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Newly promoted clubs Fulham and Bournemouth meet in midtable clash
Fulham 1-1 Bournemouth
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: Fulham, London, Craven CottageBet Now
Matches between two newly promoted clubs are always interesting, not least to see how well both teams have adjusted to life in England’s top division.
After nine games, both Fulham and Bournemouth will largely feel positive regarding the start to life in the Premier League this season, especially considering the Cherries’ change of manager.
Fulham were expected to struggle in their return to the Premier League, especially have been relegated in each of their last two seasons here.
However, Marco Silva has set his side up well, especially going forward. Aleksandar Mitrovic has been in great form, although he is now injured, and Fulham have scored more goals than Chelsea and Manchester United.
Bournemouth’s turnaround since the sacking of Scott Parker has been remarkable. Three wins have followed, including last weekend against Leicester and they are now five games unbeaten.
With both sides enjoying their football right now, we should get a good game here.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Marco Silva’s side has a kinder run of fixtures coming up
They know their opponents well from the Championship
Reasons to be fearful:
Striker Mitrovic a continued injury doubt here
Have won just one of their last 10 league games against Bournemouth
Fulham’s fans will have been pleased with their start to the season, picking up 11 points from their nine games and outscoring far bigger clubs along the way.
However, without their star striker, they look like a much different proposition altogether. Mitrovic is not only their top scorer, he’s also key to the way in which Fulham play.
He’s likely to miss out again here, which is worrying news for the Cottagers. While their league position is currently stable, a defeat here would mean three on the bounce, which could set alarm bells ringing.
They’ve also started to concede more goals than before. They’ve conceded seven goals in their last two games, having let in 11 in their previous seven.
These are trends that they must halt if they are to get anything from this game.
Star Man – Andreas Pereira
The former Manchester United midfielder has been good since joining Fulham in the summer. He has been energetic and a good link to Mitrovic. He took his goal well last weekend, and he may need more here.
Reasons to be cheerful
Ownership battle seems near its end
Have won five of their last 10 against Fulham
Reasons to be fearful
Have only four points from their four away games this season
Only kept two clean sheets so far this season
In the past week, Bournemouth’s potential new owner visited the club, meeting the current staff and the squad of players he hopes he’ll soon be purchasing.
Bill Foley looks like he’ll be the new owner of the club, and having this news confirmed should settle things down around Bournemouth. Having your ownership under scrutiny can be distracting.
On the other hand, Bournemouth’s form on the pitch continues to exceed expectations under Gary O’Neil. A comeback win over Leicester last weekend earned their second win from the last four games.
It means that the Cherries have gone undefeated in the last five games, and has done Gary O’Neil’s chances of securing the manager’s role on a permanent basis no harm at all.
They have a good record over Fulham, too, which should help them here.
Star Man – Philip Billing
Billing smashed in a terrific volley to level the scoring against Leicester last weekend before his teammate Christie went on to score the winner. Billing is now Bournemouth’s top scorer this season.
Will be a tight game
Fulham will miss Mitrovic if he isn’t fit
A draw could suit both teams
You wonder whether both teams would settle for a point here.
Neither side is currently in danger of relegation, far from it. As top-half teams, they have the luxury of playing with a freedom that comes from not having to constantly look over your shoulder.
In what will be a close game, it’ll come down to who is more clinical in front of goal, something which will be difficult for the hosts without Mitrovic.
A draw could be the most likely result here.
Fulham 1-1 Bournemouth
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