Nathan Jones’ Soutampton side will close out the year with a trip to Craven Cottage, as they take on Fulham in what is already a game in which the Saints can’t really afford to drop points. Fulham have been the surprise package for many so far this campaign, with consistently exciting showings, a far cry from what people expected from them upon their return to the Premier League. Southampton meanwhile are already in trouble. Bottom of the table and continuing to leak goals, a point against Fulham seems like a must.
You can find my value selections, as well as a stats pack, below for what should be an exciting, and open, affair.
Over 2.5 Goals: 1.72 (8/11)
With 27 goals scored, and 26 conceded (3.31 per game) only City and Spurs rank above Fulham for total goals. Fulham have kept just two clean sheets all season, and also failed to score in both of those games, meaning that over 2.5 has landed in 88% of their fixtures.
Whilst Fulham may do the heavy lifting, Saints have seen over 2.5 goals in 9 of their 16 matches. 44 goals scored and conceded combined comes to a 2.75 per game average. Both will create chances, both will concede them, and goals definitely look on the cards.
Aleksandar Mitrovic to score: 2.10 (11/10)
Mitrovic has proven himself more than capable of thriving in the Premier League this campaign. The Serbian frontman has scored 10 goals in 13 for Fulham, and his shot output is quite frankly ridiculous. 1.72 on target P/90, with a staggering 4.82 shots P/90 emphasises the influence that he has on a game.
Up against a Southampton defence that have conceded just 1 clean sheet all season, as well as 4.25 shots on target P/90, Mitrovic has every chance of causing the Saints further damage on Saturday afternoon. He’s scored in 9 of his 13 appearances, and managed a minimum of 2 shots on target in the same number of games. He should be able to repeat that here.
James Ward-Prowse 2+ shots: 1.80 (4/5)
Ward-Prowse certainly hasn’t been hitting the numbers shots wise that he has in the past. His 0.87 shots P/90 pail in comparison to 1.43 P/90 from last season, and the 1.42 P/90 the season prior. But against Fulham, Ward-Prowse should find more regular opportunities to shoot.
Fulham are an incredibly open side, and 12.87 shots against P/90 and an xGA P/90 of 1.65 evidences this. Ward-Prowse will find opportunities from deep, but as Southampton’s free kick taker, multiple efforts at goal could be on the cards. Fulham players such as Palhinha, Reid, Reed, and Tete all commit over a foul P/90, which should give the Saints captain ample opportunity to shoot from set pieces.
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