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Championship Preview: Fulham

13 July 2015

Kit Symons will begin his first full season as Fulham manager this campaign and he’ll be welcoming North End to Craven Cottage on Saturday 28th November.

It is Symons’ first permanent managerial appointment despite brief stints as caretaker boss at several other clubs.

Symons’ took over from former boss Felix Magath in September after a woeful start to the season for the Cottagers.

Picking up just one point from their first seven games was far from what the owners envisaged, leading to the dismissal of the German coach in September 2014.

Symons was initially installed as caretaker, but after winning four of his first seven games, the Basingstoke-born former defender was given the job full-time a month later.

With pre-season well underway, Fulham have already made former Blackburn man Tom Cairney their first signing, arriving for a seven figure fee, and one would expect there’ll be more acquisitions to be made before the climax of the summer transfer window. 

Head to Head

Preston: 24
Draw: 10
Fulham: 26

Fulham lost just five games during the 2000/01 season under Jean Tigana seeing them run away with the first division title, and more importantly, promotion to the Premier League.

But one of those five losses came at the hands of North End in bizarre circumstances.

Fulham had won their first 11 games of the season before drawing the weekend prior to their fixture with North End, and it was the Lilywhites who inflicted their first defeat of the season through a single Michael Appleton goal.

In the 68th minute, Preston were awarded a corner, and Appleton stepped up to curl the ball into the unguarded near post to seal what proved to be the winner.

The Stadium

Craven Cottage is a favourable one amongst visiting fans with the ground known to have kept its historic charm throughout its years of renovation work.

The ground has undergone redevelopment as early as 2002 and there are more plans to expand the current 25,000 capacity to an extra 5,000 seats with the stand adjacent to the River Thames planned to go under significant redevelopment next year.

Played For Both

The stand-out of the bunch to play in both sets of whites in recent times is arguably David Healy, who had one solo season at Fulham, three years after leaving PNE with a record of 44 goals in 137 games for the Lilywhites.

An all-American duo also spent time in Lancashire and London. Brian McBride was first introduced to England by Preston after the turn of the Century, but made his mark in English football with Fulham, spending four years at the club, make over 100 appearances and scoring just under 40 goals.

The other to cross the Atlantic is Eddie Lewis who actually transferred from Fulham to Preston in 2002. After a tough time in West London, Lewis played over 100 games for Preston in the three years he was at the Club.

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