Fulham vs Crystal Palace – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 20th May 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we examine Crystal Palace’s trip to Craven Cottage. Both of these teams are ensconced in mid-table – playing for derby bragging rights? Free betting tips and more with our Fulham vs Crystal Palace prediction.
Fulham vs Crystal Palace Preview
Fulham can technically qualify for the Europa Conference League, but their chances of doing so are remote indeed. They require victories from both of their remaining Premier League matches and would require Spurs and Aston Villa to lose twice, and for Brentford to pick up no more than four points… while trying to erase a six-goal goal difference deficit. It’s possible that the stars could align for the West London club, but it’s more likely that it is job done, a successful mid-table campaign and for them to regroup for next season.
Though nominally a London derby, which should provoke a more competitive element from both sets of players, this isn’t a particularly important derby for either fanbase. According to the 2019 study named ‘The League of Love and Hate’, Fulham consider Chelsea and QPR bigger rivals, and Crystal Palace fans consider Brighton, Millwall, Charlton, Watford and Manchester United as their enemies in that particular order. Perhaps Fulham’s return to the Premier League would alter the results somewhat, but generally speaking, this is one of the friendlier London derbies.
Crystal Palace find themselves in much the same situation, though they have continued to perform well at Selhurst Park despite putting 12 points between themselves and the relegation zone. This continued improvement in their home form (3 in 4 under Roy Hodgson) manifested itself last time out in the form of a highly comfortable and comprehensive 2-0 victory over Bournemouth in which the visitors rarely threatened. Their dominance was such that Bournemouth registered zero shots on target over the course of 90 minutes.
Palace will sign off their season with their final game at Selhurst Park against a Nottingham Forest side who aren’t safe just yet. It’s possible that Crystal Palace could be motivated by the possibility of finishing above a disappointing Chelsea team, and perhaps generally in finishing as high in the Premier League standings as possible, but overall, much like Fulham, their season is effectively over.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: James
Will Not Play: Kurzawa, Pereira, Ream
Might Not Play: Schlupp
Will Not Play: Ferguson, Milivojevic, Tomkins, Zaha
Fulham vs Crystal Palace Lineups (Predicted)
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno; Robinson, Diop, Adarabioyo, Tete; Reed, Palhinha; Wilson, Cairney, Willian; Mitrovic
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Johnstone; Mitchell, Guehi, Andersen, Ward; Doucoure, Hughes, Eze; Ayew, Olise, Edouard
Fulham vs Crystal Palace Analysis
Fulham Will Have to Work Harder to Break Palace Down
Marco Silva’s men are coming into this fixture on the back of two impressive victories over Leicester and Southampton. Neither side are as defensively organised as Crystal Palace, and Leicester were far too open – playing straight into Fulham’s hands. Southampton are simply a poor side at the moment, bereft of confidence and packed with inexperienced players who were completely out of their depth when it came to battling against relegation. This was demonstrated by their inability to achieve results with possession-based football but also when attempting to play more reactively.
This might seem as though we’re guilty of glossing over Fulham’s last couple of Premier League victories, but we’re simply adding context to their recent form. Their other 8 games in their last 10 ended in two wins and six defeats. It certainly helps Fulham to have Aleksandar Mitrovic returning to lead the line for them. While adding an obvious aerial dimension to their attack, Mitrovic requires considerable attention to keep him quiet and that can only help to open Palace up.
Palace Will Outnumber Fulham in Midfield and Attack Rapidly in Transition
It would be inaccurate to suggest that Crystal Palace will set up with a low block and play long ball, but they will undoubtedly prioritise their shape and play a structured game. What we mean by that is they will be looking to take advantage of the fact that Fulham play with an attacking midfielder as part of a forward four, and that involves cutting the supply to Mitrovic by playing on top of Cairney and ensuring that Mitchell and Ward receive the support they need defensively on the flanks from the midfield three.
This is where Palace could find themselves in favourable situations as they have the ability to attack with pace in precision in vacated spaces. They will undoubtedly miss the pace and invention of Wilfried Zaha, which means they’ll have to prioritise moving the ball quickly as opposed to running directly at the defence on the left flank. They still have Olise on the right, and as such Fulham are likely to prioritise cutting off the supply to the talented wide man. This could provide additional opportunities for Ayew and Edouard if they’re willing to repeatedly make dangerous off-ball runs.
We can envisage both sides effectively cancelling each other out here. Palace are capable of a structured, well-organised collective effort in defence, and Fulham have been rather fortunate in facing two rather less capable teams in that regard. Additionally, both these sides are more vulnerable when they play a more expansive style, and we expect that there will be enough clear chances for both sides to find the net. Ultimately, we think a 1-1 draw that Palace are happier with is likely to be the final result.
Fulham 1-1 Crystal Palace
Fulham vs Crystal Palace Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
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