Fulham v Utd

Friday 28 December 2001

Fulham's record signing Steve Marlet returned to action in a midweek reserve game, but manager Jean Tigana is unlikely to risk him.

Midfielder Lee Clark could be out for two weeks after limping out of the Boxing Day clash against Charlton with a calf strain.

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

Sir Alex Ferguson has the chance to name an unchanged side for the first time since February 2000, but may still make changes.

Paul Scholes is available following a suspension and David Beckham is hoping for a recall from the substitutes' bench.

Manchester United (from): Barthez, P Neville, Blanc, G Neville, Silvestre, Veron, Keane, Butt, Giggs, Solskjaer, van Nistelrooy, Beckham, Scholes, Cole, Yorke, Wallwork, Chadwick, Irwin, Carroll.

MOST SIGNIFICANT STATS

CURRENT LEAGUE POSITIONS - FULHAM: Going into the weekend: 10th 24 points

MANCHESTER UNITED: Going into the weekend: 5th 33 points

SEQUENCES / RECENT FORM

FULHAM: NOT WON IN 3 - all Prem [2 draws, 1 loss]

1 win in 6 Premiership games

NOT SCORED IN 3 - all Prem [310 mins / 5 hrs 10 mins]

UNDEFEATED IN 7 HOME LEAGUE GAMES

MANCHESTER UNITED:

WON LAST 4 - all Prem

POTENTIAL CAREER MILESTONES

MANCHESTER UNITED:

Paul SCHOLES needs one strike to register 50 League goals

Dwight YORKE is a brace away from the same mark

NOTES:

A fortnight after seeming to relinquish their title, Manchester United have been reinstalled as favourites to lift an eighth Premier League Championship after successive victories over Derby, Middlesbrough, Southampton and Everton in which 14 goals were scored and just one conceded.

Fulham were twice in front against United in an exciting reverse fixture, but went down 3-2. The Londoners's only victory in their last seven League and Cup games was 2-0 at home to Everton on 8 December. Fulham haven't scored since that game. The goalless draw at home to Charlton on Boxing Day followed the postponement of the League game at Middlesbrough.

United have now gone 96 Premiership games since a no score draw, while Fulham have recorded six goalless games in the top flight this season, that's more than any other club.

The last of the holiday games for these clubs are:-
Fulham 2 Jan: Derby (A) Man U: 2 Jan: Newcastle (H)

Fulham v Man Utd Previous meetings:

Played 51 - Fulham wins 10 - Man Utd wins 29 - Draws 12

United at Fulham: Played 21 - Won 6 - Lost 8 - Drawn 7

HEAD TO HEAD NOTES

First ever visit by Manchester United to Craven Cottage in the Premiership, first visit for a League game in 27 years and first clash in a top flight encounter there for 33 years.

United are seeking a third successive League win at Fulham after victories in 1974 (old 2nd Division) and 1968 (old 1st Division).

Fulham's only home win over United in seven corresponding League fixtures since 1962 was 2-1 on 5 September, 1966 in the former Division One.

The Londoners haven't beaten the Red Devils in 11 home and away League and Cup encounters.

Man U won the reverse fixture 3-2, and are therefore on course for their 5th 'double' over Fulham since the League was first staged in 1922.

No player has ever been sent off in a League fixture between these clubs.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE: DERMOT GALLAGHER, Banbury, Oxfordshire.