We look ahead to Monday’s game at Craven Cottage with our Fulham vs Wolves prediction and preview. Can the goal-shy hosts finally find their shooting boots?
Fulham vs Wolves Stats: The Quick Hits
- A close contest is predicted when Wolves travel to Craven Cottage. Fulham won 38.6% of the Opta supercomputer’s match simulations, compared to Wolves’ 31.3%.
- Wolves have scored at least once in their last 11 Premier League games. It’s their longest scoring streak in the competition since a run of 18 between August and December 2019.
- Fulham’s Raúl Jiménez is looking to become the fourth player to score against Wolves after previously representing them in the competition, after Andrew Surman in December 2011, Keith Andrews in February 2012 and Diogo Jota in March 2021.
Fulham didn’t have to worry too much about goals last season, with the since-departed Aleksandar Mitrović recording a career-high 14 Premier League strikes as Marco Silva’s men secured a top-half finish. Things have been more difficult in 2023-24, however, and their lack of cutting edge has some fans worried about a potential relegation battle ahead of Monday’s visit of Wolves.
While Fulham emerged from the international break seven points clear of the relegation zone after Everton’s 10-point deduction saw them drop below Silva’s men, they are winless in four Premier League games following their 3-1 defeat at Aston Villa last time out (D1 L3), with only Burnley (nine) scoring fewer goals than their 10 across the first 12 matchdays of the season.
Antonee Robinson’s own goal set the tone at Villa Park as Fulham went 3-0 down before Raúl Jiménez finally got off the mark for the club with a second-half consolation. Jiménez will hope that goal – his first in the Premier League since netting for Wolves in a 4-0 win over Watford in March 2022 – came at the right time ahead of his first meeting with his former club.
Only three players have ever scored against Wolves in the Premier League after representing them in the competition: Andrew Surman in December 2011, Keith Andrews in February 2012 and Diogo Jota in March 2021.
Jiménez will compete with Carlos Vinícius for a place in Fulham’s lineup, with fellow striker Rodrigo Muniz likely to return from a knee injury in early December. Another former Wolves man, winger Adama Traoré, joined Kenny Tete in returning to the squad against Villa and should be involved.
Fulham suffered a real blow when João Palhinha received his fifth booking of the season on Matchday 12, meaning he will serve a one-match ban on Monday. Palhinha led all Premier League players for tackles attempted (52) and was second only to Pedro Porro for tackles won (25 to 27) ahead of this weekend’s fixtures. He was a big miss for Fulham when out with a shoulder injury earlier in the campaign.
Fulham have lost four of the five Premier League games in which he hasn’t appeared since his arrival from Sporting CP last year, conceding an average of three goals per game when he is absent (15 in five), compared to 1.3 when he is involved (58 in 45).
Wolves have not shared Fulham’s goalscoring woes this season, with Gary O’Neil’s men netting in 11 straight Premier League games since their 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Matchday 1. It’s their longest scoring streak in the competition since a run of 18 between August and December 2019.
Their Matchday 12 win over Tottenham was surely the high point of O’Neil’s time at the club, surpassing even the 2-1 victory over Manchester City in September. Stoppage-time goals from Pablo Sarabia and Mario Lemina saw Wolves snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, with Spurs’ unbroken 87-minute lead the longest in Premier League history by a team who eventually lost.
While O’Neil would probably prefer not to leave things so late on Monday, Wolves have repeatedly shown an ability to dig deep. Only Arsenal and Liverpool (both seven) scored more goals in the final 10 minutes of Premier League games than Wolves’ six across the first 12 matchdays, while Wolves’ three winning goals in that timeframe are the most in the division, with each coming in the 86th minute or later.
Sarabia was the hero last time out, recording a goal and an assist to match his goal involvement figures from his previous 18 games in the Premier League. Prior to that win, Sarabia’s only goal in the competition came against Fulham in February, and with Pedro Neto still sidelined by a hamstring injury, the Spaniard will hope he has done enough to earn a start.
O’Neil will have to make at least one change, with Craig Dawson suspended after accumulating five yellow cards. Matt Doherty and Santiago Bueno are among the options to replace him, and both will be available after suffering knocks over the last fortnight. Nelson Semedo is also expected to start after recovering from a foot injury.
Fulham vs Wolves Head-to-Head
Wolves are unbeaten in their six Premier League meetings with Fulham since the two teams won promotion from the Championship together in 2018, recording three wins and three draws.
Indeed, Fulham have only won one of their last 14 league games against Wolves (D4 L9), a 2-0 home win in the Championship in February 2018 with Ryan Sessegnon and Mitrović on target.
Both games between the teams last season finished level. Manor Solomon cancelled out Sarabia’s opener as they drew 1-1 at Craven Cottage in February, after José Sá saved a late Mitrović penalty in a goalless draw at Molineux last August.
Neutrals will be hoping Monday’s game bucks the trend of low-scoring contests between these sides, with just seven goals being scored in their last six Premier League meetings.
Wolves have scored five of those goals with Fulham netting two, and neither team has scored more than once in any of those matches.
Fulham have alternated between losing (three) and winning (two) in their five home Premier League games this season, and they’ll be hoping that pattern continues after going down 1-0 to Manchester United last time out at Craven Cottage.
Their last eight home league defeats have come against sides from either London (five) or Manchester (three).
However, they must overcome a bout of the Monday Blues this time, having lost their last six Premier League matches to take place on a Monday night (7:45pm kick-offs or later), failing to score in five. Their last such victory came by a 4-1 scoreline against Crystal Palace in October 2013.
Wolves’ last away game ended in a 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United, with Oliver Norwood scoring a stoppage-time penalty after Fábio Silva was judged to have fouled George Baldock. They have two wins from six Premier League road trips under O’Neil, beating Everton (1-0) and Bournemouth (2-1).
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Monday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Fulham vs Wolves Prediction
Monday’s game appears a difficult one to call, and that can be seen in the Opta supercomputer’s prediction.
Fulham are narrow favourites, winning 38.6% of the supercomputer’s pre-match simulations, with Wolves winning 31.3% and 30.1% finishing level.
The supercomputer is predicting both teams to finish securely in mid-table, with Wolves given just a 0.7% likelihood of relegation and Fulham having a 2.3% chance. Thirteenth (18.3%) is Wolves’ most common position in our season simulations, with Fulham finishing 14th (19.2%) most often.