Premier League Review: Fulham's hopes of staying up are given a Maja boost

Fulham manager Scott Parker
Scott Parker's Fulham have lost just one of their last five league games

Fulham's 2-0 win at Everton boosted their survival hopes. The Cottagers, who are seven points from safety, lead Charlie Mullan's Premier League odds review...

"The challenge now for Fulham is to match that performance level on a more consistent basis. If they do, they could manage to avoid relegation back to the Championship at the first attempt; they are currently 1.674/6 to lay"

1) Maja emerges as Fulham's hero at Goodison Park

Fulham may still find themselves in the bottom three after their 2-0 win at Everton, but they gave their hopes of staying up a major shot in the arm. New signing Josh Maja was in the right place at the right time to score both goals, his first since joining the Cottagers on loan from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux in the transfer window. 

The 22-year-old was 22/1 to score twice and he missed a glorious chance in the first half for a hat-trick that would have paid out at 300/1. Fulham have been improving week after week and following eight draws in 11 games, they found a way to win at Goodison Park. It was their first ever league win at Everton and their sixth clean sheet of the season which is three more than their relegation rivals Sheffield United and West Brom have combined all season. 

Scott Parker called it a 'big win' and the challenge now for Fulham is to match that performance level on a more consistent basis. If they do, they could manage to avoid relegation back to the Championship at the first attempt; they are currently 1.674/6 to lay. 

Fulham's win has dragged free-falling Newcastle into the relegation battle with seven points separating the two sides. Next up for Fulham is a trip to Burnley which is a game Parker and his players will be confident of winning. They are currently 9/5 to win at Turf Moor on Wednesday. 

2) Toffees' defeat leaves them stuck in seventh place


Everton's hopes of finishing in the top six were dealt a blow when they were the latest team to suffer a shock defeat. Few expected the Toffees to lose at home to Fulham, but it was the manner of defeat that will have concerned Everton fans. 

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Everton (7) had fewer shots than their opponents (12) and only two of those were on target as they struggled without their leading scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin who was sidelined with a hamstring injury. Just when you think Everton can kick on and be in with a chance of breaking into the top four, they let themselves down with a sloppy performance. 

Only four of their 11 wins this season have come at Goodison Park and this loss leaves them battling to finish in the top six where they can be backed at 5.24/1. Everton's season could be defined by their next two games. A home fixture with leaders Manchester City comes four days before the second Merseyside derby of the season at Anfield. 

Two defeats and Carlo Ancelotti's side will be on the verge of another disappointing mid table finish. However, if they can take six points from six, they should be well placed to qualify for European football next season. 

3) Gundogan in line for top individual honour


As Manchester City edge closer to their fifth Premier League title in 10 seasons, one player has emerged as the most likely to win the PFA Player of the Year award. Ilkay Gundogan has stepped up in the absence of fellow midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, who himself was on course to win the league's top individual honour before a hamstring injury forced the Belgian out of action since January 20.

Gundogan is enjoying his best season in front of goal and his brace in City's 3-0 win at home to Tottenham took his league tally for the season to 11. It's the first time he has reached double figures in his City career. The German could be sitting on 13 goals had he not missed a penalty last week against Liverpool which took him off spot kicks and denied him another opportunity to score from 12 yards against Spurs after he earned his side a first half penalty. 

City are now seven points clear at the top and if they are to go on and wrap up the title, Gundogan is likely to be rewarded with the league's top individual honour, voted for by his peers. Gundogan has been playing at a consistently high level for the last several months and he can be backed at 4.1 to be named PFA Player of the Year

One of Gundogan's biggest rival for the league's top honour, plays his football less than five miles from the Etihad Stadium. Bruno Fernandes once again came to Manchester United's rescue with his 14th league goal of the season to salvage a point at West Brom. Fernandes can be backed at 2.26/5 to be voted the best player in the league.

4) Wolves revive hopes of top half finish


It might have taken the best part of five months, but Wolves seem to be getting their season on track. A 2-1 come-from-behind win at Southampton saw Nuno Espirito Santo's side climb to 12th in the table. It's not ideal, but it's a step in the right direction. 

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More was expected from Wolves after finishing seventh last season. Missing out on European football was meant to help the Molineux side challenge for a top four spot, but that has not materialised following the departure of Diogo Jota to Liverpool and the horrific head injury suffered by Raul Jimenez. 

Sunday's 2-1 win at Southampton showed great character to rally from conceding the opening goal midway through the first half. Wolves were 33/1 to come from behind to win which was the second time in three league games Santo's side has come from behind to win after doing so at home to Arsenal. 

As for Southampton, their hopes of finishing in the top half of the table are fading fast. Saints were fourth before they were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City on December 19. Southampton are now 13th after winning just once in their last 11 league games. After six straight losses, Ralph Hasenhuttl's side can be backed at 4.03/1 for a top half finish

5) Gap grows between north and south


There was a time when a club from the capital was challenging for the title on a regular basis. Arsenal have won the title three times which is two less than Chelsea who last lifted the trophy at the end of the 2016/17 season.

Right now, there is no London club in the top four, but Chelsea and West Ham could change that tonight when West Ham host Sheffield United while Chelsea welcome Newcastle to Stamford Bridge immediately afterwards.

The title does not look to be heading to the capital this season which leaves the six clubs battling it out to be the best team in London. Chelsea are currently top of that mini table with 13 points from their six derbies while Arsenal are second with 10 points from their five games played against their neighbours in the capital. 

Chelsea can be backed at 1.364/11 to be the top team in London while West Ham can be backed at 60.059/1.

English Premier League: English Premier League (Relegation 2020/21)

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Saturday 12 September, 12.30pm

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