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The Opposition – Fulham

Fulham currently lie tenth in the Premier League and over the last couple of years have become a strong Premiership outfit.

Like City last season, Fulham kicked off their campaign in a Europa League qualifying round in July and have subsequently advanced to the quarter finals of the competition, thanks to a stunning 4-1 second leg victory over Juventus after trailing 3-1 from the first leg.

Their home form at home is one of the best from the mid table teams, having won nine and lost three, but it is their defensive record that is impressive. From their 14 games at Craven Cottage, Fulham have conceded just nine goals, bettered only by Manchester United with eight.

Fulham are a team always capable of springing a surprise result against the top sides. This season, they recorded a stunning 3-0 win over United but Thursday’s result over Juventus might just eclipse it.

Manager – Roy Hodgson

Former Blackburn boss Hodgson has rejuvenated Fulham and has turned the club from relegation candidates to European contenders in under two years.

Taking over the reigns in December 2007, Hodgson guided the club away from the relegation zone. It wasn’t the easiest of tasks and in April 2008, Fulham were 2-0 down at City and virtually relegated. However, three second half goals turned the game around and Fulham went on to secure their Premier League status on the last day of the season.

The following season, Hodgson secured European football at Craven Cottage, guiding them to seventh in the Premier League.

Star Players

Former Brighton and West Ham striker Bobby Zamora is a constant threat in front of goal and Zolton Gera showed City in the League Cup exactly what he is capable of.

Ground – Craven Cottage

Fulham have occupied Craven Cottage since it was opened in 1896 and is located right on the bank of the River Thames. Its current capacity is 25,700

Meaningless Facts

This isn’t the first meeting of the two managers. They met in Serie A when Mancini managed Fiorentina and Hodgson was boss of Udinese in 2001.

Fulham are the oldest professional football team in London, having being founded in 1879.

Fulham are generally known as The Cottagers, but other nicknames include The Whites and The Lillywhites.

The club have reached the FA Cup final on just one occasion, losing 2-0 to West Ham in 1975.

Fulham’s club mascot, Billy the Badger, is a bit of a rebel. In February 2008, referee Chris Foy sent him off for breakdancing in the corner of the pitch after the game had started. He later blamed his ‘poor badger hearing’ for the offence and in March 2009, he risked the wrath of the referee after walking across the goal during a game.

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