Toffee Men in Town

Friday 7 December 2001

Everton travel to take on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon, hoping to improve upon an average previous return from this fixture. Blues have won 3 of the 13 games compared to the host's 6 victories.

The last time the two teams met at Fulham was way back in the black-and-white days of September 1967, the Cottagers carving out a narrow 2-1 victory in a First Division match.

Fulham have been playing well at home, winning 3, drawing 2, and losing just 1. A total of 12 goals have been scored by the Cottagers in those games, with 7 conceded.

Everton have an average recent record on the road, collecting 1 win and 3 draws from the last six played. While the Blues have hit 5 goals, 8 have hit the back of the wrong net.

Fulham see themselves just below half way in the F.A. Barclaycard Premiership, showing a record of 19 points from their 14 games played so far, Everton's 20 points from 14 games sees them lie inside the top half of the table, in 9th position.

Fulham manager Jean Tigana is still without £11.5m record signing Steve Marlet, who is recovering from a knee injury. But aside from Marlet, Tigana has a no new injury or suspension worries to contend with.

Team (from): Van der Sar, Brevett, Finnan, Melville, Goma, Clark, Collins, Legwinski, Malbranque, Davis, Ouaddou, Taylor, Boa Morte, Hayles, Saha.

Recent signing Jesper Blomqvist could be in line for his Everton debut at Craven Cottage. Abel Xavier, who is struggling with flu, remains manager Walter Smith's only selection doubt.

Team (from): Simonsen, Gerrard, Weir, Stubbs, Naysmith, Pistone, Unsworth, Pembridge, Gemmill, Gravesen, Alexandersson, Gascoigne, Watson, Radzinski, Blomqvist, Moore, Xavier.

SIGNIFICANT STATS:

This is the first contest in the Premiership between Fulham and Everton and their first League meeting for 33 years. The Londoners are finding goals hard to come by, while the Merseysiders have become hard to beat.

Fulham go into the match on the back of successive goalless draws (away to Bolton, and home to Leeds), while the Merseysiders have drawn their last three away games (against Ipswich 0-0, Bolton 2-2, Leicester 0-0).

Should Fulham avoid defeat here they'll have gone seven League games unbeaten - their best sequence since building a 12 match undefeated run in the First Division, at the end of last season.

If Everton don't get beaten, they'll stretch their undefeated run to 5 Premiership games. They last achieved that between 6 February and 11 March, 2000.

Everton are one defeat away from 150 in the Premiership, and two goals away from conceding 500 in the competition.

Referee Phil Dowd of Stoke-on-Trent is officiating at his first Premiership game.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS:

Total: 31 - Fulham wins 9 - Everton wins 12 - Draws 10

HEAD TO HEAD NOTES
Last meeting between these clubs was a Fifth Round tie in the FA Cup at Goodison Park on 15 February, 1975, which Fulham won 2-1.

Everton have won only once in seven visits to Craven Cottage, but hold an unbeaten home League record against the Londoners.

The Toffeemen's last victory at Fulham was 0-1 in the old First Division on 20 August, 1966.

FULHAM

Current League position 12th 19 points 3 places and 1 point below Everton

Best Scenario at final whistle Up 4 to 8th - If win, Man U lose at home to West Ham, and Bolton at least held at Derby.

Worst realistic scenario at final whistle Down 2 to 14th - If lose, Middlesbrough at least draw at Liverpool and Charlton enjoy a home win over Spurs. (Fulham would drop 3 to 17th if West Ham also win at Man U with an implausible 13 goal swing.)

Sequences

NOT WON IN 3 - 2 Prem, 1 WC [2 draws, 1 defeat]

DRAWN LAST 2 PREMIERSHIP GAMES

6 UNDEFEATED IN THE PREMIERSHIP [3 wins, 3 draws]

UNDEFEATED IN 5 HOME PREM GAMES [2 wins, 3 draws]

RECENT FORM

3 wins in last 6 in all competitions

3 draws in last 7

1 defeat in last 7

3 wins in last 5 top flight encounters

3 draws in last 6 League games

1 loss in last 9 Premiership matches

* If he plays, Luis BOA MORTE will be making his 50th League appearance for Fulham.

FULHAM NOTES

One of two clubs to have recorded most Premiership goalless draws - 4. The other is Leeds.

Last Premiership defeat was 0-2 at Aston Villa on 14 October.

Been caught offside 27 times and committed 169 fouls in Premiership matches this season - that's fewer than any other club in both cases, according to the Barclaycard information sheet.

EVERTON

Current League position 9th 20 points 9 points off the pace

Best Scenario at final whistle Up 2 to 7th - If win by four clear goals, and Man U do no better than draw with West Ham at Old Trafford.

Worst Scenario at final whistle Down 4 to 13th - If lose, Bolton at least draw at Derby, and Charlton (home to Spurs) and Middlesbrough (away to Liverpool) both win.

Sequences

4 UNBEATEN - all Prem [1 win, 3 draws]

NOT CONCEDED IN 3 [270 mins / 4 hrs 30 mins]

DRAWN LAST 3 AWAY - all Prem

5 AWAY SINCE A WIN - all Prem [3 draws, 2 losses]

RECENT FORM

1 win in 5 - all Prem

3 draws in 4 - all Prem

1 defeat in last 8 - all Prem