Aston Villa v Fulham – 26.05.2018 – Betting Tip
We had the chance to enjoy a remarkable promotional contest in this term of the Championship. Wolves and Cardiff City crossed the finish line at the end of the regular season, while the likes of Fulham, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Derby County had to fight for the one remaining spot in the elite through the playoffs.
The Cottagers and the Lions edged past Derby and Boro earning the right to feature one of the highest rewarding events out there. The grand final is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Wembley and we are no doubts about to witness a huge drama when Villa and Fulham take on each other.
Mile Jedinak’s early opener in the first leg at Riverside made all the difference in the Villa v Boro tie proving out to be the only goal scored in two legs. Steve Bruce successfully defended the narrow cushion from the first leg, but his team got lucky in the dying minutes of the reverse fixture in Birmingham when keeper Sam Johnstone just had to be sent off for the obvious hand ball outside the area. Middlesbrough were only rewarded a free-kick which ended up with a stunning cross-bar effort from Stewart Downing. The net, however, stood still as Villa’s fans celebrated the win on aggregate.
Bruce will likely not be able to count on Ahmed El Mohamady once again after the Egyptian skipped the second leg of the tie with Boro with a hamstring injury. Nevertheless, the defensive line with John Terry and James Chester as center backs was just phenomenal in the semi-final and there are no doubts Fulham will have struggles to create in the final third on Saturday. Overall, Villa shipped just two goals in last seven games in the Championship.
Unlike the Lions who tend to build their success on the rock-solid defensive line, Fulham fancy attacking football which brought them plenty of positives in the second half of the season. Team’s dramatic rise in form can be somehow connected to the arrival of Aleksandar Mtrovic halfway through the season. The Serbian striker exploded after a rather dismal campaign he had in Newcastle United. Slavisa Jokanovic obviously trusts his compatriot and this relation initiated an amazing streak in the second half of the campaign. Fulham lost just one of last 24 league ties in the regular season, and that lone defeat came on the very final day when the Cottagers shockingly fell 3-1 away at Birmingham City.
The playoffs semis saw Fulham completely dominating the tie with Derby County, but only edging it past the Rams narrowly at the end. Derby held it out to a 1-0 win in the first leg at iPro Stadium and they kept the Lilywhites at bay for the first half of the reverse fixture at Craven Cottage. However, Ryan Sessegnon and Denis Odoi managed to break the Rams’ resistance contributing to a2-0 victory which sent Fulham to the final at Wembley.
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Head to Head and Stats
There is little to separate these two outfits when it comes to their head to head record. Aston Villa only lead the H2H tie by a single win coming into 52nd encounter with the Rams. This term’s matches saw teams snatching wins on the home patch each.
The most recent H2H history belongs to Fulham who won five of last seven encounters with the Lions. Both teams were on the scoreline in four of last six H2H meetings which makes sports betting strategies that lean on plenty of goals scored quite advisable.
Out Tips and Predictions
Fulham kind of deserved to be in the elite after an amazing second half of the season. They Cottagers have won 18 and drawn 5 of 23 league games since the Boxing Day. Slavisa Jokanovic has immense quality all over the pitch, but the names of Ryan Sessegnon and Aleksandar Mitriovic pop up as the most prominent ones.
However, the Cottagers will be up against one of the best defensive lines in the competition here. Villa kept their met untouched in both semi-final legs against Boro and Steve Bruce will likely par k the bus here knowing how lethal Fulham can be up front. As we don’t expect Jokanovic to risk much at the start either, the best way to go would be backing no goals in the first half, a bet priced up at 6/4 (2.50) with most Betting Sites in Kenya.
In such circumstances, under 2.5 goals FT seems to be the safest of all betting tips and you can back it at 8/13 (1.61). Braver tipsters will fancy the 0-1 correct score longshot at 11/2.