Fulham face Preston today with the aim of extending the Whites’ winning run and continuing a mini surge up the table. The international break has been a good chance to get over some of the injuries that had been eating away at the squad so it looks as though we will be in good shape tomorrow against a team who we have recently had good results against. I decided to have a quick look though the history books to see how Fulham have fared against North End through the years.
We have played Preston North End 64 times in competitive games, with 29 of those being victories, 11 draws and 24 defeats. The sides met for the first time on the 9 November 1912 in the old Division Two with the Whites winning 3-1 at home. However, Fulham didn’t taste success against Preston again until 1925, when we ended a run of three straight defeats with a 2-1 win, again at home. Out of all the 64 matches between the two sides, only three of them have been goalless draws, the last one being back on the 6th October 1973 in the old Second Division. The highest scoring encounter between the sides was a 5-3 Fulham victory in the same division
Recently, Fulham have enjoyed their games against Preston and are unbeaten in the last three. Our most comfortable victory was just last year when we blew them away at the Cottage with a dominating display where we came out on top with a 3-1 victory. Aluko, Martin and Kebano got the goals that day while Tom Barkhuizen of Preston scored their goal.
This season has so far been really positive for Preston. They currently sit in sixth place on 20 points. They have been seriously strong at home with 3 wins, 3 draws and no defeats. In fact, they have only lost one game all season and that was back on the 12th August when Derby County just got the better of them 1-0 at the Pride Park. They also managed to overcome league leaders Cardiff 3-0 at home so this is not going to be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination! They have scored 13 goals so far this term, just 1 shy of our 14 while they have a much better defensive record, with just 6 goals conceded to our 10.
It’s important that we continue our good form, but this will be a very tough test for our side. We are still a number of weeks from welcoming back Tom Cairney to the side but other players should be available tomorrow to give us a boost. We have dropped too many points at home this season and this has been enough for some fans to write off our promotion prospect. In my opinion, it’s much too early to do that, but we need to make the Cottage into a fortress again. Hopefully the run continues tomorrow.