Wolves v Fulham Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 04/05/19
James Cormack (@jamesxyyx) previews Wolverhampton Wanderers v Fulham and provides us with his best bets for Saturday’s Premier League clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019 Profit & Loss: +3.49pts
Wolves v Fulham Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 04/05/19
- Time: 15:00
- Venue: Molineux
- Channel: N/A
Wolves will be looking to have 7th spot in their hands going into the final day as they take on a resurgent Fulham side that have won their last three outings.
Finishing 7th not only means you’re the ‘best of the rest’, but it also gives you a great chance to play in the Europa League next season. With two places being taken up by 5th and 6th, the third Europa spot will be granted to either 7th place (if City win the FA Cup) or Watford (if they are able to win the FA Cup). Therefore, the likelihood is that whoever finishes 7th this season, with four candidates in the mix; Wolves, Leicester, Watford and Everton, will end up in Europe’s next-best competition.
With Wolves travelling to Anfield on the final day, you’d feel that even with their incredible form against the top 6, a win at Molineux on Saturday is imperative, despite the other prime candidates having some tough fixtures in their final two games.
In fact, with Leicester facing City and Chelsea, Everton travelling to Spurs and Watford playing Chelsea at the Bridge before the season reaches its climax, I make Nuno Espirito Santo’s side the firm favourites to claim that ‘best of the rest’ spot and deservedly so as well.
Despite gifting Huddersfield 6 of their 14 points this season, this has been an incredible campaign for the newly-promoted side, with some saying they may be the best-promoted side in PL history (they are currently 23 points off that 1994/95 Nottingham Forest side that accumulated 77 points and finished 3rd). Although the best in PL history tag may be somewhat of an exaggeration, a strong argument could be made that they’re the finest promoted side in the 21st century.
There are some other strong contenders such as Steve Coppell’s Reading of 2006/07 with the deadly Dave Kitson, Leroy Lita and Kevin Doyle trio; the Ipswich side of 2001/01 that accumulated 66 points under George Burley and even the West Ham team of 2005/06 that was guided by star man Yossi Benayoun and was within minutes of FA Cup triumph.
Nevertheless, this is a balanced, dynamic side that has all the foundations to bridge the gap between the top 6 in the coming seasons. If they are able to retain their Portuguese-Mexican influence in the next few windows and add some depth to key areas, maybe another centre-back or two, then I don’t see why they can’t aspire to be playing consistent European football and challenging for a top 4 spot after what is currently one of the most shambolic top 4 races I’ve ever seen.
Despite the praise heaped on them, Wolves have been an accumulator killer on a number of occasions this season, dropping points in games that many punters would expect them to win; Burnley away, Palace at home and more recently, Brighton at home all spring to mind. Therefore, I’m sure we will see a few nervy Wolves fans on Saturday with the already relegated Fulham making the trip to the Midlands.
This Fulham team are a prime example of what can happen with no or little team cohesion. Over £100m was spent by the west London club this summer and many had tipped the Cottagers to finish mid-table after what many saw as an impressive window, securing the services of Jean Michael Seri, Aleksandr Mitrovic, Alfie Mawson and Andre Schurrle among others.
Two ‘Craven Cottage Crashes’ where Fulham didn’t win in 9 games between September and November as well as a 9 game losing streak that only ended with a 2-0 victory over Everton 3 weeks ago meant that Fulham stood little chance of staying up this season.
However, under Scott Parker, we saw their performances gradually improve (apart from their 4-1 defeat at Vicarage Road that succumbed them to relegation) and they’ve got the rewards in recent weeks; beating Bournemouth, Cardiff and, of course, Everton in what is a 3-game win streak.
One signing who has been impressive this season is Ryan Babel, who they bought from Besiktas for what is absolute pennies nowadays. The 32-year old had a rather forgetful career at Liverpool between 2007-11, a four-season stretch that saw the Dutchman score only 12 goals. His rather impressive goal record in Turkey saw Babel return to the Dutch squad for the first time in 6 years in 2017 and has performed well in what is an exciting, young Dutch team, scoring on 3 occasions. It’s highly likely that these two games will be his last in a Fulham shirt as I’m sure he’ll be looking for a move away to ensure he makes the Euro 2020 squad, a move back to Turkey and Galatasaray has been rumoured.
Both sides come into this one with a relatively clean bill of health. Fulham defender Denis Odoi is the only significant player who is set to miss Saturday’s game after picking up a head injury in their 1-0 win over Cardiff last week.
Not to forget that Timothy Fosu-Mensah has recently undergone knee surgery meaning that he has certainly already played his last game in a Fulham shirt before he returns to United.
Potential Wolves Starting XI: Patricio, Doherty, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Jonny, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Neves, Jota, Jimenez.
Potential Fulham Starting XI: Rico, Christie, Le Marchand, Ream, Bryan, Chambers, Anguissa, Sessegnon, Cairney, Babel, Mitrovic.
Head To Head
- All-time: Wolves-42, Draw-23, Fulham-26.
- Reverse fixture back on Boxing Day ended 1-1.
Key Stats & Facts
- Fulham have won their last 3 PL games, conceding no goals in the process.
- Their 1-0 victory at Bournemouth two weeks ago was their first away win of the season.
- Ryan Babel has contributed to 8 goals since his arrival in January (5G’s, 3A’s).
- Aleksandr Mitrovic is still the Cottagers top scorer this season, scoring 11 in the PL, however, the Serbian has scored only 2 goals from open play in 2019 and they came in the same game.
- Wolves are also on a 3 game unbeaten run, brushing aside Arsenal at Molineux 10 days ago before somewhat avenging their semi-final heartbreak with a 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road last weekend.
- A win here along with a Leicester loss against City on Sunday will be enough for Wolves to secure 7th spot.
- Wolves have conceded 44 goals in the league this season meaning they hold the joint-best defensive record for teams outside the top four, along with Everton.
- Wolves – 4/7
- Draw – 10/3
- Fulham- 6/1
Despite Fulham’s recent upturn in form and the potential for Wolves to be undone by another side that lets them have the ball, I’m backing Wolves to win here in what I think will be an entertaining encounter. This Fulham side has little to play for and should really go to Molineux looking to score goals with some of the attacking talent they have. Since Scott Parker took over, Fulham have scored in all but one of their games (v Man City) and I’m backing them to get on the scoresheet here, in a losing cause though. Wolves never look like their playing with any pressure and even though this game holds a little more importance than most of their other league matches, I’m expecting them to put on a show on what is their last home game of the season. Raul Jimenez and Diego Jota have been on absolute fire this season with their partnership being one of the deadliest in the country, already combing for 22 goals this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if they play a major role in securing a victory for the home side on Saturday.
In fact, I’m going to back both of them to score on Saturday. The pair are coming up against a Fulham defence that, despite keeping three consecutive clean sheets, have still conceded the most in the league with 76. With Fulham playing with no pressure, I think we could see them take the game to Wolves a little bit more than what might be expected, suiting Wolves. I couldn’t pick between the J’s so I picked them both; Jimenez scored last week at Watford after what was a minor goal drought and Jota has scored in his last two, meaning they both come into this one with a bit of confidence. 7 of Jota’s 9 PL goals have come at Molineux whilst 10 of Jimenez’s 13 have also come on his home turf, I’m sure both men will be wanting to add to their goal tallies before the season’s up and this is their best chance as they face off against PFA POTY Virgil van Dijk on the final day.