It’s a bit early to be talking about relegation six-pointers, although Huddersfield’s clash with Fulham on Monday could be pivotal when it comes to determining the fate of these two teams in the Premier League this season.
The Terriers are enduring that “difficult second season” in the top flight although it was never going to be plain sailing for a club who have no right to be a Premier League entity considering their modest budget compared to most of the other teams in the division.
David Wagner continues to wave his magic wand and it would be no surprise to see the German engineer a victory in this clash, with BetVictor making the Yorkshire outfit their 13/10 favourites to overcome opponents whose defence has resembled a colander since the season began.
Fulham spent plenty of cash to strengthen their squad after enjoying promotion through the Championship play-offs last term, although their attacking flair and creativity has been massively undermined by shoddy defending and Slavisa Jokanovic seemingly has no ideas how to address it.
Bet365 are prepared to chalk up 23/10 about a Cottagers win at the John Smith’s Stadium whereas you might have expected the visitors to actually be favourites for this clash if it had been played on the opening day of the season.
Fulham have taken just one point on the road this term and that came when they actually led 2-0 at the AMEX Stadium before allowing Brighton to come back into the game, with an average of three goals being conceded per away game.
Paddy Power go 12/5 that the clash ends all square which would mean both sides continue to dwindle at the foot of the Premier League, although Jokanovic simply needs his team to show some defensive discipline and perhaps we could see a change of tactics from the London side.
Huddersfield have not been full of goals this season and a 1-0 victory for Fulham is currently trading at 11/1 with Bet365, with the Cottagers looking to go back to basics and grind out a win against a side who are badly short of goals.
Fulham Hopeful of a Win
The Terriers could have easily landed a point against Liverpool in their previous home match and Wagner will hope that they can put the ball in the net for this more important clash, with Huddersfield trading at 16/5 (BetVictor) to win to nil and that would enormously boost their survival hopes.
Remarkably, the home side are yet to score at the John Smith’s Stadium this season and Ladbrokes have 24/5 that Fulham are able to claim a maximum haul and keep a clean sheet. It might sound a far-fetched concept but they might eventually address this defensive malaise that exists.
The most dangerous striker on the pitch will be Aleksandar Mitrovic and William Hill go 11/2 that the Serbian scores the opening goal of the game, with Andre Schurrle looking lively and the same bookmaker chalk up 6/1 that he bags the opener.
For the home team, Alex Pritchard might be the best shout and Betfair have 15/2 that the former Norwich City man scores the opening goal and has those faithful Huddersfield supporters bouncing at the John Smith’s Stadium.