Fulham v Man City Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 30/03/19

Fulham v Man City Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews Fulham v Manchester City and provides us with his best bets for Saturday lunchtime’s Premier League clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

  • 2019 Profit & Loss: -0.66pts

Fulham v Manchester City Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 30/03/19
  • Time: 12:30
  • Venue: Craven Cottage
  • Channel: Sky Sports

Manchester City will be looking to avoid an international break hangover as they take on Scott Parker’s Fulham, who have won just once in 2019.

The title race is coming into the final stretch with City currently 2 points off Liverpool at the top of the table, but, the Manchester side do have a game in hand over their Merseyside challengers.

The form of some of City’s stars over the recent break would’ve brought a big grin to Pep Guardiola’s face. Raheem Sterling scored 4, including a hat-trick against the Czech Republic, Gabriel Jesus also scored a brace against the same nation whilst Leroy Sane’s omission from the German World Cup squad was further questioned after two sensational performances, rewarded with a goal against the Netherlands.

Sane’s performance against the Netherlands particularly stood out for me from the recent Euro 2020 qualifiers. The City man was used in a strike pairing with Bayern’s Serge Gnabry, a role we barely see him play, but nevertheless, it worked to disastrous effect in the first-half. His movement was smart, often dropping in between the lines and confusing two elite centre-backs in Virgil Van Dijk, who is arguably the best defender in the world at the moment, and Matthijs De Ligt, who plays way beyond his years and is certainly destined for a big move in a summer or two. Anyway, neither could cope with Sane or in fact Gnabry. One moment that sticks out was when he beat Van Dijk with a diagonal run across the defence to leave him 1-on-1 with Jasper Cilessen (he didn’t score here but had already got on the scoresheet with a very neat finish). It was a run that I would love to see Sane make more often in a City shirt, but, he seems more restricted as an out-and-out winger in Guardiola’s system (in terms of the runs he makes).

The break has also allowed the return of some key names to the City squad, most notably Fernandinho. The Brazilian has been a vital part of City’s success this season and is undoubtedly a POTY candidate. Guardiola will have to be actively searching for the long-term replacement of the 33-year-old in the upcoming windows, a task that will be pivotal in determining the extent of City’s success over the next decade.

Fulham, seemingly summoned to relegation, would’ve probably wanted a slightly easier task after the international break. It has been a torrid season for the Cottagers, one that has seen the departure of two managers but began with great optimism. £100m was spent last summer to try and turn Fulham into a secure Premier League side (should’ve followed the Wolves example) with names like Mitrovic (permanently), Seri (wanted by Europe’s elite), Chambers and Schurrle joining the west-London club.

The main problem has been the defence. Fulham have conceded 70 goals in 31 PL games, the most in the league, as well as holding the worst goal difference out of teams in the top four leagues (-41), which shows they haven’t been so prolific going forward as they look on paper.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the club when they drop down to the Championship once more. It’s likely that all the names that arrived in the summer would leave whilst some of the talented ‘originals’ like Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon may want to remain in the top-flight. One thing that I’d like to see is Scott Parker getting the job on a permanent basis.

Team News        

Fulham forward Andre Schurrle could feature after suffering a virus that has kept him out for five matches. Defender Alfie Mawson is close to a return from a knee injury, however, this game has come too quick for him to return to the matchday squad.

Manchester City could welcome back several big names from injury after the international break.  They include Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany, Benjamin Mendy, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho, who are all back in training. Pep Guardiola will also be relieved that the injury sustained by Leroy Sane from Milan Pavkov’s horror challenge was nothing serious, with Sane starting Germany’s Euro qualifier against the Netherlands a couple of days later.

Potential Fulham Starting XI: Rico, Fosu-Mensah, Chambers, Ream, Bryan, Cairney, Anguissa, Seri, Babel, Mitrovic, Sessegnon.

Potential Man City Starting XI: Ederson, Danilo, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, D.Silva, De Bruyne, B.Silva, Aguero, Sane.

Head To Head

  • All-time: Fulham-17, Draw-16, City-32.
  • Fulham haven’t beaten City since 2009 and were beaten 3-0 in the reverse fixture back in September.

Key Stats & Facts

  • Man City are unbeaten in their 6 PL games, conceding just twice in the process.
  • 5 of the 6 games where City have dropped points this season have been away from home.
  • City have had a higher xG than their opponents in all but two PL games this season (Liverpool (H), Leicester (A)).
  • Raheem Sterling has scored eight goals in his last four starts for club and country.
  • Despite being the league’s top scorer, only 3 of Sergio Aguero’s PL goals have come on the road.
  • Fulham have won just once in 2019, losing their last 7.
  • The home side have conceded at least twice in every single PL game in 2019 (11 games= PL record).
  • Under Scott Parker, Fulham have registered three defeats at the hands of Chelsea, Leicester and Liverpool.
  • Fulham have lost 25 of their last 26 Premier League matches against the established top six (D1, L25), including all 11 this season.
  • Their goal difference of -41 is the worst in the top four divisions.
  • Only two of Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 10 PL goals have come in 2019, both in the same game against Brighton. The Serbian has scored in only one of his last 11 games (played 90 mins in every one of these).

Betting Odds

  • Fulham- 22/1
  • Draw- 10/1
  • Man City- 8/53

The Verdict

I have no doubts that City will brush aside a dead and buried Fulham side this weekend, however, it’s a game that’s quite tricky to find value in. I like the look of City winning with under 3.5 goals in the match as well. This is mainly because of the difference in City’s goal-scoring form away from home compared to when they’re at the Etihad. In 14 PL games on the road, City have scored just 26, I say just because, in 16 home games, they’ve scored 53! Their record this season as well as the potential of an ‘international break hangover’ means I don’t think City will blow away Fulham on Saturday, despite the home sides woeful defensive record. Linking to this, I think City winning to nil is another good bet for this one. They were in good defensive form prior to the break, conceding just twice in their last 6, a run that included back-to-back clean sheets away from home. I think they will shut down a Fulham attack that has certainly underperformed this season. Their main threat, Mitrovic, has struggled in 2019 and I think this is a result of fatigue. The Serbian has made 31 PL appearances this season, playing 90 mins in 29 of them. The way the forward plays also probably hasn’t helped the strain on his body over the course of the season. Moving away from physiology, I’m going to back Calum Chambers getting a card on Saturday. Chambers has been booked on 6 occasions so far, 3 of these coming against top 6 sides. Chambers also seems to ‘put himself about’ more against the league’s best. He averages 2.2 tackles per game in all PL games this season, an average that rises to 3.4 against the top 6.

Recommended Bets

  • 1pt – City to win and under 3.5 goals- 8/5 (Betway)
  • 1pt – City to win to nil- 53/50 (Marathon Bet)
  • 1pt – Calum Chambers to be carded- 10/3 (Betfair)