Following a 1-0 victory at Brighton, Fulham manager Marco Silva immediately praised the’resilience, ambition, and belief’ of his team. With that result, they already have at least 10 more points than they had in any of their previous two complete Premier League (PL) seasons, and possibly more significantly, they are only two points away from reaching the generally acknowledged 40-point mark for top-flight survival.
Fulham will need to end a five-game losing streak against Wolves (D2, L3) in order to accomplish that goal here, but they appear well-positioned to do so given that only Manchester United has won more Premier League games than Fulham’s six since the season’s start (W6, D1, L2). Not to add Fulham is on track to record its first league-leading four-consecutive clean sheets since 2001!
The fact that Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves are fully aware of Fulham’s defensive capabilities may not be a good thing as they were all talk and no action the last time they faced Bournemouth, the team with the weakest defense in the Premier League. Lopetegui’s tenure has had a mixed start in league play (W4, D1, L3), but those 13 points have been essential in gaining a three-point buffer from the relegation zone.
For the first time since 1962, Wolves will try to win both games at Craven Cottage after winning their most recent visit here by a slim 1-0 margin. This will help them increase their lead over the bottom-half of the table. Few would be surprised if the game continued to be tense, not least because Wolves’ league games this season have produced 2.13 more goals on average than only PL match-ups involving three other teams.
Players to keep an eye on: Fulham’s Manor Solomon, who scored in the last two rounds from the bench, has a chance to become the first Israeli to score in three straight Premier League games in more than 30 years. Despite the fact that Wolves have benefited from opponent own goals in two of their previous three games, their own super sub, January signing Joo Gomes, scored their last winning goal from the bench in his Premier League debut. Wolves’ nine PL games played on Friday only had one tie (W4, D1, L4).
Silva has acknowledged that Aleksandar Mitrovic’s participation in this match will be challenging as Fulham defeated Brighton despite the Serbian’s absence due to a hamstring ailment.
Carlos Vinicius, the most obvious alternative for Mitrovic, began the game at the Amex on the bench before assisting fellow substitute Solomon. The pair will undoubtedly compete for the starting position over Harry Wilson and backup striker Bobby Decordova-Reid.
Solomon might make his Premier League debut if he gets the nod, and he’d be the first Israeli player to score three goals in a row in the competition since Ronny Rosenthal in 1992. Tom Cairney (ankle) and Neeskens Kebano (Achilles) round out Fulham’s remaining absentees for Friday’s match.
With regard to Wolves, former Fulham midfielder Mario Lemina has served his one-game suspension and is set to face his old team, while Sasa Kalajdzic, Hwang Hee-chan, Boubacar Traore, and Chiquinho are still absent.
Joao Moutinho may be replaced in the centre by Lemina, and Lopetegui kept Pedro Neto out of his squad against Bournemouth owing to fitness concerns, but the injured Portuguese might make a comeback to help a struggling attack in this match.
As Daniel Podence, Raul Jimenez, and Diego Costa push to return, Matheus Cunha may be at the greatest risk of being fired because neither Adama Traore nor Pablo Sarabia performed particularly poorly last weekend.
Leno, Tete, Diop, Ream, Robinson, Reed, Palhinha, Solomon, Pereira, Willian, and Vinicius are possible starters for Fulham.
Possible starting eleven for Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sa; Semedo; Kilman; Dawson; Bueno; Lemina; Neves; Nunes; Traore; Podence; Sarabia.
We predict: Fulham 1–0 Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In recent meetings between these two clubs, fireworks have not flown all that frequently, and if Fulham manages to compensate for Mitrovic’s continued absence, another tightly contested contest may be in store.
Despite the fact that it may not be pretty, we still have faith in Fulham to find a way through and continue their European push despite Wolves’ persistent lack of effectiveness in the final third.