Saturday, December 18
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Dec 3, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
Adarabioyo (84')
Carvalho (52'), Bryan (68'), Reid (82')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Solanke (46')
Cook (16'), Stacey (34'), Smith (61'), Travers (62'), Christie (80'), Billing (88')

Preview: Fulham vs. Bournemouth - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Fulham vs. Bournemouth - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship clash between Fulham and Bournemouth, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Fulham and Bournemouth square off in the Championship on Friday evening with the top two clubs separated by just one point in the standings.

Despite leading the race for automatic promotion, neither the Cottagers or Cherries have won either of their last two league fixtures, handing encouragement to the chasing pack.

Match preview

Consistency is everything in the Championship, and it has proven to be the difference when it comes to Fulham and Bournemouth establishing a considerable advantage in the race for the Premier League.

However, ahead of reaching the halfway stage, both clubs have started to show vulnerability, particularly Bournemouth who have only recorded one victory in five games.

Neither Marco Silva or Scott Parker will be too concerned at this stage with previous challengers West Bromwich Albion having dropped off alarmingly over the past month.

Nevertheless, there will be an eagerness to get back on track with a resurgent Queens Park Rangers having recently moved to within seven points of second position.

Fulham will argue that they are still on an upward trajectory, the West Londoners unbeaten in nine Championship fixtures and having conceded just three goals.

That will not stop Silva from being disappointed with draws against Derby County and Preston North End, both occasions proving to be missed opportunities to surge clear of their next opponents.

Netting just once in two games has coincided with Aleksandar Mitrovic being ill, the Serbian not being fully match-fit upon his return during the 1-1 at Deepdale last weekend.

As far as Bournemouth are concerned, they have blown leads in three successive matches, collecting just two points when they went into the final half-hour of matches with Derby, Millwall and Coventry City with an advantage.

The latter of those three games was particularly frustrating, Bournemouth 2-0 ahead and cruising until Jefferson Lerma's sending off altered the course of the match.

While Parker will take the positives from that performance, he knows that his side can ill-afford another setback on his return to his former club.

Mitrovic and Bournemouth forward Dominic Solanke come into the game having scored 36 goals between them in the Championship this season.

Fulham Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Bournemouth Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D

Team News

Despite the share of the spoils at Deepdale, Silva will give consideration to naming the same Fulham XI.

However, Bobby Decordova-Reid is an alternative in the final third, while Tom Cairney will come into contention if he has fully shaken off the illness which has kept him sidelined for the last two games.

With Lerma and Chris Mepham both suspended for this contest, Parker may feel that he has little choice but to revert to a back four.

Gary Cahill could return after a rib injury to partner Steve Cook, while Leif Davis will hope to come into the team at left-back.

Zeno Rossi is an alternative if Parker sticks with a back three, but the remainder of the team should stay the same.

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Rodak; Odoi, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson; Seri, Reed; Wilson, Carvalho, Kebano; Mitrovic

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Travers; Stacey, Cahill, Cook, Davis; Kilkenny, Cook, Billing; Christie, Solanke, Anthony

We say: Fulham 1-1 Bournemouth

Regardless of their lack of form, this game is finely poised, and may depend on who shows the greater ambition to push for all three points. All things considered, however, do not be surprised if this ends in a low-scoring draw, a result which would suit both clubs.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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22Peterborough UnitedPeterborough2354142044-2419
24Derby CountyDerby2251071821-34
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