2018-19 Premier League: Week 36 – Fulham vs Cardiff City

Relegation battling Cardiff face a tough trip to Craven Cottage as they face Fulham in a pivotal match. 

With Brighton not playing until Saturday evening, Cardiff know that a win here will move them level on 34 points with two more weekends left of this season. 

For Fulham, a point will secure them a 19th placed finish if Huddersfield beat Liverpool on Friday night. 

 

Team news

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Fulham could be without Andre Schurrle for personal reasons but will welcome Tom Cairney back after he missed their win over Bournemouth due to his own personal reasons.

Alfie Mawson could make his first appearance of 2019 after recovering from a serious knee injury, although this weekend is possibly too soon for him with the trip to Wolves next Saturday more likely to be his comeback date.

Marcus Bettinelli, Timothy Fosu-Mensah (both knee) and Lazar Markovic (calf) are all ruled out. 

Cardiff could welcome Harry Arter back from a calf injury but Joe Ralls is a doubt after picking up a hamstring injury against Liverpool last Sunday. 

Sol Bamba (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), Matthew Connolly and Callum Paterson (both ankle) are sidelined for remainder of season. 

Form

Fulham have won back to back league matches for the first time this season, having lost their previous nine beforehand. 

Cardiff have taken just two wins from their last nine but their last four matches have finished 2-0, with the Bluebirds on the winning side of that result just once.

 

Stat Attack

  • Fulham’s loss at Cardiff in October was their first loss in their last eight meetings (W3, D4, L1).
  • Cardiff are winless in their last four trips to Fulham (D3, L1).
  • Both teams have scored in all of those eight meetings with nine of the 30 goals during this run coming at Craven Cottage.
  • Fulham have the worst defence in any of Europe’s top five leagues with 76 goals conceded.
  • Sergio Rico is yet to save a penalty for Fulham this season whereas Neil Etheridge has kept out three penalties for Cardiff.

 

Prediction

For Cardiff, this is an absolute must win but have perhaps worryingly come across Fulham at the wrong time, given that the Cottagers have made progress with two consecutive wins.

I therefore can see a closer game here than many might expect but if Cardiff can continue their recent away performances and get lucky, they should just edge this. 

Prediction: Fulham 1-2 Cardiff City

Jake predicts: Fulham 2-2 Cardiff City

Result: Fulham 1-0 Cardiff City

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