PREVIEW: City vs Fulham

Saturday 19 January 2013 | Etihad Stadium | Kick-off 15:00

Tickets: Sold out.

Last Season: City 3 – 0 Fulham

Match Officials: Referee: J Moss; Assistants: S Burt, S Bennett; Fourth official: N Swarbrick.

Team News:

CITY – Sergio Aguero could be back after the hamstring problem he picked up on New Year’s Day. His return would provide City with a huge boost given his influence on the side. Nasri’s suspension is now completed and he could play, but the Toure brothers and Abdul Razak are still on international duty with Ivory Coast. Vincent Kompany can play after his red card was overturned and Jack Rodwell may be on the bench after finally recovering from his hamstring injury. Micah Richards and Maicon are both still sidelined with knee injuries.

Man City (from): Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov, Clichy, Rekik, Milner, Silva, Barry, Garcia, Sinclair, Rodwell, Nasri, Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko, Balotelli.

FULHAM – Martin Jol has confirmed that Dimitar Berbatov will start after being rested for Tuesday’s FA Cup third-round replay win over Blackpool. Steve Sidwell returns after a hamstring problem but both Mahamadou Diarra (knee) and Kerim Frei (pelvis) are still missing.

Fulham (from): Schwarzer, Stockdale, Somogyi, Etheridge, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Senderos, Riise, Briggs, Dejagah, Baird, Sidwell, Karagounis, Kacaniklic, Duff, Richardson, Kasami, Ruiz, Rodallega, Berbatov, Petric, Davies.

Stats:

Only Fulham (8) have scored more goals from their substitutes than City (7) in the Premier League this season.

City have allowed just 59 shots on target against them this season, the fewest in the Premier League.

Fulham versus City is the most played Premier League fixture (21 games) that has not seen a single red card.

In 10 visits to play Manchester City in the Premier League, Fulham have lost just three times, winning three and drawing the other four.

City are yet to lose a league game after opening the scoring this season (W11, D1).

The 19 Premier League goals City have conceded this season is 10 fewer than Manchester United’s total of 29.

The two Manchester clubs have missed five penalties this season, only one fewer than the rest of the Premier League put together.

They have managed just two wins in their last 14 league matches.

Martin Jol’s side have kept one clean sheet in their last 15 league and cup games.

Fulham’s substitutes have contributed eight league goals this term, more than any other top-flight side.

Stats courtesy of BBC Football & Opta City

Press Conference:

City boss, Roberto Mancini, held court ahead of this week’s game. See what he had to say via the videos below.

Fulham manager Martin Jol said:

Every point we get there will be a bonus so we will fight for every point. We are unbeaten in January so far, have won two away games, which is pretty good. We had draws against Blackpool and Wigan. That is not alarming. If you compare us to last season, I think after Christmas we were unbelievable.

Inside the Opposition:

This week, we spoke to Fulham fan Kris Balkin to get his thoughts on the match. We discussed the genius of Berbatov, the pragmatism of Martin Jol, and Kris’ desire to sign David Silva. Read the interview here.

Fixtures:

All matches kick-off at 3pm unless otherwise stated

Saturday

Liverpool v Norwich

Manchester City v Fulham

Newcastle v Reading

Swansea v Stoke

West Ham v QPR

Wigan v Sunderland

West Brom v villa (5.30pm)

Sunday

Chelsea v Arsenal (1.30pm)

Tottenham v Manchester United (4pm)

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