Fulham vs Wolves | Friday 9th April 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
Your first taste of Premier League action this weekend comes from Craven Cottage on Friday night as Fulham go in search of a much-needed three points when they entertain Wolves.
It is three successive defeats for Scott Parker’s men as they remain three points adrift inside the bottom-three, and having played a game extra. Wolves are deemed safe by many, but losing this one would leave them only six points above the drop zone with seven matches remaining.
If we rewind back to about 5.45pm last Sunday and everything looked rather rosy for Fulham. They were leading 1-0 away to Aston Villa through their Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, clearly still on a high having netted five over the international break, and were honestly coasting their way to what would have been a fourth away win of the campaign.
However, conceding three goals within the space of ten minutes towards the end left Parker questioning the game management of his squad.
We’re at that point of the season where we just have to look at the remaining games to see if Fulham can really get themselves out of trouble. It is of course possible, but when you see that they have to contend with trips to places like Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and the Emirates, it places much more significance on their home encounters.
In addition to hosting Wolves, they’ll also face Burnley and Newcastle here. For me, they need to win all three. They’ve only won twice at home all season, both coming against the current bottom-two. It looks a tough ask, but fairly recent away wins at Liverpool and Everton afford them hope, at least.
Now where do we start with Wolves? It is five without victory for Nuno’s side, and this leaves them in their lowest league position of the campaign since the third week round of fixtures.
It is indeed right that we acknowledge one fairly obvious reason for this and that is the bad injury sustained by talisman Raul Jimenez. He has only played ten Premier League battles this season and still returned a relatively healthy four goal return. They’ve had long enough to cope without him however considering he hasn’t featured since November.
My worry for Wolves is that they don’t necessarily feel as though they are in a relegation battle. To me it just feels as though they are coasting slightly and games just seem that bit more important to the teams they are facing. Clearly they haven’t hit the heights they reached last season, but neither did Sheffield United, and Wolves supporters would rather be in 14th than 20th!
My concern when betting on games including Wolves is you never really know what you’re going to get. Whilst you may get the outfit which was 3-0 down in 40 minutes versus West Ham last week, you could also the one which battles to back-to-back triumphs over Southampton and Wolves in February.
For me, Fulham just have to win. Of course that doesn’t mean they necessarily will, but I just don’t think Wolves are in the sort of panic mode that the Cottagers are right now.
I touched upon their remaining fixtures, Parker will be absolutely drilling it into his side that they need to win this one. They’ve achieved six clean sheets over bottom-half clubs this season, and we’ve seen that they can be organised and tough to beat, especially since Joachim Andersen into the club.
If Fulham win, it’ll be low-scoring, as they often play a defensive game once leading. Only four of their matches this season saw four or more goals, so I really like the look of Fulham Win and Under 3.5 Goals at 79/40 (SBK).
Fulham v Wolves – Fulham to win and Under 3.5 Goals (79/40 SBK)