Fulham take on Bournemouth at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon, in what has potential to be an entertaining clash in west London. Slavisa Jokanovic will be hoping his side can turn around their fortunes; Fulham sit in the bottom three having won just one of their opening nine games so far this season.
While they've played some entertaining football, their expansive approach hasn't yet translated to results. The Cottagers received many plaudits for how they stormed their way to promotion last season, but so far they have found the transition to the Premier League difficult - despite spending over £100m in the summer.
In contrast Bournemouth have recorded their best start to a Premier League season as they sit in sixth place. Eddie Howe has been consistently getting the best out of his side, which has resulted in them winning three and drawing one of their last five games - the only blip being their 4-0 loss away at Burnley. In such good form, Bournemouth will fancy their chances of getting a result at Craven Cottage against an out of sorts Fulham side, but the Premier League is rarely so straight forward.
How to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 28th October|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||15:00 BST|
|Where Is it Played?||Craven Cottage|
|TV Channel/Live Stream||Gillette Soccer Saturday/BT Sport Score|
Fulham go into the game having picked up just one points since September. Their 4-2 loss away at fellow newly promoted side Cardiff compounded their miserable run of four defeats in their last five games, leaving them in 18th position.
Aleksandar Mitrovic started the season in red hot form by bagging five goals, but the Serbian hasn't scored since Fulham drew 1-1 with Watford in late September. Scoring goals hasn't been Fulham's issue (they've scored more goals than anyone in the bottom half bar Manchester United and Leicester) but their defence has been leaky - the 25 goals they've conceded is the highest in the league.
Their back four has been chopped and changed all season, meaning they've struggled to find any consistency. A result at the weekend will be dependent on them resolving their defensive issues.
Bournemouth on the other hand have been flying so far this season. The Cherries have only lost twice so far this campaign, recording five wins and two draws in the process. Eddie Howe's men have looked good going forward, as only Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal have found the net more times this season.
The goal scoring duties have been spread around the team; Joshua King leads their scoring charts with four goals, whilst Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser have both chipped in with three each. Summer signing David Brooks has taken little time to adjust to life in the top flight, as the Welsh youngster has fitted in seamlessly into Bournemouth's midfield since his arrival from Sheffield United.
Fulham captain Tom Cairney is edging closer to a return to fitness, although Saturday's game may just come to quickly for him. Cairney has missed the last three games with a foot injury he picked up against Watford. Joe Bryan has missed five games with an achilles problem, and is expected to be out until the start of November.
Youngster Ryan Sessegnon has found himself in and out of the team this season, but after scoring his first Premier League goal in the defeat to Cardiff, he may retain his place.
Bournemouth have no new injury concerns, meaning that Eddie Howe could name an unchanged side for the fourth match in succession.
|Fulham||Bettinelli; Fosu-Mensah, Ream, Mawson, Le Marchand; McDonald, Seri, Anguissa; Sessegnon, Mitrovic, Schurrle.|
|Bournemouth||Begovic; Francis, S. Cook, Ake, Smith; Fraser, Lerma, L. Cook, Brooks; King, Wilson|
This match could see a lot of goals; Fulham have been looking to compensate for their unsettled defence by going after teams, leaving them vulnerable to counter attacks - which has been Bournemouth's strength this season.
If the game descends into an end to end circus, it will be great for the neutrals but bad news for Fulham, as Bournemouth's pacy front line must be excited at the prospect of attacking this shaky Fulham defence, so a frantic game may favour the away side.
However Fulham look dangerous when they turn it on. A fully firing Mitrovic is a handful for any centre half, so a big performance from the big Serb may bear fruit for his side. Add to that the goal threats of the likes of Sessegnon and Schurrle, and Fulham can hit Bournemouth where it hurts.
Predicted Scoreline: Fulham 1-3 Bournemouth