Craven Cottage is the venue where Fulham face Leeds United. The winners will progress into the quarter finals of the FA Cup. Fulham have been enjoying a tremendous season and are as high as 6th in the Premier League. Leeds, meanwhile, are fighting relegation and the FA Cup might either be a welcome or unpleasant distraction. New manager Javi Gracia has strong past form in this competition where he led Watford all the way to the FA Cup final a few years ago.
Fancying a bet builder for this one? As always, I’ve gone ahead and put together the stats for tonight’s FA Cup Clash. If you’re unsure as to how to make the most of the numbers below, then take a look at my Stats Pack Guide before placing your bet builder.
Marco Silva has a history of rotating heavily in this competition so far this season. Tom Cairney is injured but the rest of the lineup is very open to discussion. Key striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has been absent due to a thigh problem recently and may not be risked, at least from the start.
Marek Rodak seems to be the set cup goalkeeper so should get the gloves. Tim Ream will almost certainly be rested and the trio of Wilson, Kurzawa along with Adarabioyo could all feature.
Leeds manager Javi Gracia gave little away in in his pre match press conference. He didn’t even confirm if Ilan Meslier would start in goal. It is expected that Rasmus Kristensen will come into the side at right back and Georginio Rutter must surely be given a start in the FA Cup, the question is exactly where in the lineup.
Marc Roca and Darko Gyabi are also candidates for selection but ultimately, there are a lot of question marks surrounding the Leeds lineup.
Fulham average 1.44 goals per game and just 1.24 against. They have been overachieving defensively considering their xGA is 1.63. One thing that is very noticeable is how many shots and SOT they’ve faced this season. The opposition have on average been firing 4.88 SOT and 13.50 shots which is slightly concerning.
Corners have been commonplace in Fulham games. They average 4.54 corners themselves in each match whilst their opponents have racked up 5.56 in each fixture. The Cottagers have been a dirty team and obtained 2.52 cards per game, but they’ve also drawn 1.72 cards from their opposition on average.
Leeds have scored 1.21 goals per game and conceded 1.63. Leeds have been underachieving offensively with an xG as high as 1.54. They only average 3.80 SOT which is one of the contributing factors why. At the other end of the field Leeds have conceded several shots, 13.20 per game.
Corners have been on the high side in Leeds fixtures. They have racked up 5.42 and concede 4.46. Cards have also been high and the Yorkshire outfit have accumulated several cards this season at an average of 2.33 in each contest. They’ve also drawn roughly two cards from the opposition per game.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Mitrovic dominates this category averaging a whopping 4.19 shots per 90 mins. He has scored plenty of goals, but his accuracy rate isn’t great with only 1.23 SOT. The trio of Willian, Pereira and Vinicius could be worth keeping an eye on to try their luck.
Manor Soloman has caught the eye recently with three key goals and has impressive metrics, albeit from limited minutes. He will be a candidate to start this FA Cup game.
The trio of Sinisterra, Bamford and Summerville all average over 2 shots per 90 mins with Bamford the highest at 2.95. A lot will depend on the lineup here but those three especially like to shoot. Willy Gnonto is more selective (1.60), and Jack Harrison (1.20) has a surprisingly low shooting rate.
Player Goals and Assists
There is only one man to start with and that is with leading marksman Alexander Mitrovic netting 11 goals for Fulham. He is the standout player and would be a big miss if he isn’t fit to play.
The next highest scorer for the West Londoners is Bobby Reid with four, followed by Palhinha with three. The player who leads Fulham for assists is Brazilian technician Andreas Pereira with six. Manor Solomon could start here and has three goals.
Leeds have generally lacked goals all season and will be without top scorer Rodrigo who is injured. Summerville has four goals and Jack Harrison leads the assist chart with five, but nobody else really stands out. Of course, a lot depends who starts this match for the Mighty Whites.
Fulham only average 46% possession. Players to watch out for in the passing markets are potentially the centre backs Adarabiyo and Duffy. This is mostly a counter-attacking side though which is worth bearing in mind.
Leeds average 50% possession but it is worth noting that they had 60% of the ball in Javi Gracia’s first match in charge vs Southampton on Saturday. They are the more likely team to have higher possession but there’s a lot of uncertainty when a new manager takes charge of his first away game.
Centre back Wober in addition to midfielders Adams and Roca are the most likely to rack up the passes if they play.
This Fulham team are no strangers to picking up cards. Palhinha leads them with 10 cards in 24 appearances, but the trio of Bobby Reid, Kenny Tete and Andreas Pereira aren’t far behind.
Left back Antonee Robinson does not foul as often (0.89) but has also racked up the cards. He may well be replaced by Layvin Kurzawa in this fixture though.
He has few appearances, but Georginio Rutter averages an astronomical 10.80 dribbles per 90 mins. He absolutely loves taking on his opponents and is an obvious foul magnet. The trio of Gnonto, Summerville and Aaronson can all be tricky customers as well. Leeds have a lot of pacey and technical players.
Match-Ups to watch
Joao Palhinha vs Marc Roca
Layvin Kurzawa vs Crycensio Summerville
Kenny Tete or Cedric Soares vs Georginio Rutter
Leeds have been quite a dirty team this season and their whole squad are a candidate for cards. The trio of Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Junior Firpo have all been in the book a lot recently. Robin Koch, Rasmus Kristensen and Marc Roca could all potentially start here and need to be watched for potential fouls and cards.
Alexander Mitrovic is a powerful beast of a striker and can be very difficult to bring down. It is no surprise to see him get fouled on average 1.71 times per 90 mins. Should Vinicius take his place then he gets fouled at a similar rate.
Right back Kenny Tete gets fouled on average 1.62 times and will be a difficult matchup. Harry Wilson could start here, and he is another potential foul magnet.
Match-Ups to watch
Rasmus Kristensen vs Manor Soloman
Junior Firpo vs Harry Wilson
Robin Koch vs Carlos Vinicius
My Bet Builder picks of the pack
I’m expecting an entertaining clash here, and one that’s great for bet builders. I’ve put together my picks for tonight, with the help of my Stats Pack, down below.