Friday, April 19, 2019

Prediction: Fulham vs Manchester City

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 28 Mar 2019

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Prediction: Sergio Aguero to score first.

Best odds: 11/4

Bookmaker: 888Sport

Relegation battlers Fulham welcome Premier League title holders Manchester City on Saturday, and that really says a lot about the level difference between the two teams.

Fulham

It’s been nothing short of a disastrous season for Fulham, which is something hardly anyone could have foreseen last summer, at least when it comes to the extent of it.

The Cottagers won promotion by beating Aston Villa in the final of the Championship play-offs. They strengthened their team significantly after that. The likes of 2014 World Cup winner Andre Schurrle and the much coveted Jean Micheal Seri arrived to the bank of The Thames. Ryan Sessegnon stayed there despite much interest from above. Aleksandar Mitrović, previously there on loan, made the move permanent, and his fellow countryman Slaviša Jokanović seemed in full control, ready to face the challenges of England’s top tier, and one of the most difficult leagues in the world.

The mood around the camp could not be more different at the moment. Even though there’s still some way to go before their drop back to the Championship is a mathematical certainty, it really seems inevitable at this point. With seven games to play, only Huddersfield Town sit below. They are 13 points behind Burnley in 17th place, which will guarantee its end-of-season occupant safety. Jokanović is long gone, Claudio Ranieri had replaced him but eventually went the same way, and now Scott Parker is left trying to put a few pieces together.

Team News

Shurrle has been absent for a long time. The former Chelsea man missed five games due to bouts of illness. Now he’s back, but it remains to be seen if he’s ready for 90 minutes. Defender Alfie Mawson is close to recovering from a long-term knee issue, but this game will come too soon for him.

Manchester City

Having loads of money always helps of course, but there can be no doubt that Pep Guardiola has built a special team at the Etihad. They won the title last season in a manner that has rarely been seen, and this term they seem to have built on that further. Only Liverpool, who are obviously on the same trajectory, are able to keep up with them and make the race interesting this time around.

City have beaten almost everything that stood in their way, including Liverpool. They sit two points behind the Merseysiders at the top – but with a game in hand.

One thing is certain: they cannot afford to drop points at Craven Cottage at this point. Every single point counts in a race that promises to be an exciting one until the end, and they are sure to charge the Cottage from minute one.

Team News

The champions have had a number of injury issues lately, which only makes their success more remarkable. They will have welcomed the international break that just ended, and now they expect the return of Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy. All six of them are back in full training and Guardiola will be rubbing his hands with excitement and purpose.

Conclusion

It’s fairly obvious. It is extremely hard to imagine Fulham getting anything in this game. They will have done well if they manage a quarter of the total possession and not get on the end of a humiliating thrashing at their own stadium.

Premier League’s top scorer Sergio Aguero will certainly have a part to play, and perhaps the best bet would be on him to get on the scoresheet at some point, most likely the first name on it.

Prediction: Sergio Aguero to score first.

Best odds: 11/4

Bookmaker: 888Sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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