Fulham vs Wolves – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Friday 24th February 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we preview Wolves’ visit to Craven Cottage. Fulham beat Brighton last weekend despite being outplayed – can Wolves get a result here? Read on with our Fulham vs Wolves prediction.
Fulham vs Wolves Match Preview
Fulham enter this game in fine form. Indeed, the Cottagers have won six of their nine games since the league resumed after the World Cup on Boxing Day. Highlights include victories against Leicester and Chelsea and 1-0 away at Brighton in their previous game. This result could be construed as a smash and grab, as Brighton had 65 per cent possession, completed more than double the passes Fulham did, and had expected goals of 2.31. However, Fulham are a team that concede the ball and play with energy on the counter-attack. They will not be fazed by being under the cosh for large spells of that game.
Four of Fulham’s previous five games have seen 1 goal or fewer scored, so they haven’t been involved in thrillers in recent weeks. Indeed, with only five goals scored in their previous six games, Mitrovic’s goals have dried up – possibly because he has been toiling with injury. However, Fulham have kept three clean sheets in their last three games, and this defensive solidity has seen them pick up seven of the nine points. In sixth place, a victory would see them join Newcastle on 41 points and only one point behind the top four (though the Magpies would have two games in hand).
Wolves travel to London after a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to strugglers Bournemouth, courtesy of a Tavernier goal. Wolves had been building momentum, with three wins in their four games before that (against Southampton, Liverpool, and West Ham, and a loss to Man City). However, the result against the Cherries will have frustrated coach Julen Lopetegui. The Spaniard prides himself on defensive strength, but Wolves have conceded eight goals in the eight league matches since he took charge (though three came away at the Etihad). It is difficult for a side such as Wolves to consistently score two goals per game, so more clean sheets are required to win games.
However, the recent run has lifted Wolves out of the relegation zone, though they sit a perilous three points above it. Having won only twice in eleven away games this season, they are nevertheless unbeaten against their hosts in their last five meetings, including a goalless draw at Molineux in August. Wolves hope to keep high-flying Fulham out and snatch a point or even a victory.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Mitrovic
Will Not Play: Cairney, Kebano
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Kalajdzic, Chiquinho, B. Traore, Hwang
Fulham vs Wolves Lineups (Predicted)
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Leno; Robinson, Diop, Ream, Tete; Palhinha, Reed; Willian, Pereira, Decordova-Reid; Mitrovic
Wolves (4-3-3): Sa; Bueno, Kilman, Dawson, Semedo; Neves, Lemina, Moutinho; Nunes, Cunha, Sarabia
Fulham vs Wolves Analysis
The midfield battle should be interesting in this game. Both sides tend to concede the ball, with Wolves having 49 per cent average possession this season and Fulham 46 per cent. Both sides have completed 8,000 odd passes, with Wolves closer to 9,000 and Fulham to 8,000. Therefore, there is little to split these two sides when controlling the game. Thus, in this game, whichever team takes care of the ball better in midfield and presses the other better should have more chance of winning.
Indeed, transitions will likely be crucial in this game. Fulham are a team that like to play on the counter; they use the energy and tenacity of Reed and Palhinha in midfield to snap at the opposition and try to win the ball so they can burst into attacking areas. They will likely be happy to see Wolves have a little more of the ball (even on home soil) as they and Pereira can then close down Lemina, Neves, Moutinho, and Nunes (the latter is on the graphic as a left-winger, but he is more of a central midfielder and will drift inside if he starts). Fulham must not allow Wolves to gain numerical superiority in this area.
Wolves will attempt to play passes between their midfielders, and Moutinho could be crucial if he starts. At 36, the Portuguese man is slowing down, but he has been an excellent servant for Wolves. If he and Neves can take control of the game, they can try to play passes between the Fulham lines. They can attempt to find Wolves’ admittedly currently rather blunt attackers. However, as stated, whoever presses better is vital as either side might win the game on transitions.
Wolves are struggling to score goals this season. Signings have been made to address this, but Sarabia and Cunha still have not scored for the club since joining the team in January. What is very worrying is that Wolves have only had 71 shots on target this season in 23 games. An average of about three shots on target per game is not conducive to good forward production. Neither is their expected goals – 23, fourth-lowest in the league, but something they are still underperforming. Therefore, they must get into more threatening positions in this game.
We have discussed Moutinho, but he could be left out, and Wolves could go more direct with the flying machine Adama Traore. This tactic gives them the platform to get into Fulham’s final third more, though Traore’s final ball or shot often leaves much to be desired. It is essential that Sarabia, Podence and other Wolves wingers who take part in this game can dribble and play their way into good positions behind Tete and Robinson out wide. In doing so, they can cross or cut back for Cunha or Costa to try to convert.
Fulham are in a better position. With 35 goals scored in 24 games, they have been good in the opposition’s final third. With 31 expected goals, they have outscored this tally by four, perhaps due to Mitrovic’s clinical finishing. Therefore, Fulham know that if they create chances, there is a reasonable probability they will convert them. The four wide players – Robinson, Tete, Willian, and Decordova-Reid- are responsible for creating on the flanks and attacking Semedo and Bueno in the full-back areas. The Wolves midfielders will likely offer cover in these areas. However, the flying Robinson and the two wingers are particularly adept at dribbling past opponents and making their way into the box.
As stated, if the midfielders can harry Wolves and win the ball in midfield, the quicker they feed it to the wide players the better. Pereira is also good at driving forward with the ball. Unsurprisingly, given Mitrovic’s presence, Fulham rank highly for crosses this season, in fourth place in the league in this respect. Therefore, they will look to deliver early, given the Serbian’s aerial threat. Fulham may have to play differently with Decordova-Reid in a centre-forward position if Mitrovic can’t play. Mitrovic, therefore, is critical to the Cottagers. They have pace and trickery that can come off the bench if things aren’t going well, in the form of James, Carlos Vinicius, and Wilson.
This match might be tight. On the one hand, Fulham have been unexpectedly excellent all season and are decent at home, having won half of their twelve league games at Craven Cottage. They also come into the match after the win at the Amex. ‘Momentum’ is a vague concept in football. However, there is no doubt that Fulham will be buoyed by having beaten such a good team as Brighton, even if they were dominated for much of the game.
Wolves’ away record is poor. Furthermore, with 32 goals conceded, they are one of the tighter sides in the bottom half, but this still needs to be better. The situation is even worse because they struggle to score, with their 17 being a joint league low with Everton (the signings of Cunha and Sarabia are attempts to rectify this matter). Hence, we believe Fulham can keep Wolves out, and with their 35 goals, they should be able to get on the scoresheet at least once – though this may be contingent on Mitrovic’s fitness. Wolves will likely make a good fist of it, but we are backing the side higher up the table to be lethal on transition.
Fulham 1-0 Wolves
Fulham vs Wolves Betting Tip – Fulham Odds:
10Bet – 50% up to £50 Welcome Bonus
Sport is our life at 10bet. We don’t miss a shot, stroke or tackle, and we make sure you won’t too. We cover football betting, horse racing betting, tennis betting, cricket betting, basketball betting, and so much more. But if greyhounds or Gaelic hurling is your thing, you’ll find that here too.
Luckland Sports – Welcome Offer, Bet £15 Get £10
Sports Betting at Its Best
Luckland online Sports betting is for all Sports fans. With over 20 Sports to choose from, both pre-match & live, we have an extensive coverage of leagues and events from all over the world, covered 24/7.
Everygame (USA and Canada) – Exclusive Sign-Up Bonuses
Everygame was the first online sportsbook to hit the world wide web and paved the way for many of the online sportsbooks we see online today. Thousands of daily live betting options. Up to $750 Sign-Up Bonus!