By Adam Clark

Fulham's season has been something of an unheralded success story.

Chris Coleman's side were among the early favourites to slip through the Premiership trap door next May but victories over Sheffield United, Newcastle, Charlton and Everton have seen the Cottagers climb to 12th in the table.

Liam Rosenior, son of ex-Fulham striker and recently-departed Brentford boss Leroy, has emerged as one of Fulham's key figures. The youngster, who signed from Bristol City for a bargain £55,000 in November 2003, has made the right back berth his own this term with a series of accomplished displays.

On Wednesday his opposite number will be Emmanuel Eboue, another youngster who has emerged as his manager's preferred right back - albeit in the absence of long-term injury victim Lauren.

The Ivorian recently missed six matches with a medial knee ligament injury, which gives his counterpart a 438-minute head start going into tonight's game at Craven Cottage. Nonetheless, what do this season's statistics tell us about these two players? 

Well, Eboue has been the more efficient distributor of the ball, finding a team-mate with 68 per cent of his passes. The 59 per cent return by Rosenior is not one the 22-year-old will be ashamed of though.

The same goes for the Fulham man's endeavours down the wing. So far he has attempted 36 crosses this season, and although his team-mates have only capitalised on four of those, he edges Eboue, who has produced two successful crosses from 21 efforts.

Arsenal fans voted Eboue their Arsenal.com Player of the Month for September, a period in which he produced three expert assists. Two of those were in the Premiership, the other in the Champions League, but the 23-year-old has added another to his league tally along the way. Rosenior is behind at the moment having laid on just the one goal for Coleman's side.

On the subject of goals, neither player is prolific. Rosenior has scored just one career goal for Fulham - in the 5-4 League Cup win over Lincoln last term - and although Eboue is yet to contribute in the Premiership this season, he did score the vital second goal against Hamburg in the Champions League last week.

The stats suggest the Arsenal man is the more likely to find the net tonight as Rosenior is yet to record a shot on goal this season. Eboue on the other hand has managed three shots on target, three off, and has also hit the woodwork.

One area in which the Fulham man has excelled is dribbling, having produced an end product from 17 of 28 attempted runs. Eboue is renowned for getting forward but is more akin to running into space than taking players on. Nonetheless, a return of seven successful dribbles from 10 attempts is not to be sniffed at.

Rosenior also leads the way in terms of tackling. His all-action performances have produced 45 challenges, 31 of which he has won. Eboue has been equally efficient in taking the ball nine times from 13, and his lower return is almost certainly a result of the possession football played by Arsenal.

So there you have it. The statistics highlight the importance these two have had to their respective sides this season. We know Eboue enjoys getting forward at every opportunity and it seems Rosenior was made from the same mould.

With both players going into this game in full flow you really do pity the left backs.


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Head to Head Statistics Emmanuel Eboue Liam Rosenior Premiership Appearances 10 14 Minutes on pitch 822 1260 Attacking Goals 0 0 Shots on target 3 0 Shots off target 3 0 Shots blocked 1 0 Offside 0 1 Supporting Assists 3 1 Passes made 73 144 Passes complete 50 85 Passes incomplete 23 59 Crosses successful 2 4 Crosses unsuccessful 19 32 Total dribbles 10 28 Dribbles successful 7 17 Dribbles unsuccessful 3 11 Defending Tackles made 13 45 Tackles won 9 31 Tackles lost 1 14 Interceptions 3 8 Blocked Shots 2 6 Clearances 12 26 Penalties Conceded 0 2 Own Goals 0 0 Discipline Fouls 5 3 Yellow Cards 1 0

14-1 - Fulham v Arsenal: Alexander Hleb to score the first goal


Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 29 Nov 2006