At first glance, Sunderland look to have the upper hand ahead of their meeting with Fulham at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
For while Martin Jol’s men have scored just three goals in away matches so far this season, the Black Cats are the fifth best defensive team in the division.
But there is hope for Fulham as Sunderland’s defensive solidity away from home has masked a greater tendency to concede at the Stadium of Light.
Only Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle have conceded fewer than Sunderland’s six goals in away matches, yet at home Sunderland’s total of seven in the goals against column is bettered by eight teams and equalled by three more.
And with the Black Cats conceding twice each to West Brom and Aston Villa in their last two home matches, despite those two sides also lacking attacking threat on their travels, the Lilywhites will hope to improve their goals scored tally on Saturday.
If Fulham score they are likely to do so early on in the game, with Sunderland having made a habit of conceding early in the recent past.
Only Stoke have let in more goals than Steve Bruce’s side in the first 15 minutes of league games this season, while over 50 per cent of the goals scored against Sunderland have arrived in the first third of matches.
And with Sunderland conceding the first goal in four of their five home games so far, all this makes Fulham good bets to score the opener at the attractive odds of 6/5.
A successful £25 free bet on Fulham to score first would return £55, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
But with Sunderland having scored eight goals in their last three home matches, don’t bet on Fulham’s early goal to be enough for them to hold on for a win.
Instead, back Sunderland to come from behind to earn all three points and make it four games unbeaten at the Stadium of Light and consign Fulham to a fourth defeat in six on their travels.
With this in mind, a lead-lose bet in the run of play market looks good value at 15/2.
Finally, in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, Sunderland go into the match as 27/20 favourites.
This leaves a draw at 21/10 with Fulham available at the same price to record only their second away victory of the season.
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