Despite being twelve places adrift and having only half the points total of Manchester City in the Premier League table, Fulham go into tomorrow’s game against the league leaders at the Etihad Stadium as the team in better form.
In their last six games in all competitions, Martin Jol’s side have picked up three wins, a draw and two defeats.
City, by way of contrast, have just two wins, a draw and three defeats from their last six in a run which has seen them exit both domestic cup competitions and allow Manchester United to draw level with them at the top of the table.
At the very least, then, surely a bet on a draw or Fulham victory represents good business in bwin’s double chance market at 5/2?
Unfortunately for Fulham, City’s poor form does not extend to their Premier League home games, with their perfect record at the Etihad Stadium remaining intact despite their recent travails.
The Lilywhites are in good form in front of goal having notched five against Newcastle in their last league game.
The Citizens have won all 11 league games at the Etihad this season, scoring 34 goals and conceding just six in the process.
Admittedly, they lost home games to Man Utd and Liverpool in the FA Cup and Carling Cup respectively in January, although Man Utd’s victory owed much to the first half sending off of Vincent Kompany and Liverpool’s to a commendable backs-to-the-wall rear-guard effort in the second half.
With Roberto Mancini’s men having bounced back with a 3-2 win over Tottenham in their only subsequent game at the Etihad, they look well placed to deal with a Fulham side who have won just one league game away from home all season.
As such, City’s odds of 7/25 to win in bwin’s 3Way football betting market are justified, as are the prices for a draw at 17/4 and Fulham victory at 9/1.
With odds of 7/25 not offering much in the way of returns for punters looking to bet on a Man City victory, the handicap market might be a better option.
The Citizens can be backed at 39/50 to win by two clear goals or more and at 19/10 to win by at least three.
Fulham’s record of scoring just seven goals on their travels, coupled with City’s average of over three goals scored in a home league game, suggests a bet on a comprehensive victory could pay off.
However, the Lilywhites are in good form in front of goal having notched five against Newcastle in their last league game.
They have also found the back of the net in five of their last six league games on the road.
Significantly, Fulham secured draws against Chelsea and Arsenal in that sequence, showing they are capable of keeping things tight on the road while still offering a threat going forward.
Given City have only kept one clean sheet in their last six, the possibility of Fulham scoring should not be ruled out, meaning a home win by three or more goals might have to be removed from the equation.
With this in mind, the best bet could be on a 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 victory for the Citizens at odds of 29/10.
A successful £25 free bet on Man City to beat Fulham 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 is set to return £97.50, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
One final bet to consider is on more goals to be scored in the second half than in the first.
City have scored 74 per cent of their goals at the Etihad after the interval and Fulham are also more prolific in front of goal after the break on away days.
Significantly, Fulham are also more vulnerable defensively after half time on their travels, with 11 of their 14 goals conceded after the break.
As such, 11/10 looks a good price for the floodgates to open in the second 45 minutes after a more restrained opening.
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