EFL Championship Betting Preview – Fulham

Can the Cottagers make an instant return?

Football Betting

EFL Championship Team Preview – Fulham

After a woeful year in the Premier League, Fulham are back in the EFL Championship for the 2019-20 season. The Cottagers are one of the pre-season favourites to lift the trophy, with Ladbrokes currently pricing them at just 8/1 to make an instant return to the top tier as champions. With the popular Scott Parker at the helm, how will Fulham get on in the Championship this term?

Who will win the Championship Title 2019/20?

Team
Leeds 9/2 7/2 9/2
Fulham 8/1 8/1 8/1
Cardiff 10/1 10/1 10/1
West Brom 12/1 10/1 10/1
Middlesbrough 14/1 14/1 12/1
Stoke 12/1 12/1 12/1
Derby 16/1 14/1 14/1
Huddersfield 20/1 14/1 16/1
Brentford 12/1 14/1 14/1
Sheff Wed 20/1 16/1 18/1

* (Betting Odds were taken from Bet365, Betvictor & Ladbrokes on July 15th, 2019 at 13:30 p.m.)

Stoke City to win the Championship Title 2019/20 at Ladbrokes

Tough season in the Premier League

Fulham arrived in the Premier League last term full of hope and expectation. Unfortunately for them, despite spending huge amounts of money last summer, it did not work out for Slavisa Jokanovic, who was subsequently relieved of his duties in November after guiding the club to just one win from their first 12 matches.

In stepped the experienced Claudio Ranieri, who won the Premier League title with Leicester City in 2016, but he also struggled to make the right impact at Craven Cottage. After 16 games and just over three months in charge, the Italian departed the London club.

 

Barnsley v Fulham
Barnsley11/5
Fulham6/5

Bet at bet365

 

Fulham were pretty much doomed by then, with Scott Parker taking over until the end of the season. Despite an improvement in results at the very end, the Whites’ stay in the top tier lasted just one year.

Fulham ended their campaign in 19th spot, winning just seven of their 38 league fixtures. Along the way, the Londoners were beaten 26 times, with only bottom club Huddersfield Town losing more (28).

Is Parker the right man for the job?

During his playing days, Scott Parker was a real leader on the pitch. The Lambeth-born man played for the likes of Chelsea, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, finishing his career with Fulham in 2017. The 38-year-old also earned 18 caps for the England national side.

However, as a manager, Parker had no experience before aggreging to take over last season. Chairman Shadid Khan then gave Parker the job on a permanent basis back in May, saying he is “more than up to the task.”

The former England midfielder lost his first five games in charge, although they did go up against the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City during that time. The Cottagers then won three in a row, seeing off Everton, Bournemouth and Cardiff City without conceding a single goal. Despite losing their last two, Fulham certainly went down with a fight.

Only time will tell whether Parker is the right man for the job at Craven Cottage, but there were definitely positive signs at the end of last season. He is a popular man among the Fulham supporters, and the club will be hoping to get off to a flying start when they kick off the new season with a trip to Oakwell to face newly promoted Barnsley on the opening weekend of the season.

 

Key-Facts – Fulham

  • Fulham won just seven league games last term
  • The Cottagers conceded 81 PL goals, which was a league high
  • The club won three of their last five matches

 

How will they fare this season?

The Championship is a notoriously tough league to get out of. It’s without doubt the most unpredictable division in the world, with several clubs capable of lifting the trophy come May. At the time of writing, the Cottagers are priced at 8/1 with bet365, second favourites behind Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United, who are available at 5/1 (Ladbrokes).

Fulham have made the play-offs in their last two seasons in the Championship. After losing to Reading in the semi-finals in 2017, the Whites beat Aston Villa 1-0 in the final a year later, with captain Tom Cairney scoring the only goal of the game at Wembley Stadium. Finishing in the top six will be a minimum requirement this season, and they are priced at 4/5 (Betfair) to do so.

Fulham have some very winnable games at the start of their campaign, hosting Blackburn Rovers after kicking off against Barnsley. However, they also face Huddersfield and Cardiff in the month of August.

Arrivals and departures

Fulham spent over £100m last summer, which was still was not enough to keep them in the Premier League. Things will be a lot different this time around as they look to balance the books. At the moment, the Whites have yet to bring anyone in, but that will surely change before a ball has been kicked.

There has been movement in the other direction, though, as Sergio Rico, Andre Schurrle, Havard Nordtveit and Luciano Vietto have all returned to their parent clubs after loans. Meanwhile, Ryan Babel, who chipped in with five Premier League goals, has left the club on a free to join Galatasaray in Turkey.

There will not be an awful lot of money available to Parker after last year’s spending spree, so the new boss will have to be very shrewd in the transfer market.

Fulham Tips & Odds

Top 6 finish at 4/5
To be promoted at 9/4
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 15th, 2019 at 13:30 p.m.)

Predicted finish

With some very tough opponents in the league, finishing in the top six will not be an easy task for any club. Along with the likes of Leeds, West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff and Stoke City, plus a number of others, Fulham will fancy their chances of breaking into the play-offs at the very least.

Parker’s boys are currently priced at 4/5 to finish in the top six. Meanwhile, bet365 are offering the decent odds of 9/4 for Fulham to be promoted by any means necessary. Top two will be a tall order, but I can certainly see the London side finishing in the play-offs. My predicted finish for Fulham is fourth place.


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