On Saturday, the two teams who finished first and second in the Championship during the previous year will square off against each other in the Premier League as Fulham welcomes Bournemouth to Craven Cottage.
The Cherries are now in eighth place, while the Cottagers are only one point behind in ninth place. Both teams have gotten off to solid starts in their return to the topflight, and they are both currently positioned within the top half of the table.
Our Match Preview: Fulham vs Bournemouth
Fulham, led by Marco Silva, has lost two straight matches, the most recent being a 3-1 setback at West Ham United. The team lost 4-1 at home to Newcastle United and 2-1 on the road to the Hammers last weekend.
Even though Fulham took the lead thanks to Andreas Pereira in Aleksandar Mitrovic’s absence, the Cottagers lost 4-2 to the Hammers at the London Stadium after goals from Jarrod Bowen, Gianluca Scamacca, and Michail Antonio.
With just one clean sheet in nine league games so far this season, Silva will be looking for significant improvements in goaltending and defending. That clean sheet came in a scoreless draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers back in August.
This season, only Bournemouth (20), Saturday’s opponents, and the lowest two teams (Nottingham Forest (22) and Leicester City (24)) have let up more goals than Fulham (18).
With a home game against the Cherries and road games against Aston Villa, Leeds United, and Everton on the horizon, Fulham will be hoping to turn their season around in the coming weeks.
However, the West Londoners have had trouble playing Bournemouth in recent years, winning just one of their past ten league matches against them (a 1-0 triumph on the road in April 2019).
After losing 9-0 at Liverpool, head coach Scott Parker resigned, and interim manager Gary O’Neil led the team to a five-game undefeated streak and a 3-0 victory against Leicester City at home last weekend.
Following an early goal by the visitors’ Patson Daka, the hosts’ comeback was completed by goals from Philip Billing and Ryan Christie only three minutes apart in the second half to secure all three points in the club’s 100th Premier League home game.
Even though it is still early in the season, Bournemouth has moved up to the eighth position in the Premier League rankings.
Six points above the relegation zone and just four points off the Champions League spots. O’Neil’s confident group will want to continue their great run of form in their next two games against Fulham and Southampton, which will hopefully allay worries of a relegation battle this season.
The Cherries should have a good weekend at Craven Cottage despite having lost seven of their past eight Premier League games in London. The away team has won each of the last five encounters between Bournemouth and Fulham.
Our Team News: Fulham vs Bournemouth
Aleksandar Mitrovic is questionable to play for Fulham because of a foot injury, which is the same injury that forced him off the field during the team’s loss to Newcastle.
Right-back Kenny Tete is also questionable to play due to an undisclosed issue, and both players will be evaluated before the game start. Fulham is concerned about both players’ availability.
Nathaniel Chalobah will not be available for the home team since he was given a ban, while Manor Solomon (knee), Willian, and Layvin Kurzawa (both calf) continue to be out with injuries.
The Jamaican forward may keep his place in the back four ahead of Kevin Mbabu, while Carlos Vinicius is set to lead the line if Mitrovic is unable to be passed fit.
Bobby Decordova-Reid played at right-back in the loss at West Ham, and the Jamaican forward may keep his place in the back four ahead of Kevin Mbabu. As for Bournemouth, Lloyd Kelly (ankle), David Brooks (thigh), and Junior Stanislas (muscle) are all unable to play due to injuries.
Ben Pearson and Joe Rothwell, on the other hand, might play despite having concerns with their knees and thighs, respectively. The previous week, Adam Smith led the team while playing left back.
However, on Saturday, he would swap back to the right-back position that he prefers, and Ryan Fredericks might be replaced by Jordan Zemura. Zemura would take Fredericks’ spot in the starting lineup.
Solanke, who scored in both of Bournemouth’s 1-1 draws against Fulham in the Championship last season, is expected to start again up front and will be trying to achieve his 50th goal in English league football this weekend.
The game against Fulham is scheduled to take place this weekend.
- Fulham Possible Starting Lineup: Leno, Decordova-Reid, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson, Palhinha, Reed, James, Pereira, Kebano, Vinicius.
- Bournemouth Possible Starting Lineup: Neto, Smith, Mepham, Senesi, Zemura, Christie, Cook, Lerma, Tavernier, Billing, Solanke.
Our Prediction: Fulham 2-2 Bournemouth
The momentum is with Bournemouth heading into Saturday’s matchup, and they have a solid record against Fulham, who will be motivated to get back on track after suffering consecutive losses.
At Craven Cottage, the outcome of the game may be determined by whether or not Mitrovic is fit to lead the line for the home team, but we foresee the Cherries maintaining their winless streak and salvaging a point from what should be an exciting matchup.