Fulham v Man City preview
City look to bolster backline and shut out in-form Berbatov
Last Updated: 28/09/12 3:53pm
Dimitar Berbatov: Scored twice on his home debut but now out for Fulham
Fulham hope to take advantage of Manchester City's defensive frailties as the defending champions visit Craven Cottage on Saturday.
- Fulham versus Manchester City is the most played Premier League fixture (20 games) that has not seen a single red card
- Fulham have posted the best shooting accuracy in the top flight this season, hitting the target with 68% of their shots and also mustered the most shots on target (41)
- Man City have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their opening five Premier League games for the first time since 2000-01
Fulham have won both games since star signing Dimitar Berbatov came into the starting line-up, although the Bulgarian striker has since picked up a minor thigh problem.
Berbatov had scored twice on his home debut against West Brom, before Hugo Rodallega scored his first goal for the Cottagers at Wigan last week.
Martin Jol's men now come up against a City side which has struggled to regain the defensive solidity they showed in winning last season's Premier League title.
No clean sheets
After losing 4-2 at home to Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, the Blues have now shipped 14 goals in seven games and are yet to keep a clean sheet this term.
City are still unbeaten in the league after last Sunday's draw against Arsenal but that was their third in five games and left them four points off the pace already.
Roberto Mancini named an entirely different starting line-up in midweek and they had to play extra-time so Saturday's team is anyone's guess.
City had struggled against Fulham between 2007 and 2009 but the Cottagers haven't won in their last seven games against City and have failed to win any of their last six meetings at Craven Cottage.
Dimitar Berbatov will miss the next two weeks after sustaining a problem with his hip/upper thigh in training.
Mahamadou Diarra (knee) remains out but his injury is not as bad as first feared.
Kieran Richardson, Ashkan Dejagah and Philippe Senderos have all returned to training but are not yet back in contention.
Midfielder Samir Nasri is available again after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Jack Rodwell is out after injuring his groin in the warm-up against Villa while Micah Richards (ankle) is two weeks away from a first-team return.
Fellow defender Maicon (ankle) and midfielder James Milner (toe) remain doubtful.
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 40 Bettinelli
- 37 Grimmer
- 6 Bodurov
- 4 Hutchinson
- 3 Stafylidis
- 8 Parker
- 21 Lasse Vigen Christensen
- 12 Seko Fofana
- 10 Ruiz
- 20 Rodallega
- 44 McCormack
Team taken from Fulham vs Bournemouth (Sky Bet Championship) on Friday 26th December 2014
- 1 Hart
- 3 Sagna
- 26 Demichelis
- 20 Mangala
- 22 Clichy
- 6 Fernando
- 42 Toure Y
- 15 Navas
- 21 Silva
- 8 Nasri
- 7 Milner
Team taken from Manchester City vs West Bromwich Albion (Barclays Premier League) on Friday 26th December 2014
Barclays Premier League
|5||West Ham United||18||31|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||18||17|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||18||17|