Football Tips: 3 for glee as Fulham take on Cardiff in the Championship playoffs

Will either of these two make it back to the Premier League at the first attempt?

Scott Parker Neil Harris

Monday at 19:45 sees a clash between two clubs relegated from the Premier League last season vying to return to the top-flight.

Fulham’s place in the play-offs has long-been guaranteed and the Cottagers were in with a chance of automatic promotion right up until the final day. Cardiff, meanwhile, have only surged into the top-six thanks to some excellent form since the restart.

The Welsh side have been impressive, winning six out of nine games since mid-June, beating some of the best teams in the league while doing so.

They did lose to Fulham two weeks ago, however, during a mini-slump that saw them lose two games on the bounce. Fulham absolutely dominated that game, spurning several excellent chances in addition to being denied a stonewall penalty and, in reality, they are a class above their Welsh opponents.

Fulham to win

The London side has recovered from a poor start after the restart to go seven games without defeat, including an away win at Nottingham Forest and away draws with West Brom and in-form Wigan.

They will fancy their chances of keeping that impressive unbeaten run alive with a massive Fulham win on Monday night.

Aleksandar Mitrovic to score anytime

In terms of goalscoring potential, Fulham have options all over the pitch. Up front, Aleksandar Mitrovic finished as the Championship’s top scorer with 26 goals, but he has been relatively cold in front of goal since restart, scoring just three times in the nine games, two of which were penalties.

Crucial goals have come from unlikely sources for Fulham since mid-June, with the likes of Neeskens Kebano, Harry Arter and Josh Onomah all securing valuable points for the Cottagers in their seven game unbeaten run.

You can’t rely on these players to find the net on a consistent basis, however, and it is a Mitrovic, who in reality is a level above the Championship, that Fulham will look to inspire them on Monday night.

The fact that the Serbian takes penalties gives him an additional chance to score at Cardiff and Mitrovic is decent value to score anytime.

Under 2.5 goals

Fulham’s bizarre 5-3 win over Sheffield Wednesday aside, they are not generally involved in high-scoring games.

They are the second-lowest scoring side in the top-six and five of the other six games in their seven-game unbeaten run consisted of less than three goals.

The Cottagers have become accomplished at grinding out wins in recent weeks and all signs point to a low-scoring game again on Monday.

Cardiff have scored just four more goals than Fulham in the league this season and are the third-lowest scoring team in the top-six.

No Cardiff player has scored more than eight goals in the league this season and they lack the firepower to really make an impact in the play-offs.

Fulham’s defensive record is much better than Cardiff’s, having conceded ten less goals and kept three more clean sheets during the 46-game season. They will look to grind out a low-scoring win on Monday night so we’re going with under 2.5 goals.

Tips for Fulham v Cardiff on Monday at 19:45

Fulham win
Aleksandar Mitrovic to score anytime
Under 2.5 goals

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