Fulham v Watford – Cottagers could feel the Hornets’ sting


PREMIER LEAGUE expert Tom Love (@TomLove_18) unpicks the early Saturday kick-off as Fulham welcome Watford to Craven Cottage.

Fulham v Watford | Saturday 22nd September 2018, 12:30 | Sky Sports

The Premier League’s surprise package Watford make the short trip south to take on a well-fancied Fulham side in the early kick-off on Saturday.

Watford slipped up for the first time against Manchester United last time out by the odd goal, but there’s no shame in that. The Hornets have impressed this season, with their narrow midfield often overpowering teams, and their play through the transitions has been free-flowing and attractive on the eye.

Strike pairing Troy Deeney and Andre Gray have hit up a good partnership; Deeney being more of the targetman who occupies defenders from a physical point of view, whereas Gray possesses the pace to compliment him well.

Many have tipped Fulham to glide into Premier League life with little interruption, however, their results leave a lot to be desired.

Slavisa Jokanovic likes his side to play football on the front foot and take the game to the opposition; easy enough for them in the Championship, but not so much in the Premier League.

The Cottagers rank very poorly on the Expected Goals data too, with an xG conceded figure of 2.80 and an xG generated of just 1.20 which calculates to a meagre -1.6 xG supremacy. Admittedly, they’ve played Man City and Spurs in that sample size, but the deficiencies are there to be seen.

Back goals

Javi Gracia has a reputation as quite a safety-first manager, but this season that seems to have changed to some extent. His Hornets side have also notched in every game, they’ve also managed to notch two or more in five of those six outings.

Couple this with the fact Fulham have conceded at least two goals in all of their Premier League games since promotion and the home side lose any kind of appeal. Given them interesting stats, Watford to score Over 1.5 Goals is 11/8, which could appeal to punters.

There’s a goals-based theme here as Over 2.5 Goals has landed in 8/10 combined league games from these two this term. Blacktype have priced a repeat up at an attractive 89/100 quote, and that looks like decent value.

Get Watford onside

Given the differing form of both sides in terms of results and performance data, I have to find a way of getting with the visitors, and there is an angle that takes my fancy.

Delving into the Asian Handicap market, we can back Watford +0.25 at 9/11 (BetVictor), and that looks tasty.

This bet will see us profit if Watford avoid defeat. A half-win is earned if the match ends all-square and a full-stakes profit returned should the Hornets leave Craven Cottage with three points.

Best Bets

Fulham v Watford – Over 2.5 Goals (89/100 Blacktype)

Fulham v Watford – Watford +0.25 Asian Handicap (9/11 BetVictor)

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