Everton vs. Fulham Preview

Fa Cup

Published: 02/02/2012

Everton and Fulham provide the Friday night F.A Cup entertainment on January 27 and both sides will be eager to reach the fifth round having experienced indifferent campaigns in the Barclays Premier League to date.

Goal average is the only factor which separates the Toffees and Cottagers who currently sit 12th and 14th respectively in the league however it is the hosts who will be solid favourites for this tie based on their excellent home record against Fulham which stretches back to 2002.

Out of their last ten games against Fulham at home, David Moyes’ men have been victorious on ten occasions, with a solitary draw, ironically in the F.A Cup, being Fulham’s only reprieve in 2004.

Incidentally, Fulham went on to win the replay at Craven Cottage via extra-time – and a similar repeat to those circumstances this time around would certainly be no surprise considering how evenly matched both clubs currently appear to be.

Fulham’s progress through to the fourth round was rather smooth in comparison to Everton however. Martin Jol’s troops were relentless in handing out a sound 4-0 beating to runaway League One leaders Charlton Athletic, whilst Everton, although always comfortable, slipped past non-league Tamworth in nondescript fashion to win 2-0.

And in truth, Everton’s recent home form has to be a slight cause for concern going into this fixture which may well see an end to their dominance over the West Londoners on Merseyside.

A lacklustre defeat to struggling Bolton Wanderers was succeeded by a draw against Aston Villa and then another uninspiring stalemate against Blackburn Rovers.

By contrast, Fulham will be heading into this tie on the back of a tremendous performance against Newcastle United which resulted in a resounding 5-2 triumph over the Toon Army.

Star midfielder Clint Dempsey reined in with a hat-trick in that match and the American can prove to be a major influence in this game also where he will line-up against U.S.A team mate Landon Donovan.

On balance, putting the two clubs’ recent head to head record aside, it is not at all a guarantee that Everton can get back to winning ways at Goodison against a Fulham outfit who will be in buoyant mood.

This is likely to be one of the more closely contested ties of the fourth round weekend and the even money about Everton to progress in ninety minutes is probably a little on the skimpy side.

Whilst Fulham could quite easily be capable of stealing a success if Everton are under par again, their overall away form in the league does not provoke much excitement and their best potential result is likely to be a replay and a chance to win the tie at Craven Cottage as they did eight years ago.

At 12/5, there probably isn’t a better bet for a draw amongst all of the last 32 fixtures so it is advisable to get on and trust the league table which pins both clubs on the same mark of ability.

Although league form can never really be relied upon going into the cup, the nature of Everton and Fulham’s play is probably going to initiate a tough, gritty midfield battle which should lead to the two cancelling each other out at the first attempt.

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (02/02/2012) but are subject to change.

02/02/2012     © Frixo 2018

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