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MATCH PREVIEW ~ Fulham welcome Manchester City ~ Prem MD29 20/21

last updated Friday 12th March 2021, 4:36 PM

Match Preview

Fulham vrs Manchester City

Premier League Match Day 28 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 13th March 2021    KO: 20:00

Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)

Live on BT Sports

Fulham Coach Scott Parker
Fulham Coach
Scott Parker
Scott Parker
His Wiki page
Liverpool boss 	Jurgen Klopp
Manchester City boss
Pep Guardiola
His Wiki page
Relegation-threatened Fulham take on runaway League leaders Manchester City at Craven Cottage on Saturday night in the Premier League.

Fulham claimed a historic win on the Anfield turf over reigning champions Liverpool in their most recent outing while the visitors crushed Southampton 5-2 at the Etihad.

Liverpool were expected to end their home hoodoo when 18th-placed Fulham paid a visit to Merseyside last weekend, but incredibly, the Cottagers managed to prolong Jurgen Klopp's Anfield misery as they marched to a 1-0 triumph on the champions' turf on Sunday.

Mario Lemina's first-half strike propelled Scott Parker's men to a rare but unforgettable victory on the Anfield soil as they gave their survival hopes yet another huge boost with just their fifth league win of the season, as well as their second away triumph in the space of the month after another trip to Merseyside to face Everton also saw them prevail by two goals to nil.

Having lost just one of their last seven in the top flight - winning three and drawing the other three - Fulham have left Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion in their wake as they aim to preserve their Premier League status for another season, and Parker's men now find themselves level on points with 17th-placed Brighton & Hove Albion, albeit having played a game more.

Fulham's new-found defensive solidity has seen them keep five clean sheets in their last seven outings, although their resolve will certainly be tested to the limit against a rampageous City on Saturday, and it has been their away form which has seen them inch closer to safety, with their results at Craven Cottage rather underwhelming by comparison.

Parker's men are unbeaten on rival territory since the turn of the year, but they have won just one of their last 10 Premier League matches on home soil and can boast a mere eight goals at Craven Cottage all season - the fewest in the league - so if they are to have any chance of clambering to safety before Brighton face Southampton on Sunday lunchtime, they will need to produce an exact replica of their Anfield performance against a City side who are firmly back on track.

Manchester United's shock victory at the Etihad was never likely to derail City's title bid, and Pep Guardiola's men immediately bounced back from the disappointment of their 21-game winning run coming to an end with a 5-2 thrashing of Southampton on Wednesday evening.

Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez both bagged braces while Ilkay Gundogan also found himself back amongst the goals at the Etihad Stadium, and even though Guardiola would have been frustrated to see his formerly solid defence breached twice against the Saints, his free-flowing attacking charges demonstrated their usual panache to sweep aside their South Coast opponents.

The league leaders' staunch rearguard action has been admirable all season long, but a hint of apprehension may be creeping in for Guardiola as his side have now kept just one clean sheet in their last six top-flight outings, although their record of 21 goals conceded is by far the fewest in the league as they sit 14 points clear at the top of the rankings.

Man City will of course have one eye on their impending Champions League last-16 second leg with Borussia Monchengladbach - which will now take place in Budapest - but their trip to Fulham marks their final Premier League outing before the international break, and nothing less than a 13th successive away win will do for Guardiola as they aim to hit the 70-point mark this weekend.

The table-toppers cruised to a 2-0 triumph over Fulham when the sides first met in the 2020-21 campaign, and the Cottagers have gone 13 top-flight games without a win against Man City since prevailing 3-1 back in April 2009, while they have not beaten the Manchester giants at Craven Cottage in the Premier League since the 2005-06 season.

Head to head
  • Fulham have lost 10 consecutive matches against Manchester City in all competitions and are winless in 16 since a 3-1 Premier League victory at Etihad Stadium in April 2009.

  • City have scored in each of the past 26 meetings, winning the last six by an aggregate score of 18-0.
  • Fulham's form over the past six league games is the fifth best in the division, with three wins and 11 points.

  • However, their home record is the joint worst in the Premier League. Fulham have only beaten the two sides currently below them: West Brom and Sheffield United.

  • They've scored eight league goals at Craven Cottage this season. The Premier League record for fewest home goals scored in a season is 10, by Manchester City in 2006-07 and Huddersfield in 2018-19.

  • The Cottagers are winless in 24 Premier League home matches against established top-six opposition since beating Arsenal in January 2012 (D2, L22).

  • Since losing 2-0 at Manchester City on 5 December, all four of Fulham's league defeats have come at Craven Cottage.

  • Scott Parker's side have only conceded twice in their past seven league matches, keeping five clean sheets.

  • Ademola Lookman has been directly involved in Fulham's four most recent goals at Craven Cottage, with two goals and two assists.
Manchester City
  • City are on a club record run of 12 consecutive away victories in all competitions.

  • Pep Guardiola's side can equal the club record of 16 successive competitive away matches unbeaten, set from January to September 1999.

  • They have won 22 of their past 23 league and cup games.

  • Manchester City dropped points in only two of their 15 league matches so far this season against teams currently in the bottom half of the table: 1-1 draws with Leeds and West Brom.

  • Ilkay G√ľndogan has scored 10 of his 12 Premier League goals this season in 2021.

  • Guardiola has won all five competitive matches as a manager against Fulham by an aggregate score of 13-0.

Source Ben Knapton at SportsMole/BBCSports
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