbeaten in four away matches, winning two and drawing two.

  • Villa could suffer consecutive Premier League defeats for the first time since May 2023.

  • The Villans have won their last nine Premier League fixtures against London opposition, including their previous three trips to the capital this season.

  • Unai Emery is set for his 50th league game in charge of Aston Villa - he's won 29, drawn eight and lost 12 of the previous 49.

  • Emiliano Martinez is set to make his 200th English league appearance.

  • Ollie Watkins has been directly involved in 18 goals in 23 away Premier League appearances for Aston Villa under Unai Emery (11 goals, 7 assists). He has also scored in five of his past six Premier League appearances in London (5 goals).


Source Ben Knapton at SportsMole/BBCSports
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