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Fulham vs West Brom Tips: Jimmy The Punt's best plays for Saturday's early kick-off

Fulham v West Brom Tips: Mitrovic features in Jimmy's 7/1 selection
Fulham v West Brom Tips: Mitrovic features in Jimmy's 7/1 selection

We are in for a threat on Saturday in the Championship’s early kick off as Fulham take on West Brom at Craven Cottage. 

On Monday’s ‘Football Cliches’ podcast they discussed what a game needs to have in order to have had “it all.” The consensus is goals- at least four- a bit of beef on the touchline, plenty of cards and a penalty. So, I certainly think this fixture has all the credentials of a classic as this one sees two of the favourites for promotion clash. 

They currently sit in second and third place, separated by just a point, and as this match kicks-off nearly eight hours before Reading vs Bournemouth it provides them both with an opportunity to close in on the Cherries on top who are currently five points clear.

In terms of team news, Scott Parker could name the same XI that thumped Forest 0-4 on their own turf. This would see Jean Michael Seri and Tom Cairney continue in the middle of the park. The pair ooze class and this is best epitomised by the fact that they completed 91% of the 128 passes they attempted at the City Ground. 

It will be a fascinating clash between those two and the slightly more industrious Baggies central pairing of Alex Mowatt and Jake Livermore. That is if, and it is a big if, the latter two can start as neither featured in any capacity in the 3-0 victory over Bristol City, Mowatt due to injury and Livermore due to suspension. 

There are also question marks as to who starts upfront for Valerien Ismael’s side but for different reasons. Callum Robinson was kept out of the side by Jordan Hugill last weekend and the former West Ham man could keep his place after scoring. Matt Phillips and the inform Karlan Grant will likely flant Robinson or Hugill though. The latter has been in fine fettle as of late, bagging six in as many games as he has averaged a goal every 144 minutes played this season. 

In terms of odds, the hosts are the favourites here at around 11/10 and may even represent the value as they have won 55% of their games when priced accordingly, especially considering that WBA have won only 9% of their matches when priced at 13/5.

Fulham v West Brom Tips

Fulham v West Brom Odds

Fulham v West Brom Odds
Over 2.5 goals
10/11
Odds correct as of 2021-10-29 12:45 Odds subject to change.

This fixture is early on in the afternoon and crucially for goals, early on in the season. Whilst neither side will want to lose this, with the table still taking shape, it will not be the end of the world if they do, which bodes well for the goal angle here. 

Tactically, this one will be a fascinating clash of styles. As I touched on in the intro with Seri’s passing statistics, Fulham have been extremely easy on the eye this campaign and they welcome one of the more direct sides in the league here. 

As most will be aware of by now, Ismael’s teams like to deploy a high press, at a high intensity with a high line and I think that Fulham will be able to expose that high line, particularly with the quality they have in their squad. In WBA’s penultimate game, we saw Swansea’s Joel Piroe expose this fragility to score the game's opening goal. 

In terms of statistics, 64% of Fulham’s domestic fixtures have seen this bet land. Whilst it is worth noting that only 57% of the visitors have seen overs cop, they are more than capable of turning up to a shoot out as they certainly have the fire power.

Today's Football Tips
Aleksandar Mitrovic To be Carded & Score Anytime
7/1
Odds correct as of 2021-10-29 12:50 Odds subject to change.

Aleksandar Mitrovic did not exactly have to prove himself at this level but with 15 goals in the opening 14 fixtures, he is answering the few critics he might have had. The big Serbian talisman tops the second tier’s charts for; goals (15), goals and assists (18), shots (64) and shots on target (28). Therefore, backing him to score seems like the play here, however, I could not resist the price if you combine a goal with a card. 

When Steve McClaren signed him for Newcastle, he said that he had a bit of the devil in him and with 33 cards in just over 150 domestic appearances in the UK you can see what he meant. 

At Championship level, Mitro has a cards per 90 average of 0.30- which is impressively cynical- and this, combined with the magnitude of the occasion and the physical nature of his opponents, makes the double a play for me. 

Matt Clarke Anytime Goalscorer
22/1
Odds correct as of 2021-10-29 12:50 Odds subject to change.

Matt Clarke is the headline bet at 22/1, but I would recommend splitting your stakes across him, Kyle Bartley and Semi Ajayi here as all of West Brom’s central defenders are serious threats from set pieces. 

The Baggies have had the most shots (81) and generated the greatest xG (9.6) of any side in the Championship directly from set pieces this season and, as the xG data suggest, they should have scored more than the six goals that they have from them. 

Central defenders have scored 20% of WBA’s goals so far with these three combining for an average of 2.5 shots per game. Therefore, given the occasion, I think the visitors CB’s are worth a punt here. In terms of stakes, I’ll be splitting 2.5pts between them.

Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly. 

 

Kyle Bartley Anytime Goalscorer
14/1
Odds correct as of 2021-10-29 12:55 Odds subject to change.
Semi Ajayi Anytime Goalscorer
11/1
Odds correct as of 2021-10-29 13:00 Odds subject to change.
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