The Stats Ahead Of The Big Match
The Premier League returns on Saturday, and this round of fixtures sees the blues travelling to West London as they seek another three points at Fulham.
The blues trail Liverpool by two points but have a game in hand, and will trade places with Merseysiders at the top of the table for at least 24 hours with victory at Craven Cottage. Last time out, the blues beat Watford 3-1, Fulham lost at home to Liverpool in a round of matches that seems like an age away. So how will the blues fare on the banks of the Thames and what does history say about these two teams?
Saturday’s match will be only the 32nd time these two teams have met in West London, despite the first meeting between them being in February 1908 in an FA Cup replay, after the first match ended 1-1 at Hyde Road. The blues lost that match 3-1, but met in the league the following season at Craven Cottage, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Since then, the results have been evenly balanced between to two. Both teams have won and lost eleven overall, with nine draws in between. The most recent draw cam in September 2011, when two goals from Sergio Aguero looked like giving City all three points, but Fulham came back to rescue a point.
The blues have lost just one of their last thirteen meetings at Craven Cottage, winning six and drawing six in the process and are unbeaten in their last eight, with the blues victorious in five of those matches. The last meeting in London ended with a 4-2 win for the blues. Once again, City were 2-0 up, only for Fulham to peg them back again to 2-2, with the equaliser coming from an own goal by Vincent Kompany, the second time he’s put into his own net in this fixture. Two further goals though saved Kompany’s blushes and gave the blues the win.
City’s biggest winning margin came in 2010, when the blues walked away with the three points thanks to a 4-1 win, however the class of 1927 recorded City’s biggest scoring record as the blues beat the Cottagers 5-2 on their own ground. Fulham gained some revenge for that defeat by recording a victory of the same scoreline in August 1959, then went one better in March 1984 by beating the blues 5-1, which is still City’s heaviest defeat at Fulham.
The blues have failed to score in this fixture on just four occasions, with two happening in quick succession. 14th August 1998 saw the newly relegated third tier blues travel to Kevin Keegan’s Fulham and lose 3-0. On exactly the same date a year later, the two teams played out the only goalless draw in this fixture, but this time both teams had been promoted to the second tier. That draw was one of just two clean sheets kept by City in this fixture, the other coming in December 2002 as City recorded a 1-0 victory in West London. In total, City have scored 59 goals in this fixture, only better the blues by two goals, scoring 61. This fixture could barely be any more evenly balanced.
And just to back that up, the two teams have met three times in the month of March, with each team winning one with a solitary draw in 1947. They have never met on 30th March, but the closest they have come is 21st March 2010, when City won 2-1.
With matches between these two so evenly contested, will one team break the cycle on Saturday?