It’s a huge game at the bottom of the Premier League for both sides, but I can’t help that feel that the home side are better-equipped for this sort of gritty game.
Burnley have made an identity out of scrapping for victories in a league that many say they don’t belong in, and Sean Dyche’s remit for the Clarets ahead of the visit of Fulham will be no different.
For Fulham, it’s been a tough season in which they have been there for the taking far too many times. A lack of clean sheets is killing their chances of survival, and goals outside of Serbian Alesandar Mitrovic are proving hard to come by. If Burnley can keep him out, they have a great chance of winning the game.
And I think they will. A Burnley win looks generously-priced at 11/8 with William Hill, and I’m really scratching my head as to why. The Clarets have won their last three games in all competitions, conceding just once, while Claudio Ranieri’s Fulham are coming into this one off the back of a 4-1 thrashing by Arsenal, as well as an embarrassing 2-1 home defeat to fourth-division side Oldham in the FA Cup.
The chief architect of those three precious Burnley wins has been striker Chris Wood. The New Zealander has scored in each of those three victories, and he’ll be licking his lips at the prospect of facing a Fulham defence that has kept just one clean sheet all season. An anytime wood goal here looks like great value at 15/8 with Betfair.
That said, despite Fulham’s struggles in defence so far this season, the goals are no longer being shipped at the alarming rate that they were going in at the beginning of the season. After conceding 28 goals in their first ten Premier League games, the Londoners have conceded just 21 in the following eleven matches. A stark improvement, and one that makes me think that under 2.5 goals at Turf Moor looks a great bet at 4/6 with Betfair.
Burnley will make this game a scrap, and their experience of being able to battle for results against fellow strugglers is sure to count in their favour. Fulham’s squad can do the fancy stuff, but does it have the steel to hold firm in the cauldron of Turf Moor? I don’t think so, and a Burnley win and clean sheet double looks like one of the bets of the weekend at a huge 14/5 with Coral.
Premier League Treble: £10 on Burnley (to beat Fulham), Leicester City (Southampton) and Everton (Bournemouth) returns just over £70 with William Hill.