talkSPORT’s chief football correspondent ALEX CROOK previews Monday’s clash between Fulham and Wolves…
⚪ FULHAM v WOLVES 🟠
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League / Sky Sports Ultra HDR
It was a tough weekend for punters with so many evenly-matched games in the Premier League and it doesn’t get any easier as Wolves travel to Fulham for the Monday night football.
Just three points and four places separate the two teams in the table and they look pretty evenly matched on paper, although the visitors come into the game in better form than their hosts.
After four games without a win, including a 3-1 thrashing at Aston Villa last time out, it is shaping up to be a difficult winter for Fulham, who are expected to be busy in the January transfer window to ensure they do not get sucked into relegation danger.
The big issue since the departure of last season’s 14-goal top-scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic to Saudi Arabia has been finding the back of the net, and only Burnley have managed fewer than the Cottagers’ 10 goals in their first 12 league games.
If football were a romantic game then Raul Jimenez, still adored by the Wolves fans, would finally find his shooting boots against his old club, however you’d be a brave man to bet on that given the Mexican has netted just once in 11 games since swapping the Black Country for West London.
In contrast to Fulham, Wolves have not suffered in front of goal as many people expected at the start of the season. Since losing 1-0 at Manchester United on the opening weekend, in a game they had enough chances to win, Gary O’Neil’s side have scored in each of their last 11 Premier League outings.
I originally had this game marked down as a draw, but the absence of one of Fulham’s most important, if not the most important, players in Joao Palhinha is swaying me towards Wolves to win at 2/1 with starsports.bet
Palhinha delivered a winning selection for this column by getting himself booked for the fifth time this season in the 1-0 reverse at home to Manchester United and Fulham have lost four of the last five games for which the Portuguese has been unavailable for selection.
The absence of the tough-tackling midfielder also helps lead me to the first part of my bet-builder, for there to be under 3.5 cards in the game, partly due to the fact referee Michael Salisbury dishes out fewer bookings than any of his fellow Premier League whistle-blowers.
I am not expecting a goal-fest in what on the face of it looks a slightly odd selection by TV executives for the final Monday night game before Christmas so under 2.5 goals is also appealing.
BACK Wolves to win 1pt at 2/1 (⭐
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Build-a-bet: Wolves to win, under 2.5 goals and under 3.5 yellow cards 1pt at 18/1 (odds subject to change)