We preview Friday night’s Premier League clash at Craven Cottage with our Fulham vs Wolves prediction and preview. What does the supercomputer predict will happen?
The Quick Hits:
- Fulham given a 38.8% chance to extend winning run to three consecutive games.
- Wolves to continue their Friday woes, predicted to lose their fourth such game in five attempts.
- Very similar probabilities for a Wolves win (30.9%) and a draw (30.3%).
Fulham have the chance to extend their run without defeat to four Premier League matches when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Craven Cottage on Friday.
It’s kind of flying under the radar just how good Fulham’s season has been so far. The Cottagers sit in sixth place in the league table on 38 points, and a win on Friday would take them level with Newcastle in fifth – albeit having played two more games than the Magpies.
To do that, though, they’ll have to break their recent barren streak against Wolves. Fulham are winless in their last five Premier League meetings with Wolves (failing to score in the last four).
Wolves slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth at Molineux Stadium in their last Premier League match, leaving them in 15th place in the standings. Things have been far more positive under new manager Julen Lopetegui, but the fact remains that Wolves are just three points clear of the relegation places with 15 matches to play.
They’ll be eyeing up this encounter as a great opportunity to move further from danger. Despite their lofty league position, Fulham have actually conceded the most expected goals in the Premier League this season (41.2) but have conceded just 30 goals. Their overperformance of 11 goals is the highest in the competition so far this term and is in fact the highest in England. It suggests there are weaknesses within this Fulham side that are there to be exploited.
Are Wolves the side to do it through? They’ve scored a joint-league-low 17 goals, and their top scorers are Daniel Podence and Rúben Neves with five each. Only three sides (Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Southampton) have generated fewer expected goals overall this season than Wolves’ 23.8.
Wolves 0-0 Fulham: 13 August 2022 (Premier League)
It’s perhaps not a surprise that given Wolves’ struggles in front of goal that they played out a 0-0 draw against Fulham when these two sides last met on the second weekend of the 2022-23 Premier League season.
These were different times for the home side, with previous manager Bruno Lage still in the dugout. This draw was the second game in Wolves’ five-game winless run to start the season, a poor beginning which ultimately Lage could not escape.
It could have been worse, too, with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic seeing a late penalty saved by Jose Sa, after Rayan Aït-Nouri fouled Bobby Decordova-Reid in the box.
It was a fairly anaemic performance from Wolves, who managed just one shot on target with Hwang Hee-Chan’s fourth-minute effort saved by Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak.
Since the resumption of the Premier League following the World Cup break, only Manchester United (seven) have won more games than Fulham (six). And they’ve done that despite star striker Mitrovic not firing on all cylinders. The Serb is without a goal in his last six appearances in all competitions and missed Fulham’s 1-0 away win against Brighton last week through injury. He’s touch-and-go with fitness issues again for Friday.
In his absence, Manor Solomon scored the winner against Brighton. All six of his Premier League games for Fulham have been as a substitute, playing 82 minutes in total. He averages a goal every 41 minutes courtesy of scoring in his last two appearances, while the last Israeli player to score in three consecutive Premier League games was Ronnie Rosenthal in November 1992.
Fulham’s overperformance in defence does point to the form of Bernd Leno, captain Tim Ream and tough-tackling João Palhinha who are the crucial spine of this team. Fulham have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three Premier League games, despite facing 43 shots across these matches. They last recorded four consecutive shutouts in the top flight in December 2001.
Despite a poor home defeat to Bournemouth, Wolves had come into that game with impressive victories against Liverpool (3-0) and Southampton (2-1), as well as a gritty 1-0 win against West Ham. The win at Southampton was one of two wins Wolves have enjoyed in their four Premier League away games under Lopetegui (D1 L1). That’s more than they’d managed in their previous 14 away trips (W1 D3 L10). They last won consecutive league games on the road in February last year (a run of four).
Fulham vs Wolves Premier League Prediction
The supercomputer has this match down as a tight one, with all three results similarly likely. Fulham will have the edge come full-time though, with the model predicting they win this game 38.8% of the game. The outcomes for a draw (30.3%) or a Wolves win (30.9%) are pretty much identical.
Win as predicted and Fulham will go level with Newcastle in the hunt for a Europa League spot. Our season-long projections still have them as currently punching above their weight, however, predicting they’ll eventually finish the year in the 8th to 10th range. The Champions League (0.4%) is a fanciful dream, with Arsenal and Man City sewing that up, and Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea are all given a better chance of qualifying for the Europa League.
A top-half finish, plus a deep FA cup one (Fulham beat Sunderland in Round 4), would be a fantastic first season back in the top flight.
Wolves’ situation is precarious but not imminently threatening. The supercomputer estimates there are five teams (Southampton, Bournemouth, Leeds, Everton and Nottingham Forest) with a higher chance of getting relegated than Lopetegui’s side.
Enjoy this? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive five stories each Friday. It’s free.