After nine games both Fulham and Bournemouth find themselves in the top half of the Premier League table — and the newly-promoted clubs will be desperate to consolidate their statuses there when they meet in west London this weekend.
Marco Silva’s side started the season like a house on fire, drawing 2-2 with Liverpool and beating the likes Brentford, Brighton and Nottingham Forest. But, without Aleksandar Mitrovic — who went off early against Newcastle at the start of the month — the Cottagers have suffered back-to-back defeats against the Magpies and West Ham, shipping seven goals in that time.
Bournemouth, by contrast, are currently riding the crest of a wave. They looked dead and buried after only three games when Liverpool put nine past them and Scott Parker was led to the managerial gallows. But since interim incumbent Gary O’Neil stepped up to the plate, the Cherries are unbeaten in five, and most recently came from behind the beat Leicester, showing a lion-hearted resilience and never-say-die attitude.
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Fulham v Bournemouth match stats
It’s seems incredible that Joao Palhinha ended up at a newly-promoted club and that none of the so-called big boys took a chance on him. The £20m recruit from Sporting has been nothing short of sensational in west London this campaign, adding tenacity, skill and enterprise to Silva’s midfield. Not afraid to put his body on the line, Palhinha has recorded more tackles than any other player in the Premier League this season (35). The down side to that, though, is his high card count. He has so far racked up more yellows than any other player this term (five) and already served out a suspension.
For Bournemouth, their game-changer could come in the guise of Dominic Solanke, who will be champing at the bit to get on the score sheet. The 25-year-old is just one finish shy of reaching a half century in English league football. He bagged in both of Bournemouth’s meetings with Fulham in the Championship last season, with both matches finishing 1-1.
03 Dec 2021 – Fulham 1-1 Bournemouth – Championship
20 Apr 2019 – Bournemouth 0-1 Fulham – Premier League
27 Oct 2018 – Fulham 0-3 Bournemouth – Premier League
06 Mar 2015 – Fulham 1-5 Bournemouth – Championship
As previously alluded to, these clubs played out consecutive 1-1 draws in the Championship last term. In this particular fixture at Craven Cottage, Solanke broke the deadlock and looked to have secured his side all three points — but a late Tosin Adarabioyo equaliser snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat for Silva and Co.
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