CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Wednesday evening's showdown between Fulham and Man Utd.
Fulham vs Manchester United | Wednesday 20th January 2020, 20:15 | BT Sport
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his title-chasing Manchester United side make the trip to the capital as they take on a much-improved Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.
Dubbed the baby faced assassin in his playing days for his ability in front of goal, Solskjaer has come under plenty of scrutiny during his tenure as Manager of The Red Devils. However, a lot of the doubters have had to swallow a chunk of humble pie as United find themselves as strong contenders in the race for the title.
Fulham have been extremely disappointing this season and are without a league win to their name since November. Their performances have no doubt improved and they are much more difficult to beat, but they need to start turning those performances into wins if they’re to stand any chance of avoiding the drop come May.
Discipline has been a major problem for Scott Parker this season, his side have seen the joint-highest number of red cards this season and see more cards at home than any other team. It shows that his side are willing to get stuck in and fight each game, but if you’re often playing with ten men, it makes an already uphill battle that much more difficult.
- Commit on average 13.1 fouls per game when playing at home this season.
- Receive on average 9.9 fouls per game when playing at home this season.
- Have seen 2+ cards in 5/5 home games against sides currently in the top half.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 2/5 occasions.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Fulham's last 7 EPL games.
- Have failed to score in their last 3 home matches
- Have seen over 2.5 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches against Man Utd in all competitions.
- Have failed to win any of their last 7 EPL matches.
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek is available after missing Fulham's defeat to parent club Chelsea at the weekend.
- Antonee Robinson starts a three-match ban after being shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta at the weekend. Joe Bryan, who scored against United during his time at Bristol City, is the most likely replacement.
- Mario Lemina, Tom Cairney, Terence Kongolo and Aleksandar Mitrovic are all injury concerns for the home side.
- Commit on average 12.6 fouls per game when playing away this season.
- Receive on average 12.7 fouls per game when playing away this season.
- Have seen 2+ cards in 3/4 away games against sides in the bottom half.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 2/4 occasions.
- Have been winning at both half time and full time in 8 of their last 10 matches against Fulham in all competitions.
- Have won 9 of their last 10 matches against Fulham in all competitions.
- Are undefeated in their last 16 away matches.
- Have scored at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 matches against Fulham in all competitions.
- Have won their last four away EPL games against Fulham by an aggregate scoreline of 12-1.
- Are the only side yet to taste defeat away from home this season.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will no doubt shuffle his pack from Sunday's 0-0 draw with Liverpool, though he is adamant Bruno Fernandes is not suffering from fatigue.
- Nemanja Matic, Edinson Cavani, Eric Bailly, Alex Telles may come into the side.
- Donny van de Beek will hope to make a rare Premier League start, with Juan Mata and Mason Greenwood also in contention.
- Solskjaer has revealed Amad Diallo is impressing in training but confirmed it's unlikely he will make his first-team debut right away.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
- Averaging just 2.29 cards per game this season after awarding 32 yellows in 14 EPL appearances.
- Has overseen two Manchester United games this season, with the Red Devils seeing a total of five yellows (2 & 3). An average of 2.5 yellows per game.
My first pick is a Bet Builder of Fulham to see two or more cards and for there to be fewer than four goals in the game.
When playing at Craven Cottage against sides currently in the top half this season, Scott Parker’s men have picked up at least two bookings in 5/5. They’re coming up against a United side who will want to get back to winning ways, after their draw at Anfield, and it’s going to be one-way traffic.
Only Spurs commit more fouls per game on average (when playing at home) than Fulham and I think they’ll struggle to contain United’s forward line without a few cynical fouls – leaving Atkinson with no choice but to brandish a couple of cards in the home sides direction.
The Cottagers have been much improved in recent weeks and have made themselves much tougher to beat. Eight of their nine home games have seen fewer than four goals this season, including games against Liverpool and Chelsea.
For my second pick, I’ve gone for United on a -1 Asian Handicap. This means that if the reds win by just one goal, we get our stake back.
If we had placed this bet on all of United’s away games this season, we would’ve won three times, been refunded four times and lost just twice. Both times this bet lost were away to title-chasing sides Leicester City and Liverpool.
I think this is a very generous price despite Fulham’s improvement over recent weeks.