Fulham host Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon in a Premier League meeting between two of the division’s newly promoted sides.
The Cottagers claimed the second-tier title last season, finishing two points above Bournemouth. However, the Cherries sit above their hosts in the top-flight’s mid-table, embarking upon a five-game unbeaten run after Gary O’Neil replaced the former Fulham player and manager Scott Parker.
Here’s everything you need to know about the reunion of these former Championship foes.
Where can you watch Fulham vs Bournemouth Highlights?
Fulham vs Bournemouth H2H Results (Last Five Games)
Fulham: 1 Win
Bournemouth: 2 Wins
Current Form (Last Five Games)
Fulham team news
Marco Silva lamented the officiating which appeared to treat the handball rule as optional during his side’s defeat to West Ham last Sunday. However, Fulham weren’t aided by the absence of their talismanic top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic. The burly number nine was sidelined with angle ligament damage and is a doubt for this weekend as well.
Kenny Tete was also confined to the sidelines for the trip to east London but has returned to training. Nathaniel Chalobah is continuing to serve his suspension while Willian and Layvin Kurzawa are struggling with calf problems.
Harry Wilson returned from a long-term knee injury to come off the bench against West Ham but Manor Solomon is still nursing a problem in the same area.
Fulham Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tete, Tosin, Ream, Robinson; Reed, Palhinha; Decordova-Reid, Pereira, Kebano; Vinicius.
Bench: Rodak, Duffy, Wilson, Cairney, Onomah, Mbabu, Diop, Harris, James.
Bournemouth team news
Both Joe Rothwell and Ben Pearson enjoyed a full week of training but failed to feature against Leicester City. After another glut of sessions on the grass, the pair may return to the bench this weekend.
Junior Stanislas is making “good strides” according to O’Neil but, alongside David Brooks (thigh), may not be ready for the trip to the capital.
Club captain Lloyd Kelly is expected to remain sidelined with an ankle injury.
Bournemouth Starting 11 (4-4-2): Neto; Fredericks, Mepham, Senesi, Smith; Christie, Lerma, Cook, Tavernier; Billing, Solanke.
Bench: Travers, Stephens, Stacey, Moore, Anthony, Zemura, Pearson, Rothwell, Lowe.
Despite going into the weekend sitting ninth and eighth respectively, Fulham and Bournemouth boast the worst expected goal difference figures in the division (per FBref).
The discrepancy owes to a glut of good finishing and some tight matches falling their way but the underlying numbers suggest this pair will struggle to maintain their lofty positions going forward.
In the immediacy of Saturday, Fulham and Bournemouth may have to settle for a share of the spoils, as they did during both meetings between the pair last term.
Prediction: Fulham 1-1 Bournemouth