Fulham vs. Bournemouth – prediction, team news, lineups

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Both sides have made respectable starts to life back in the top flight and they currently sit inside the top half of the table, with the Cherries in eighth and the Cottagers just one point behind in ninth.

Match preview

Fulham manager Marco Silva on October 9, 2022© Reuters

Marco Silva‘s Fulham side have suffered a dip in form over the last few weeks, with a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to Newcastle United followed by a 3-1 loss away at West Ham United last weekend.

In the absence of injured star striker Aleksandar MitrovicAndreas Pereira fired Fulham into an early lead at the London Stadium, but the Hammers turned the game on its head with a Jarrod Bowen penalty followed by strikes from Gianluca Scamacca and Michail Antonio, condemning the Cottagers to their fourth defeat in their last six league games.

Silva will be keen to see improvements made in defence as they have kept only one clean sheet in nine league games so far this season, drawing 0-0 with goal-shy Wolverhampton Wanderers in August. Only Saturday’s opponents Bournemouth (20) and the bottom two sides Nottingham Forest (22) and Leicester City (24) have conceded more goals than Fulham (18) so far this season.

Fulham now face four favourable-looking fixtures, on paper, with a home clash against the Cherries followed by encounters against Aston Villa, Leeds United and Everton, so they will be hopeful of turning their fortunes around in the coming weeks.

However, the West Londoners have struggled in recent years against Bournemouth as they have won only one of their last 10 league meetings against them, a 1-0 away victory in April 2019.

Bournemouth interim manager Gary O'Neil on October 8, 2022© Reuters

Since the departure of head coach Scott Parker following their humbling 9-0 defeat at Liverpool, Bournemouth have put together a five-game unbeaten run under interim boss Gary O’Neil and they claimed their third win of the season at home against Leicester City last weekend.

After Patson Daka fired the visitors into an early lead, the Cherries came from behind to claim maximum points in their 100th Premier League home game courtesy of two strikes within the space of three second-half minutes from Philip Billing and Ryan Christie.

Bournemouth have now climbed up to eighth in the Premier League standings, six points clear of the relegation zone and just four behind the Champions League places, albeit at such an early stage of the campaign.

With back-to-back fixtures against Fulham and Southampton up next, O’Neil’s buoyant bunch will fancy their chances of continuing their fine run of form as they bid to alleviate fears of a potential relegation scrap this season.

The away side have won each of the last five Premier League meetings between Bournemouth and Fulham, which bodes well for the Cherries this weekend, but they head to Craven Cottage after losing seven of their last eight top-flight games in London.

Team News

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring for Fulham on August 27, 2022© Reuters

Fulham are sweating over the fitness of Aleksandar Mitrovic who was forced off in the defeat against Newcastle with a foot injury, while right-back Kenny Tete is also doubtful with an unspecified problem and will be assessed ahead of kickoff.

The hosts will be without Nathaniel Chalobah due to suspension, while Manor Solomon (knee), Willian and Layvin Kurzawa (both calf) remain sidelined with injuries.

Bobby Decordova-Reid played at right-back in the loss at West Ham and the Jamaican forward may keep his place in the back four ahead of Kevin Mbabu, while Carlos Vinicius is set to lead the line if Mitrovic fails to be passed fit.

As for Bournemouth, Lloyd Kelly (ankle), David Brooks (thigh) and Junior Stanislas (muscle) are all ruled out with injuries, while Ben Pearson and Joe Rothwell are doubtful with respective knee and thigh issues.

Adam Smith captained the side at left-back last week, but he could switch back to his favoured right-back position on Saturday, with Ryan Fredericks potentially dropping out of the side for Jordan Zemura.

Solanke, who scored in both of Bournemouth’s 1-1 draws against Fulham in the Championship last season, is set to start again up front and will be looking to score his 50th goal in English league football this weekend.

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Leno; Decordova-Reid, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson; Palhinha, Reed; James, Pereira, Kebano; Vinicius

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Neto; Smith, Mepham, Senesi, Zemura; Christie, Cook, Lerma, Tavernier; Billing; Solanke

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