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Fulham vs Watford: Home comforts for Cottagers

Fulham vs Watford Match Preview and Predictions

Watford saw their 100 per cent start to the Premier League campaign come to an end with a 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United last Saturday.

[All odds correct at time of publication] 

The Hornets trailed to goals from Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling before Andre Gray gave them hope, with the home side throwing the kitchen sink at United and just failing to force an equaliser.

Fulham went down 3-0 to champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium but had taken four points from their previous two games against Burnley and Brighton.

Match information

When is it? Saturday 22nd September

What time is kick-off? 12:30

Where is it being played? Craven Cottage

Which channel is it on? Sky Sports Premier League/Main Event

Who is the referee? Martin Atkinson

Fulham vs Watford Betting Tips

Here are our best tips for the match and we also have a range of other markets available:

The lowdown

Fulham could have been forgiven for thinking it would be a long afternoon when they trailed 2-0 after 21 minutes to Manchester City, who took their foot off the gas after the break in winning 3-0.

Boss Slavisa Jokanovic acknowledged "it was never going to be an easy day for us" but taking any points from the big six are always regarded as bonus points and too much cannot be read into that result.

Prior to the international break, the Cottagers had beaten Burnley 4-2 at home before squandering a 2-0 lead in drawing 2-2 at Brighton.

Looking at the expected goals data, this game could be decided by which defence comes out on top.

This weekend's best bets

If you're interested in accumulators or in-play betting, check out our regular betting columns:

While Fulham have a better average attacking xG (1.33-1.13), Watford have the fourth-best xG in defence (1.10) with the home side bottom of the list with 2.79.

Only twice have Fulham been kept off the scoresheet, although they are yet to keep a clean sheet, while Watford's last four games have seen both teams scoring.

With that in mind, 6/10 for both teams to score is where we begin our Fulham vs Watford betting predictions.

First goalscorer tips

Aleksandar Mitrovic had scored four goals in three games prior to the international break, where he helped himself to a brace as Serbia drew 2-2 with Romania in the Nations League.

The 24-year-old netted 12 goals during a loan spell from Newcastle to help the Cottagers secure promotion via the play-offs last season and Jokanovic believes the striker can fire the goals to keep his side in the top flight.

We are backing the BetStars odds boost at 5/1 that he scores first here.

Anytime goalscorer tips

Andre Schurrle, a World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, has already scored twice since joining Fulham on loan from Borussia Dortmund.

The forward won the Premier League with Chelsea in 2014/15 despite only making 14 appearances prior to moving to Wolfsburg in February 2015.

His ability to chip in with goals will be crucial to the Cottagers' cause this season and will help relieve some of the pressure on Mitrovic's shoulder. We like odds of 17/10 for him to score at anytime.

Where the game will be won or lost

After warning his team about the need to remain switched on after throwing away a 2-0 lead against Brighton, Jokanovic would not have been too happy with the way his side gave away possession as Manchester City took the lead within two minutes.

City added a third moments after the break but Fulham stuck to their footballing principles and nearly grabbed a late consolation through Mitrovic.

Feature match previews for this weekend

If you're interested in tips on our feature matches for the weekend, check out our in-depth previews below:

Fulham were beaten just twice at home last season, conceding only 17 goals in 23 games, but responded to their opening-day reverse at this venue to Crystal Palace by seeing off Burnley 4-2.

Four of Watford's first five fixtures were at Vicarage Road with the away match resulting in a 3-1 win at Burnley.

The victory at Turf Moor halted a winless away streak of 12 matches - including 11 defeats and eight in a row without scoring.

With a trip to Arsenal on the horizon, this game could show more about where Watford are at, particularly their response to seeing their 100 per cent start come to an end.

Fulham have scored at least twice in three of their last four games while Watford's previous four top-flight encounters have all ended with a 2-1 scoreline, which gets our vote in the second of our free football tips at 9/1, with Fulham HT/Fulham FT at 29/10 rounding off our Fulham vs Watford predictions.

Team news

Fulham will be without Tom Cairney and Neeskens Kebano. Cairney continues to nurse a foot concern, with Kebano still unable to shake off an ankle problem. Defender Tim Ream is back in training after a thigh injury but will not be fully fit in time to feature.

Watford reported no fresh injury problems. Winger Gerard Deulofeu is closing in on a return to full training after an abdominal problem, but will not be rushed into what would be a first appearance of the season.

Traders' Tips - View from the trading floor

Watford have made an impressive start to the season and were perhaps unfortunate not to rescue a point with their late comeback against Manchester United last weekend. They can earn a share of the spoils against a Fulham team which has been inconsistent since returning to the Premier League.

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Stuart Walker
@BetStars in Football