Twitter handle: @OzChamberlain
Fulham could climb out of the bottom three this weekend if they avoid defeat against Everton at Goodison Park.
The Cottagers ended a run of six straight defeats on Sunday when they beat Aston Villa in René Meulensteen’s second game in charge following the departure of fellow Dutchman Martin Jol. The victory was only their fourth of the season but it was enough to put them level on points with West Ham, who sit just above the drop zone, and one point behind Cardiff.
Under the guidance of Roberto Martinez, Everton have won many admirers this season and currently find themselves just two points behind their local rivals Liverpool who occupy second place in the league table. They are unbeaten at home so far with their only defeat of the campaign coming away at Manchester City back in October. Everton’s last league defeat at home was almost a year ago and they have picked up four points from trips to Old Trafford and the Emirates in their last two matches.
Everton will be without Leighton Baines again on Saturday because of a toe injury he picked up against Liverpool last month. Tony Hibbert, Darron Gibson and Arouna Kone are also out of the game but there could be a place for Antolin Alcaraz who is yet to make his debut since arriving from Wigan. James McCarthy is suspended for the fixture and could be replaced by Leon Osman.
Hangeland and Rodallega will be missing from Meulensteen’s squad and there are doubts over Darren Bent and Fernando Amorebieta who have both been suffering with hamstring injuries.
Fulham came from behind to beat Everton in the Capital One Cup earlier this season thanks to goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent. The Toffees have performed well in the fixture in the Premier League in recent years though; they are unbeaten in the last seven meetings, winning five and drawing two.
The Cottagers’ last league victory over Everton was in September 2009 with Damien Duff scoring the winning goal. Fulham have lost each of their last 10 matches at Goodison Park.
Everton v Fulham pre-match stats
Everton have won more home games against Fulham (12) than versus any other Barclays Premier League opponent.
Fulham have lost five of their last six Barclays Premier League away games and have failed to score in all those defeats.
Fulham have never won away against Everton in the league (L21 D4). They drew four of their first five visits to Goodison Park but have lost the last 20 in a row.
The Whites have scored just 10 goals in their last 21 away league games against the Toffees.
Everton have won five and lost none of the last seven Barclay Premier League games against Fulham.
The Toffees have lost just one of their 15 Premier League matches this season (W7 D7 L1) and are unbeaten in the last eight (W4 D4).
Everton have lost just two of their last 35 Premier League home games (W23 D10 L2), but both defeats came to London sides (Arsenal & Chelsea). The Toffees are unbeaten in the last 16 at Goodison Park (W11 D5).
The last time that Everton went unbeaten a home in the league for a whole calendar year was back in 1962. They have only managed this three times previously (1894, 1939, 1962).
Everton have kept nine clean sheets in their last 12 league games on home soil.
A 2-0 victory against Aston Villa last weekend ended a run of six consecutive Premier League defeats for Fulham.