The relegation battle is set to begin right here and now. There are five teams avoiding one spot to the Championship after Sheffield United and West Bromwich are officially returning to the second tier next season last weekend. Fulham is one of the teams which are fighting for their future in the top flight. This Friday, Scott Parker’s men are facing off Leeds United, which sits on the 12th and is not entirely safe from the relegation threat as well.
The teams’ updated news
The Cottagers were hapless last weekend and unable to evade from losing 0-3 against the top leader, Manchester City. John Stones opened the scoring through his header while the remaining two concessions were initiated by their blunders. They led Gabi Jesus’s goal and Sergio Aguero’s penalty. They are now still stuck on the 18th in the standings.
Leeds United managed to hold Chelsea in a goalless draw last weekend. Illan Meslier was the man of the match after making several crucial saves during the game. Unfortunately, Rodrigo Moreno and Patrick Bamford were not in their peak performance in this fixture and failed to capitalise the chances into goals.
Scott Parker is still likely to be in favour of 4-2-3-1 formation. Josh Maja will still be featuring as the frontman supported by Robin Loftus Creek behind him plus Adebola Lookman and Ivan Cavaleiro operating out wide. There are three names on the sideline for this fixture, Bobby Cordova-Reid, Marek Rodak and Tom Cairney.
Marcelo Bielsa will be opting for his favourite 4-1-4-1. Unfortunately, some key figures including Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford, Pablo Hernandez and Adam Forshaw are ruled out due to their injury for this fixture. Therefore, Rodrigo Moreno is more likely to over Bamford’s role upfront while Raphinha and Helder Costa are playing on both flanks. Tyler Roberts could be supporting behind the targetman alongside Stuart Dallas.
Players to watch
Fulham’s top performers this season are the former Everton man Ademola Lookman who has contributed four goals and three assists, the Cameroonian international Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and the former Lyon man, Joachim Andersen.
The Whites will have to count on Raphinha to score this time. The Brasilian winger has netted five goals and made five assists. Some other key men to watch are Stuart Dallas registering five goals and two assists and the 21-year old goalie, Illan Meslier.
Fulham vs Leeds Prediction
Fulham has the ability and chance to win at home if they do not face off the high profile teams. Their last two defeats at Craven Cottage were against Spurs and Manchester City. Marcelo Bielsa’s men will have a major blow without Patrick Bamford upfront. The Argentine boss will be expecting Raphinha and Rodrigo to take up the scoring role. Nevertheless, both sides have goalkeeper with strong reflex. As long as making no blunder, Fulham will be able to snatch a point here.
According to the punters, Stuart Dallas and Co are the slight favourite and backed to win at 2/1, whereas Fulham’s win market is at 17/11. The odds for draw result are at 13/5.