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Match Preview ~ Fulham welcome Sheffield United ~ Prem MD25 20/21

last updated Friday 19th February 2021, 5:37 PM

Match Preview

Fulham vrs Sheffield United

Premier League Match Day 25 2021 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 20th February 2021    KO: 20:00

Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)

Live on Sky Sports

Fulham Coach Scott Parker
Fulham Coach
Scott Parker
Scott Parker
His Wiki page
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder
Sheffield United
Chris Wilder
His Wiki page
Two teams in desperate need of a win as they battle to stay in the Premier League will lock horns at Craven Cottage on Saturday night as Fulham welcome Sheffield United.

Fulham are currently 18th in the table, six points from the safety of 17th position, while Sheffield United are bottom of the division, 14 points behind the Magpies with 14 games left to play in 2020-21.

Fulham have only lost one of their last six in the Premier League during a strong run of form, and they recorded an impressive 2-0 victory at Everton on Sunday courtesy of a double from January arrival Josh Maja.

Scott Parker's side would have been looking to make it back-to-back wins on Wednesday night when they travelled to Burnley, and the capital side actually took the lead ion the 49th minute of the clash at Turf Moor, with Ola Aina finding the back of the net.

Burnley answered back through Ashley Barnes, though, and it finished 1-1 as Fulham moved onto 19 points, leaving them six points behind 17th-placed Newcastle on the same number of matches.

The Cottagers have actually only lost 11 of their 24 league games this season, which is far from disastrous considering their position in the table, but they have found it difficult to pick up wins, having triumphed on just three occasions in England's top flight, while 10 draws have also arrived.

Fulham will view Saturday's clash with the Blades as a must-win contest, particularly as they will face Liverpool and Manchester City in two of their last three after this game, and the capital side have been victorious in three of their last four fixtures with Sheffield United in all competitions.

While Fulham have a genuine chance of avoiding the drop, only a miracle will keep Sheffield United in the division. Chris Wilder's side are not mathematically down, but they are 14 points from the safety of 17th position, having only picked up 11 points from their 24 games this term.

There is no question that the Blades have shown signs of improvement in recent weeks, but an incredibly poor start to the campaign has left them with a mountain to climb.

Sheffield United recorded a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at the start of February, but they have lost their last two in the league, including a 3-0 defeat at West Ham United on Monday evening.

Wilder's side are still in the FA Cup - facing Chelsea in the quarter-finals next month - but the strugglers cannot afford to switch their focus from the league as they attempt to pull off what still seems an impossible escape.

The former Championship club, who finished ninth in the Premier League last season, actually have the worst away record in the top flight this term, picking up just four points from 12 matches, but they recorded a shock 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford at the end of January.

Head to head

  • Fulham's solitary defeat in the past eight league meetings was by 2-0 at Bramall Lane in the top flight 14 years ago.

  • Sheffield United are winless in their five most recent league visits to Fulham, and their only victory in the last 12 away games in this fixture came in September 1985.
  • Fulham have won only three of their 24 Premier League fixtures this season. Only two teams have won fewer than four of their opening 25 matches and gone on to avoid relegation: West Brom in 2004-05 and the Cottagers themselves in 2007-08.

  • They are looking to avoid setting an outright club record of nine consecutive top-flight home games without a win.

  • Fulham have drawn nine of their past 13 league matches, with their three defeats during that period all coming at Craven Cottage.

  • Their only goal in seven competitive home fixtures was scored by Ademola Lookman against Manchester United on 20 January.

  • Scott Parker's side are unbeaten in all seven league games this season against the other teams that begin this matchround in the bottom six of the table.

  • There have been 24 goals scored at Craven Cottage this season, level with Burnley's Turf Moor for the fewest in the division.
Sheffield United
  • Sheffield United have equalled the record for most defeats after 24 matches of a top-flight season. They could become the first team to lose 20 of their opening 25 top-flight fixtures.

  • The most recent club to suffer 20 defeats in their first 25 games of a league campaign was Southport in the fourth tier in 1975-76.

  • The Blades have conceded 40 Premier League goals so far, one more than they did in the whole of last season.

  • Chris Wilder's side have gone 17 away league matches without a clean sheet since a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa in June.

Source Matt Law at SportsMole/BBCSports
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