Fulham and Cardiff City
Craven Cottage stadium will host the clash between Fulham and Cardiff City. The Cottagers put an end to their winless run in midweek by beating Everton 2-1 in the Capital One Cup and they are certainly brimming with confidence ahead of the clash against the Welsh side.
Fulham go into the match against Cardiff City in the bottom three after a shaky start to the Premier League season. However, the Cottagers gave their fans something to cheer about as theyeliminated Everton from the Capital One Cup on Tueday night. Over the last few years Fulham have established themselves as a mid table side in English football and they have been producing much better displays on home ground. This season, though, the Whites have yet to triumph at their Craven Cottage, with the team sharing the spoils WBA while losing to city rivals Arsenal 3-1. Newly-promoted Cardiff City seems like an ideal opportunity for Martin Jolˈs men to record a victory in front of home supporters. Key striker Dimitar Berbatov returned to the starting line-up against Everton in the Capital One Cup match and he scored the equalizer for the Cottagers. The Bulgarian once more proved that he is irreplaceable and he will be the main threat for the Bluebirds. Fulham will welcome Cardiff City after 16 years, meaning that tradition should not be of any importance for the outcome of the match.
Fulham will give late fitness tests to Bryan Ruiz and Aaron Hughes ahead of Saturday's clash against Cardiff City. Goalkeeper Stekelenburg remains on the sidelines. Briggs also misses the match with injury.
Newly promoted Cardiff City surprised everybody by defeating strong Manchester City side 3-2 in August,but the team have failed to record a victory in the Premier League ever since. Following twoconsecutive draws with Everton and Hull City, the Bluebirds suffered an unlucky defeat to Tottenham Hotspurs (1-0), with Paulinho finding the net in 93rd minute. Malky Mackayˈs men continued their losing run on Tuesday as they once again lost to West Ham United, this time out in the Capital One Cup (3-2). Mark Hudson won Player of the Year award last season, while David Marshall was the fansˈ favourite, but many people believe that veteran winger Craig Bellamy is the key player in Cardiff City team. Nonetheless, the Welshman has yet to open account this season and he has been struggling to find his recognizable form. The Bluebirds are probably the worst travelers in this edition of the Premier League and the lack of confidence could prove to be the main problem for Malky Mackayˈs side at Craven Cottage this Saturday. Taking everything into account, I do not believe that there is a big value in betting on the visitors on day 6.
Andreas Cornelius misses the match through injury. Peter Odemwinge scored on his Cardiff City debut against West Ham United and he could be recalled. Malky Mackay has no other injury concerns ahead of Fulham game and he is likely to field the strongest starting XI.
Seeing that the confidence is soaring in London ahead of the clash against Cardiff City and seeing that Dimitar Berbatov will be in the starting line-up for the hosts, I am tempted to back the Cottagers to record their first home victory of the season.
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