Wolves will smell blood against struggling Fulham side
Wolves to win 3-1
One of the biggest surprises of the season so far was Wolves losing so heavily against West Ham last weekend.
The Hammers played well, but a 4-0 win was certainly not on the cards beforehand. Wolves will aim to bounce straight back with a victory here over a Fulham side who have looked completely unsuited to the demands of the Premier League so far.
After their 3-0 loss to Aston Villa last weekend, The Cottagers’ chairman apologised and promised new signings will follow. They haven’t so far, but this might bring a positive response from their existing players this weekend.
Wolves will certainly be favourites, with the quality at their disposal. They are unlikely to be as poor as last weekend two games running.
Form Guide (all comps): WLLL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Will fancy chances against bottom team Fulham
Have a great record against The Cottagers
Reasons to be fearful:
Poor recent record against Fulham
Facing three defeats on the bounce
Despite Wolves’ great run over the past couple of seasons, they’ve actually got themselves into a bit of a rut lately.
They’re known as one of the toughest teams to play against in the Premier League, but they’ve fallen off the pace of late, losing five of their past nine league fixtures.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo will want to change that quickly, and facing bottom club Fulham is an ideal way to start. Their record is good against the newly promoted side, only losing once to Fulham in the last 10 fixtures.
They have a couple of fitness doubts to examine, with Marcal and Podence both suffering injuries in the Man City game two weekends ago. This should not hamper their chances here too badly though, with their key players fit and raring to go.
Jimenez will be desperate to make up for his own goal in the 4-0 defeat last weekend and get on the scoresheet at the right end of the pitch.
Star Man – Raul Jimenez
Has been quiet of late, but has the quality to get back on track with a goal or two here.
Form Guide (all comps): WLWLL
Reasons to be cheerful
Opposition have not been in great form of late
Striker Mitrovic can be a handful for any side
Reasons to be fearful
Sit bottom of the league with three defeats and 10 goals conceded
Promised transfers have not materialised
If Fulham were to suffer a heavy beating here, it could make a poor start to the season absolutely tragic.
They are not just suffering at one end of the pitch, but rather struggling to both score goals and keep things tight at the back. In fact they’ve conceded at least two goals in 17 of their 21 matches since Jan 2019.
One ray of light for manager Scott Parker is that the last four sides to lose their first four fixtures have all avoided relegation that season, though things will have to rapidly improve for that to happen here.
They need new signings in the transfer market – Ademola Lookman has arrived on loan from RB Leipzig this week, but more will be required if they are going to rise up the table.
They have to be positive against Wolves, but if they concede early things could get ugly.
Star Man – Aleksandar Mitrović
He needs more service from those behind him. He’s a proven goalscorer and can trouble Wolves if his teammates play well.
Wolves will bounce back strongly here
Jimenez is likely to get on the scoresheet
Fulham could score, but it won’t be enough
Wolves were disappointing last weekend, but it’s highly unlikely to happen again against Fulham.
The Cottagers can trouble the Wolves’ defence if they get the right kind of service into Mitrovic, but they must be cleverer than just throwing aimless crosses into the box, like they did against Villa.
Wolves will break on them quickly with the pace of Traore and Neto and if Jimenez gets a sniff of goal, you can bet he will take it.
Wolves to win 3-1