Leeds v Fulham preview

Friday 19 April 2002

Fulham midfielder Lee Clark misses the trip to Leeds because of the calf problem which has ruined his season. Long-term casualty Chris Coleman, out for more than a year with a broken leg, is playing for the reserves but will not be rushed back into first-team action this season.

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

Leeds captain Rio Ferdinand should return to the starting line-up after a month on the sidelines with a knee injury. Dominic Matteo is set to partner Ferdinand despite missing Scotland's friendly with Nigeria in midweek with a back injury, but Olivier Dacourt (hamstring) and Harry Kewell (foot) miss out.

Leeds (from): Martyn, Kelly, Harte, Keane, Viduka, Bowyer, McPhail, Wilcox, Smith, Mills, Bakke, Johnson, Matteo, Batty, Burns, Fowler, Ferdinand, Richardson, Robinson.

MOST SIGNIFICANT STATS

The season started with so much expectation for Leeds. But a series of off-the-field problems and a lack of results on it, means that David O'Leary side face out of form Fulham with just a Uefa Cup place to secure. They are four points shy of a top four Champions League place with three to play.

Leeds go into the match on the back of a run of five wins from seven Premiership outings including victories over Sunderland and Aston Villa in their most recent games. Three points here could take them up to fifth while inflicting an eighth defeat in nine top division matches for Fulham. The Cottagers would also sink to one place above the drop zone if Blackburn got a point at Middlesbrough.

Fulham are chasing only a third away League win of the season on their first Premiership match at Elland Road, and 21st League visit to Leeds.

Robbie Fowler made a very quiet Leeds debut after his £11 million move from Liverpool in the reverse fixture in December, which finished goalless.

Previous meetings: Played 42 Leeds wins 19 Fulham wins 13 Draws 10

HEAD TO HEAD NOTES

It's Fulham's first visit to Leeds in 17 years.

Leeds are aiming to extend a six match unbeaten home run against the Cottagers with a fourth successive home win over them.

Fulham have failed to score on their last three losing visits to Elland Road.

The Londoners only maximum in eight trips to the Yorkshire club was 0-1 in the former League - Division One on 12 April, 1966.

No player has ever been sent off in this corresponding fixture.

LEEDS UNITED

Current League position, 6th 60 points 4 points outside the top four

Best Scenario at final whistle - Up 1 to 5th If win, while Chelsea [home to Man U] do no more than draw.

Worst Scenario at final whistle - Cannot fall from 6th even if lose.

Sequences

WON LAST 2 - both Prem

GONE 7 SINCE A DRAW

SCORED IN EACH OF LAST 7

NOT CONCEDED IN 2 [241 mins / 4 hrs 1 min]

Recent Form

5 wins in last 17 League and Cup games

Won 5 of last 7 Premiership matches

Drawn 4 of last 12 in all competitions

3 draws in last 10 top flight encounters

Lost 3 of last 12 confrontations

2 defeats in last 4 top division duels

Failed to score in 4 of last 11 contests

Failed to find the net in 2 of the last 10 League clashes

7 clean sheets in last 11

Managed 6 clean sheets in last 9 top tier League outings

19 CLEAN SHEETS - 16 in Prem

FAILED TO SCORE 13 TIMES - 9 in Prem

PREMIERSHIP DOUBLES ACHIEVED - 3

PREMIERSHIP DOUBLES SUFFERED - 1

5 RED CARDS - 4 in Prem

EVER PRESENTS: 1 Nigel Martyn

STARTED EVERY GAME: 1 Nigel Martyn

FULHAM

Current League position 16th 37 points Four points above the drop zone, with four to play

Best Scenario at end of day Up 3 to 13th - If win, while Sunderland [away to West Ham] and Bolton [home to Tottenham] do no better than draw and Everton [away to Southampton] lose.

Worst Scenario at final whistle - Down 1 to 17th If lose, while Blackburn [away to Middlesbrough] at least draw.

Sequences

NOT WON IN 6 - 5 Prem, 1 FAC [2 draws, 4 defeats]

WITHOUT A VICTORY IN 9 PREMIERSHIP MATCHES [2 draws, 7 losses]

GONE 8 AWAY LEAGUE GAMES WITHOUT VICTORY

CONCEDED ONE GOAL IN EACH OF LAST 4

GONE 9 PREMIERSHIP GAMES SINCE A CLEAN SHEET

Recent Form

1 win in last 11 League and Cup games

Won 1 of last 13 Premiership matches

Drawn 2 of last 13 in all competitions

2 draws in last 3 top flight encounters

Lost 8 of last 14 domestic confrontations

7 defeats in last 9 top division duels

Failed to score in 4 of last 9 contests

Failed to find the net in 2 of the last 4 League clashes

1 clean sheet in last 12

Managed 2 clean sheets in last 14 top tier League outings

15 CLEAN SHEETS - 12 in Prem

FAILED TO SCORE 14 TIMES - 13 in Prem

PREMIERSHIP DOUBLES ACHIEVED - 0

PREMIERSHIP DOUBLES SUFFERED - 3

2 RED CARDS - both in Prem

EVER PRESENTS: 2 Steve Finnan, Steed Malbrangue

STARTED EVERY GAME: 1 Steve Finnan

Potential Career Milestones

Barry HAYLES is a double strike away from 50 goals for Fulham

If he plays, Sean DAVIS will be making his 100th League appearance for Fulham

COTTAGERS NOTES

Last Premiership win was 2-0 at home to Blackburn on 9 February, 2002.

Last away Premiership win was 0-1 at Derby on 2 January, 2002.

One of four clubs to have won fewest away games in the top flight - 2. The others are Blackburn, Everton and Leicester.

One of two clubs to have suffered the longest losing sequence in the top League so far this season - 6. The other is Leicester.

Conceded the earliest Premiership goal this season. David Unsworth's 27th second strike for Everton at Goodison on 16 January is the quickest top flight goal so far this campaign.

Bottom of the Premiership's "Last Six Current Form Table" with 2 points from the 18, trailing Aston Villa on goal difference.

Caught offside 72 times in Premiership matches this season - that's fewer than any other club, according to the FA Barclaycard information sheet.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE - ROB STYLES, Waterlooville, Hampshire