Pick The Cherries To Undo Fulham
Fulham v Bournemouth
Bournemouth can move back to the top of the Championship table, temporarily at least, with three points against Fulham this Friday night.
A run of just one win in eight league games means that Fulham’s Championship status is far from being secure for another season. Surprisingly, or perhaps not given the nature of this division, that single win came against table-topping Derby County when goals from Nikolay Bodurov and Cauley Woodrow served up a 2-0 victory at Craven Cottage.
That was the only game in the Cottagers’ last four where they have managed to find the back of the net, with top scorer Ross McCormack having scored just once in eight appearances since January and second-top scorer Hugo Rodallega scoring just two in 17 games since mid-December.
At the other end Kit Symons’ men have managed just two clean sheets in their last 13 Championship games, although those two have come in their last four outings.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, have also been struggling a little. Relatively speaking that is. At the start of the season had anyone offered Eddie Howe’s men a top four berth at the beginning of March then I’m sure he’d have bitten their hands off.
However, Tuesday’s 2-1 win against Wolves was the Cherries’ first win in six games with previous draws against Derby, Huddersfield and Blackburn, and defeats at Brentford and Nottingham Forest stunting the unlikeliest of promotion challenges.
Yann Kermogrant’s double in midweek moved him on to 13 goals for the season, but top scorer Callum Wilson (18) hasn’t found the back of the net in his last five matches.
Lasse Vigen Christensen is likely to remain unavailable for the hosts but Hugo Rodallega, Fernando Amorebieta and Matt Smith could come back into contention.
Having rediscovered the winning formula in midweek Howe is likely to stick with a similar starting XI here. Dan Gosling and Euan O’Kane remain sidelined for another couple of weeks at least.
Bournemouth won 2-0 when the two sides met at Dean Court earlier this season thanks to goals from Brett Pitman and Harry Arter. That was the first time that the two clubs had met in a competitive game for over a decade.
Odds of 20/21 about an away win look to be good value as a side who could move back to the top of the Championship table with all three points take on a team in a battle to avoid relegation. The Cottagers may have beaten Derby here recently but as their only win in 10 that looks to be more of an exception than the rule to follow.
The Cherries are one of the top scorers in the division but haven’t been firing on all cylinders recently and up against a Fulham side that have failed to find the back of the net in three of their last four games we should take the cautious approach and back Under 2.5 goals at Evens.
Combining the two selections gives us odds of 19/5 on a Bournemouth win and fewer than 2.5 goals.