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MATCH PREVIEW ~ Fulham welcome Sheffield United ~ Prem MD 08 ~ 23/24

last updated Saturday 07th October 2023, 9:42 AM

Match Preview

Fulham vrs Sheffield United

Premier League Match Day 08 22/23 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 7th October 2023,    KO: 15:00

Referee: Samuel Barrott (West Riding)

Fulham manager Marco Silva
Fulham manager
Marco Silva
Marco Silva
His Wiki page
Sheffield United coach Paul Heckingbottom
Sheffield United coach
Paul Heckingbottom
His Wiki page
Fulham and Sheffield United, both aiming to right recent wrongs from 2-0 defeats last time out, meet at Craven Cottage for Saturday afternoon's Premier League showdown.

The Cottagers fell to a West London derby beating at the hands of Chelsea on Monday, while the Blades' misery continued in a two-goal defeat to West Ham United.

Since being put to the sword at Craven Cottage in the 2022-23 season, Chelsea have remained entrenched in the bottom half of the standings - despite splashing the cash like nobody's business - and Fulham were ostensibly renewing hostilities with their West London adversaries at the perfect time.

However, Mauricio Pochettino's men killed the game off within the first 20 minutes, as Mykhaylo Mudryk latched onto Levi Colwill's slick pass for his maiden Premier League goal in Chelsea blue, just one moment before Armando Broja benefitted from a fortunate deflection off Tim Ream to double the visitors' tally.

Things nearly went from bad to worse for Fulham in the second half as Ian Maatsen's effort rattled the frame of the goal, and despite besting Chelsea on the possession front - 56% to 44% - Marco Silva was left to lament costly defensive mistakes and his side's "passive" first-half approach.

Owing to Monday's beating, Fulham have slipped below their West London rivals in the table - now occupying an unlucky 13th place - and defeat to the Blues ended a three-game winning run at Craven Cottage, with two of those successes coming in the EFL Cup.

While Silva has emphasised the need to cut out sloppy defensive play, Fulham could do with a dash of attacking inspiration, as the Cottagers have now failed to score in back-to-back Premier League games and only have two strikes to show from their last 360 minutes of top-flight football.

In fact, Fulham's meagre total of five goals this season is the joint-worst attacking record in the division alongside the bottom two sides in Bournemouth and Sheffield United, the latter of whom travelled to the London Stadium last weekend still reliving their excruciating 8-0 embarrassment at the hands of Newcastle United.

Thankfully for Paul Heckingbottom and the travelling Blades faithful, there was to be no repeat of that record-breaking obliteration against West Ham, but Sheffield United still fell short as expected - Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek's goals condemned the visitors to a sixth Premier League loss of the season.

Only 19th-placed Bournemouth have also gone seven Premier League games without achieving a maximum points haul this term, leading to inevitable speculation surrounding the safety of Heckingbottom's job, but there are not thought to be any plans to give the manager the boot just yet.

Nevertheless, talk of a possible managerial shake-up will only grow louder should Heckingbottom fail to pull the Blades out of their rut, which has seen them lose each of their last three Premier League contests while conceding 19 goals in total - an average of 2.7 per game.

However, Sheffield United subjected Fulham to a pair of Championship beatings in the 2021-22 season before the Cottagers returned to the big time, prevailing 1-0 in the English capital before a 4-0 Bramall Lane hiding in May 2022, by which point Silva's side had already been crowned champions.

Head to Head

  • Fulham have won 1-0 on both previous occasions they have hosted Sheffield United in the Premier League.

  • Sheffield United are aiming to make it three straight wins over Fulham for the first time since 1988.

  • The Blades' last top-flight away win over Fulham was in March 1968.
  • Fulham have lost two of their three home matches in this season's Premier League, scoring just one goal.

  • They have lost six of their past 12 Premier League home games (W4, D2).

  • The Cottagers have scored just five goals in their seven league fixtures this season. Their current average of 0.7 goals per game is half what they managed across the whole of the last campaign.

  • Fulham's last seven Premier League goals have been scored by seven different players, including all five this season.

  • Marco Silva is one short of 50 Premier League wins as a manager.

  • Raul Jimenez has gone 30 Premier League appearances without a goal.
Sheffield United
  • Sheffield United have lost six of their seven league matches this season, and are yet to win in any competition.

  • The Blades have lost all three of their away games.

  • They have faced 156 shots in the Premier League this season at an average of 22.3 per game, more than any other side.

  • Paul Heckingbottom's team have conceded seven headed goals and nine goals from crosses in the Premier League this season, both more than any other side.

  • Benie Traore scored 12 goals in 14 league appearances for BK Hacken in 2023 but has yet to find the net for Sheffield United.


Source Darren Plant at SportsMole/BBC Sports
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