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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Fulham v Spurs - 01.12.12

Last Season's Corresponding Game - Fulham 1 Spurs 3 - 6th November, 2011
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What happened in the Premiership in Match 15 2011-12

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Full Record of Spurs -v- Fulham
 
Premier       Pl   W   D   L    For-Ag  Pts
Home          11   7   3   1    18 - 5   24
Away          11   3   3   5    15 -16   12
===========================================
Total(Prem)   22  10   6   6    33 - 21  36
===========================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   11   8   3   0    28 - 13  19
Away(Div 1)   11   6   4   1    17 - 12  16
===========================================
Total(Div 1)  22  14   7   1    45 - 25  35
===========================================
Football Lge
Home(Div 2)   11   4   6   1    13 - 8   14
Away(Div 2)   11   4   5   2    20 - 16  13
===========================================
Total(Div 2)  22   8  11   3    33 - 24  27
===========================================
Total(Prem)   22  10   6   6    33 - 21  36
Total(Div 1)  22  14   7   1    45 - 25  35
Total(Div 2)  22   8  11   3    33 - 24  27
===========================================
Grand Total   66  32  24  10   111 - 70  98
===========================================

Last Six Premier League results:-

Fulham

Reading    3-3   Fulham
Fulham     2-2   Everton
Arsenal    3-3   Fulham
Fulham     1-3   S'derland
Stoke      1-0   Fulham
Chelsea    0-0   Fulham

Spurs

S'hampton  1-2   Spurs
Spurs      0-1   Wigan
Man City   2-1   Spurs
Arsenal    5-2   Spurs
Spurs      3-1   West Ham
Spurs      2-1   Liverpool

Pos           P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 5. Spurs    14  7  2  5  25-23   2   23
11. Fulham   14  4  5  5  25-23   2   17 

Has the Ex-Factor swung Spurs' way?

When Spurs last visited Craven Cottage (Fulham 1 Spurs 3 - 6th November, 2011), the ex-factor was very much in Fulham's favour. There was a bit of a Spurs- fan love-in for former manager Martin Jol, and former players Danny Murphy and Bobby Zamora started for Fulham, with Stephen Kelly coming off the bench too. Nonetheless, and despite relentless second half pressure by the "Cottagers", Spurs came away with a flattering 3-1 scoreline.

Now Danny Murphy has stepped down a tier and gone to Blackburn, and Bobby Zamora was signed for QPR by Mark Hughes in January. Whilst Fulham do still have Kelly and Simon Davies in their squad, neither has featured so far this season. Simon Davies is five weeks away from fitness, having been out since March with a hip injury. Both Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele were on the Fulham side last year, and they will be hoping for a good reception this week.

The Fulham team will feature one high profile former Spur, Dimitar Berbatov, signed from Manchester United, and already very popular at Craven Cottage, having scored 5 league goals, and made plenty of assists too. There were plenty of Spurs fans who would have taken Berbatov back at the drop of a hat, but, much as I admired him as a player for Spurs, the bottom line was that he didn't want to play for us when he signed for Man Utd, so why should we take him back. With very few exceptions (Jermain Defoe is one that comes to mind!), players returning to a club they left have not been too successful either on the field, or in the poularity stakes. Berbatov has, after all, generally been booed by Spurs fans when we have encountered him in the colours of United.

So, with Dembele fit again, and Dempsey finding some form, the "ex-factor" might very well have swung in favour of Spurs. It turns out that Dempsey says he left Fulham because he felt he was not being respected as a player in their pre-season, being left out of a squad or two. It sounds like he won't mind scoring against his old club, with whom he scored 50 goals in 184 league games - 29 of them in his last two seasons.

Fulham had a sensational start to the season, beating Norwich 5-0 on the opening day. After away defeats to Man Utd and West Ham, they then beat West Brom 3-0, and managed a rare away win at Wigan. Their form in the last six games has been moderate though, with foru draws and two defeats. They have played four of those games away from home, and managed three goals at Reading and at Arsenal, but they haven't scored in their last two games.

Martin Jol's side will be missing centre back Brede Hangeland, who has to serve the last match of his three game suspension, following a red card in the 3-1 home defeat by Sunderland. Hangeland is a big player for Fulham in more ways than one. Having said that, they kept a clean sheet this week at Stamford Bridge to the delight of their fans.

Fulham have a sizeable squad, and they have had the benefit of less games than many of their Premier League rivals, after an embarrassing away defeat to struggling Sheffield Wednesday at their first hurdle in the Capital One Cup. Remember how Martin Jol gave us our shortest ever season in 2005-06 with cup defeats to lesser opposition at the first hurdle in both domestic competitions? (Check out the fixture list for 2005-06 here)

Apart from Hangeland, Fulham will have to do without striker Byran Ruiz, and midfielder Alexander Kacaniklic, who seems to have emerged this season. Damien Duff has been going well again this season, as has Steve Sidwell, once of Chelsea, and signed by Fulham from Aston Villa a couple of years ago. Croatian striker Mladen Petric, signed this summer from Hamburg has been weighing in with a few goals as well.

Can Spurs gain their third successive win? The squad should gain confidence from the fact that we achieved the League "Double" over Fulham last season, and there is no reason why we should not do it again. The likely team must be getting somewhat tired now, not getting the respite between games that Fulham have had. I'd love a win, but I think we will maintain our current unbeaten run, and that we'll have to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Referee: C Foy; Assistants: M McDonough, R Ganfield; Fourth official: J Moss

Spurs' recent record in London Derby League matches

10 years ago - Spurs drew 1-1 at Birmingham. Jeff Kenna scored a rare goal.

10 years ago in the Premier League. Liverpool lost at home to Man Utd. West Ham lost at home to Southampton. Fulham lost at Blackburn.

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