Fulham v Wolves Preview

Wolves will look to end their five-game winless run when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Friday. 

A poor start cost Nuno’s side on Monday as they lost 3-2 to West Ham at Molineux, despite goals from Leander Dendoncker and Fabio Silva sparking a late fightback.

Fulham sit in the relegation zone having lost their last three games against Manchester City, Leeds and Aston Villa, but have picked up impressive victories against Liverpool, Everton and Leicester this campaign.

Kick off at Craven Cottage is at 8pm and the game will be broadcast on BT Sport. 


Wolves form


Things were looking up for Wolves after their last Friday night game when a win against Leeds meant Nuno’s side had picked up 10 points from four games, but the five games since have seen the good will around Molineux dissipate yet again. 

Wolves’ fifth winless game in a row saw them lose 3-2 to West Ham on Monday, as first-half goals from Jesse Lingard, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen made the points secure after just 38 minutes. 

Defensive injuries played a part in Nuno’s decision to switch from a 3-4-3 to a 4-2-3-1, but Wolves looked vulnerable every time West Ham attacked, and despite dominating possession, shots and shots on target, their woeful defensive display cost them at least a point. 

Should Wolves lose to Fulham on Friday, the gap between Nuno’s side and Fulham in 18th will stand at just six points with seven games remaining. To make Wanderers defensively solid enough to gain at least a point which should be enough to guarantee survival, Nuno will have to revert to the tried and trusted 3-4-3.


Fulham form


Despite gaining plenty of plaudits for their style of play and multiple impressive results this campaign, Fulham are staring down the barrel of another immediate return to the second tier. 

After Aleksandar Mitrovic put the Whites 1-0 up at Villa Park on Sunday Fulham were out of the drop zone for the first time since December, but they were only in 17th for 17 minutes before Villa turned the game around and condemned Scott Parker’s side to their third straight defeat.

With trips to Stamford Bridge, the Emirates and Old Trafford still to come, Fulham’s survival chances seemingly rest on picking up points in their remaining three home games against Nuno’s side, Burnley and Newcastle. Having picked up just two wins, against the only two sides below them, in their previous 16 games, this seems a tall order. 

Wolves will have to keep an eye out for Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has seemingly come into form at the perfect moment for Scott Parker. The Serbian has picked up six goals in his last four games for club and country, and usually plays well against a Wolves backline who are easily dominated by physical front men.


Fulham v Wolves team news


Wolves suffered some devastating injury news before the visit of West Ham, as Jonny tore his ACL for the second time in less than 9 months in training on Sunday. The Spanish international will now face another lengthy spell on the sidelines. 

Willy Boly will also miss the trip to Craven Cottage after testing positive for COVID-19, but the Ivorian is on course to return to training on Tuesday. Joao Moutinho is unlikely to travel having picked up a groin injury on international duty, while Raul Jimenez and Marcal remain the two other long-term absentees. 

For Fulham, Ademola Lookman was withdrawn on 47 minutes with a hamstring strain against Aston Villa and will require a late fitness test, while captain Tom Cairney and back-up keeper Marek Rodak are out with knee and finger injuries respectively. 

Wolves line up prediction: Patricio; Saiss, Coady, Kilman; Semedo, Neves, Dendoncker, Ait-Nouri; Traore, Silva, Neto. 


Fulham v Wolves head to head


The sides’ previous meeting this campaign ended with Wolves taking three points at Molineux in October through a Pedro Neto strike, although Fulham had chances to equalise late on through the now-departed pair of Aboubakar Kamara and Neeskens Kebano. 


Wolves have had the better of recent meetings with the Cottagers, having won nine of the previous 13 meetings in league and cup. 


The last game between the sides at Craven Cottage ended 1-1 on Boxing Day 2018, as Romain Saiss cancelled out Ryan Sessegnon’s opener. 


Fulham v Wolves prediction

As often is the case when two out-of-form teams meet, this one could go either way. 

There’s no question that Fulham need the points more than their visitors, but should Scott Parker’s side prevail on Friday, even the most optimistic of Wolves fans will be looking over their shoulder. 

The fact of the matter is that right now Fulham have an identity and a slight optimism despite their league position, Wolves do not. Despite the second-half fightback, Monday’s defeat showed Nuno’s side’s vulnerabilities, the biggest of which is that they simply seem unable to defend. 

With that in mind, Fulham have to be the favourites to pick up three points. 

Prediction: Fulham 2-1 Wolves


James Wynn is part of the Talking Wolves editorial team – you can follow him on Twitter here.