Thursday, December 3, 2020

Prediction: Fulham vs Watford

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Bet365

Fulham play host to high-flying Watford at Craven Cottage on Saturday in what is going to be Slavisa Jokanovic’s first encounter with the club he took into England’s top flight in 2015. With only four points to their name after five rounds, the Cottagers face a big challenge against a side sitting in fourth place in the standings.

Fulham

Back in the Premier League after a high-performing season in the Championship, Fulham have certainly hoped for a different start to their top-tier campaign. With only 4 points next to their name after five rounds, Fulham are currently sitting in 15th but Slavisa Jokanovic is still enjoying unreserved support from the club chiefs.

The Serbian tactician did a remarkable job thus far with the Cottagers, transforming them into an attack-oriented unit and an exciting team to watch. They might have the worst defensive record in the league but Fulham are not expected to change their approach when Watford come to town this Saturday. Coming off from a compelling 3-0 defeat at Manchester City last week, Fulham will nevertheless lack no courage, intensity and desire to play their own game in front of home support. If they want to maintain the Premier League status this season, it will be down to games like these they need to perform in and prove they are worthy of the elite status. Jokanovic will certainly hope his compatriot Aleksandar Mitrovic will extend his scoring run after getting muted at City. The Serbian striker scored in three of his five matches for the club, while also adding a brace during the international break for Serbia and will definitely be the one to watch at Craven Cottage.

Team News

Captain Tom Cairney is sidelined with an ankle injury whereas the Watford game is coming too soon for defender Tim Ream who is still suffering from a back problem.

Midfielder Neeskens Kebano is recovering from his ankle injury and will not be involved in the forthcoming fixture.

Watford

A few people would have suspected Watford would be able to get off to such a superb start to the new season after struggling so greatly in the previous campaign. Under the leadership of the new boss Javi Garcia, the Hornets kicked it off with four consecutive Premier League wins before finally being put to a halt at the hands of Manchester United last time out.

The 2-1 defeat against the Red Devils will not be enough to kill the high spirits though as Watford prepare for a trip to west London aiming to get back to winning ways. A game against a newly-promoted side will certainly be regarded as the perfect opportunity to build back confidence but Garcia will be smart enough not to underestimate Fulham. Watford boast a perfect away record this season – having already beaten Burnley in the league and Reading in the Carabao Cup – and will be keen to extend it. It will be easier said than done however as Craven Cottage can be a difficult place to play at. The Saturday’s match should be an interesting one as both rivals like to play openly, which is one of the reasons four of the last Watford’s matches produced over 2.5 goals and we are feeling positive it won’t be too different this time around.

Team News

Javi Garcia did not change his starting line-up in all five Premier League games thus far and is expected to stick to his choices once again.

Nathaniel Chalobah is the only unavailable player for the visitors as he continues to recover from a serious knee injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Fulham conceded at least 2 goals in each of their last 9 Premier League matches
  • Four of Watford’s last five matches in all competitions produced over 2.5 goals
  • Fulham won two of their last five home matches against Watford
  • Either of two sides managed to keep a clean sheet in last 5 encounters at Craven Cottage
  • Aleksandar Mitrovic scored 6 goals in 7 matches he played for club and country this season

Conclusion

Fulham and Watford are enduring different starts to their respective seasons but should have plenty about them to produce an entertaining match at Craven Cottage. Coming off from defeats in the last round, both sides will be keen to bounce back and we do expect to see chances and goals on both ends of the pitch despite the most recent stats suggesting otherwise.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: Bet365

 

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