Fulham host Bournemouth at Craven Cottage in a top of the table EFL Championship clash on Friday. The two teams have been head and shoulders above the rest of the teams till now. Only 1 point separates the two teams from one another. This will be a pivotal game for both sides in the context of the league.
Fulham will look to make their hold on the top spot stronger while Bournemouth will aim to go past the league leaders.
This is the first time that these two teams are meeting since their Premier League fixture in 2019. The then Cottagers boss, Scott Parker registered a 1-0 victory over the Cherries. This will be a big game for Scott Parker as well who will face his former side for the first time since his departure.
Both sides are showing signs of fatigue and have started to chip away some points, much to the relief of the teams below them. Fulham sit on top of the table with 43 points, followed by Bournemouth with 42 points.
Fulham have drawn their last two games, against Preston and Derby County. But they are unbeaten in the league for nine games, winning seven. The cottagers are also the highest-scoring team in the league netting 49 times.
Fulham have won seven of their ten home games this season and lost only once in the process. They have been solid at the back as well, conceding only 16 goals.
Fulham EFL Championship form: W W W D D
Injury-hit Bournemouth are facing a dip in their form. Some could say that they have been a bit unfortunate in the way they have dropped points in their recent games. Bournemouth have won only one of their last five games, drawing two and losing two.
The Cherries are winless in their last three games. Their last win came at home against Swansea City last month. They will be eager to get back to winning ways and Craven Cottage is as good a place as any to do so. The current Cherries boss Scott Parker will feel he has a point to prove as he goes against his former employers.
Bournemouth EFL Championship form: L W L D D
Fulham vs Bournemouth: Team News
The Cottagers will be without Nathaniel Chalobah and Ivan Cavaleiro. Both of them miss out due to injuries. Tom Cairney will be a doubt as its not clear if he has shaken the illness which kept him out of West Londoner’s last two games. These would be the only players who could be sidelined in this clash of clans. Despite their draw against Preston in the last game, Marco Silva will be tempted to field the same line up.
Fulham possible starting line-up
Rodak; Odoi, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson; Seri, Reed; Wilson, Carvalho, Kebano; Mitrovic
The Cherries on the other hand have been crippled with injuries. Robbie Brady and Adam Smith have started training but for a couple of days and are unlikely to start. While Gary Cahill Lloyd Kelly, Jordan Zemura, Ben Pearson and Junior Stanislas are all probably going to be sidelined due to injury.
Although Scott Parker said they will make a late call on some of the players, but it is highly unlikely that we will see any of the players mentioned above.
Bournemouth will also be without Lerma who is suspended for this contest. The absence of Lerma may force Parker to play a back four, which is not his preferred formation.
Bournemouth possible starting line-up
Mark Travers; Leif Davis, Chris Mepham, Steve Cook, Jack Stacey; Gavin Kilkenny, Philip Billing; Jaidon Anthony, Ryan Christie, Jamal Lowe; Dominic Solanke
Fulham 2-1 Bournemouth
This fixture will be mammoth in deciding the fate of the Championship. Fulham have the home advantage and despite drawing their last two games, they are in a pretty decent form.
Bournemouth have several players missing out and they have not been able to finish off the games recently.
Despite Bournemouth’s poor form, this will be a close game. But the home advantage and Bournemouth’s injury concerns hand Fulham a slight edge over Bournemouth and should increase their lead on the top of the table.
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