Craven Cottage forms the backdrop for a lopsided Premier League encounter between European hopefuls Fulham and bottom-half Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday night.
Fulham manager Marco Silva praised his side’s resilience and fighting spirit following an impressive 1-0 triumph at high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.
Despite lacking talismanic striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Cottagers found a late winner at the Amex Stadium through Shakhtar Donetsk loanee Maron Solomon.
After going unbeaten in their last three league outings (W2, D1), Fulham are not only on the verge of reaching a 40-point threshold for top-flight safety, but their European ambitions are now higher than ever.
With only three points separating them from fifth-placed Newcastle United at the start of this round, the Londoners are confident about halting a five-game winless Premier League run against Wolves.
Although Wolves can take stock of the fact they’ve won three of their last five top-flight meetings with Fulham (D2), that’s pretty much the only positive they can get right now.
Julen Lopetegui’s men were seemingly on course to building a solid case for a mid-table finish with back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Southampton before Bournemouth stopped them in their tracks last week.
Wolves’ shock 1-0 home defeat to the relegation-threatened Cherries kept them only three points clear of the drop zone, reinforcing the Molineux faithful’s fears over a season-long fight against relegation.
Only Manchester United’s tally of seven Premier League wins betters Fulham’s six since the restart (D1, L2), highlighting Silva’s outstanding job in west London.
Silva has based his side’s rise to stardom on a rock-solid backline, with the Cottagers registering three straight league shutouts in the lead-up to this clash, last having more consecutive clean sheets in the top flight in 2001.
Playing on Friday suits Fulham, as they’ve picked up four points from two Premier League matches held on this day in 2022/23, having won just one of their first six such contests in the competition beforehand (D1, L4).
Lopetegui’s men have been the epitome of inconsistency lately, drawing a blank in two of their last four Premier League games while netting two or more in the other two (W2, L2).
But Wolves have won two of their four away league outings under the Spaniard (D1, L1), more triumphs than they had on their previous 14 top-flight travels combined (D3, L10).
That bodes well as the visitors target back-to-back top-flight victories at Fulham for the first time since 1962 after running out 1-0 winners in this corresponding fixture last season.
Fulham vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Potential Line-ups
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Kenny Tete, Issa Diop, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson; Harrison Reed, Joao Palhinha; Manor Solomon, Andreas Pereira, Willian; Carlos Vinicius.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-3-3): Jose Sa; Nelson Semedo, Max Kilman, Craig Dawson, Hugo Bueno; Mario Lemina, Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes; Adama Traore, Daniel Podence, Pablo Sarabia.
How to Watch?
Fulham vs Wolves, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.
Fulham vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Prediction
Fulham’s pursuit of a first European finish since 2010/11 is at a crossroads as they hope to work around Mitrovic’s potential absence to tighten the noose on Newcastle.
Silva’s steadfast defence could have a field day against Wolves’ lack of firepower, as was the case in a tepid 0-0 draw in the reverse fixture last August.
That would allow the Cottagers’ solid-performing frontline to do their magic in the front third and hand the Londoners another closely-contested triumph.
Fulham 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
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