Fulham v Bournemouth: Cottagers can edge entertaining encounter

Marco Silva - Fulham
Table-topping Fulham are unbeaten in nine (W7-D2-L0)
  • Fulham vs Bournemouth
  • Fri 3 Dec, 19:45

A fascinating fixture from the Championship arrives on Friday night as table-topping Fulham face second-place Bournemouth at Craven Cottage. Mark O'Haire previews the contest...

"The Cottagers consistently strong performances have seen Silva’s side move to the top of the Championship, and the Whites also rank as the league’s best for Expected Points (xP)."

Fulham frustrated at Deepdale

Fulham dropped points for the second successive game as the Cottagers were held to a 1-1 draw at Preston on Saturday at Deepdale. Tim Ream's 15th-minute strike, his first goal in almost four years, earned Marco Silva's men a deserved first-half lead but North End battled back to dominate the second period and pinch a point through a controversial equaliser.

Preston's 72nd-minute level survived two potential shouts for handball; substitute Ched Evans made an undetected run to meet Ben Whiteman's inswinging left-wing corner, his header cannoned into the arm of team-mate Emil Riis, then ended up being helped into the back of the net off Evans' own upper arm. The decision understandably irked Silva.

Speaking post-match, the Fulham chief said: "That was a big mistake from the referee and the linesman. It's difficult for us to accept, but again the referee had a bad performance. We've ended up losing two points, and it's not been our fault again. That isn't an excuse though. It should be up to us to create more problems for the opposition."

Bournemouth blow two-goal lead

Previous Championship pace-setters Bournemouth failed to capitalise on Fulham's failure to secure top honours at Preston as the Cherries chucked away a two-goal advantage against Coventry on Saturday. Scott Parker's posse were leading 2-0 with only five minutes remaining thanks to Jaidon Anthony's fortunate opener and Philip Billing's prodded second.

Jefferson Lerma's red card appeared to hand the initiative to Coventry, although Dominic Solanke missed two great opportunities to put the game to bed for Bournemouth. And those missed chances proved costly as the Sky Blues pulled a goal back late on before grabbing their second goal five minutes into added time.

Speaking post-match, Parker said: "It's a hard one, a painful one. I'm devastated for the players because I thought the game was everything we wanted it to be before the sending-off - we were dominant, controlled the game in every aspect, in possession and out. We deserved to win. If that game stays with 11 men, it's a comfortable victory for us."

Fulham fancied by the market

Fulham and Bournemouth have not been regular competitors over the past two decades, meeting each other on only four occasions. The Cherries have taken top honours in three of those fixtures (W3-D0-L1), although the away side has often flourished in head-to-head encounters between the pair, returning W6-D3-L2 in the past 11 match-ups since 1992.

Fulham 1.9420/21 have been held to successive draws but have at least extended their unbeaten streak since October's international break to nine (W7-D2-L0). The Cottagers consistently strong performances have seen Marco Silva's side move to the top of the Championship, and the Whites also rank as the league's best for Expected Points (xP).

Bournemouth 4.10 enjoyed a club-record unbeaten start to the campaign, avoiding defeat in their opening 15 fixtures. However, the Cherries have since tabled a solitary success in five to relinquish top spot (W1-D2-L2). The visitors are hoping to have Gary Cahill back for Friday as they bid to extend their fine form against the top-half this term (W4-D4-L0).

Fulham

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
vs

Bournemouth

  • L
  • W
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Close
  • Fulham 6 2 Birmingham City
  • Fulham 6 2 Bristol City
  • Reading 0 7 Fulham
  • Bristol City 0 0 Fulham
  • Fulham 0 1 Sheffield United
  • Luton Town 1 1 Fulham
Close
  • Luton Town 3 2 Bournemouth
  • Yeovil Town 1 3 Bournemouth
  • Bournemouth 3 0 Cardiff City
  • Queens Park Rangers 0 1 Bournemouth
  • Middlesbrough 1 0 Bournemouth
  • Bournemouth 0 2 Blackburn Rovers

Fulham vs Bournemouth Friday 03 December, 19:45

Full stats

Goals forecast

Fulham have been great fun to follow this season. Matches involving the Cottages have produced a divisional-high of 3.25 goals per-game on average, with 12/20 (60%) encounters producing Over 2.5 Goals 1.855/6 profit. Marco Silva's men have notched two goals or more in seven of their 10 home outings, averaging 2.30 goals per-game at Craven Cottage.

Bournemouth have also seen Overs cash on 12 (60%) occasions under Scott Parker yet the Cherries have largely been involved in a relatively low-scoring affairs away. The visitors' contests have produced only 1.80 goals per-game with just two breaking the Over 2.5 Goals barrier. The Dorset guests have shipped just five goals in 10 road trips thus far.

But with so much attacking quality on show from both sides - Fulham and Bournemouth comfortably sit inside the league's top three for goals scored, Expected Goals (xG) generated, and Big Chances created - there's a strong prospect of Both Teams To Score banking. I'll happily combine it with in-form Fulham in the Double Chance market at 2.02.

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Mark's 2021/22 Profit/Loss

Staked: 55 pts
Returned: 58.08 pts
P/L: +3.08 pts

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