Fulham To Fire Past Hornets
Fulham v Watford
Friday night’s Championship fixture sees Fulham take on Watford at Craven Cottage.
Fulham welcome Watford to Craven Cottage this Friday evening having lost only one of their last eight Championship games. Kit Symons has transformed The Cottagers since taking over from Felix Magath and now instead of fearing relegation they find themselves looking up towards the play-offs and the possibility of mounting a promotion challenge.
Hugo Rodallega has now scored eight goals this season after a run of three in his last three, while big-money summer signing Ross McCormack has five for the campaign. There are some concerns at the other end of the pitch, however, where Marcus Bettinelli has failed to keep a clean sheet in his last five and conceded nine times in that period.
Watford, by contrast, arrive in West London having lost four games on the bounce and with just one win in seven, and in doing so falling from their position as automatic promotion challengers to seventh place and outside the play-off spots.
Top scorer Matej Vydra has just one goal in his last six appearances, while Watford as a team have managed to score only twice in their last four games. They also haven’t kept a clean sheet in seven games since the middle of October. For a club not afraid to change things around at short notice, these are precarious times for manager Slaviša Jokanović.
Loanee Seko Fofana made his debut as a second half substitute last week and could come into contention for a starting berth this weekend. Defender Dan Burn is available again after missing the trip to Brighton due to suspension; Sam Hutchinson may have to settle for a place on the bench as a consequence.
Watford also had a loanee debutant last week as Adlene Guedioura, signed from Crystal Palace until January 1st, was introduced as a second-half substitute against Cardiff. Gabriel Tamas remains unavailable as he continues his recovery from a cruciate injury.
This will be the first time that the two clubs have met since the 2006/07 Premier League season, with both games during that campaign ending level.
Watford haven’t beaten Fulham in six games in a run dating back to May 1998.
Fulham are made strong favourites for the three points and at odds of 13/10 they look good value to pick up the win; a victory that would move the Cottagers to within four points of their opponents.
Hugo Rodallega has been Fulham’s form man of late and it surprises me to see him behind striker partner Ross McCormack in the betting. The Colombian looks a very good bet at odds of 11/2 to score the opener and 11/8 to net anytime.