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Fulham logo
Premier League | Gameweek 25
Feb 17, 2024 at 3pm UK
Craven Cottage
Aston Villa logo

1 - 2
Aston Villa

Muniz (63')
Palhinha (86'), Castagne (89'), Lukic (90'), Wilson (90+4'), Traore (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Watkins (23', 56')
McGinn (32'), Moreno (74')

Preview: Fulham vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Fulham and Aston Villa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Now playing catch-up in the race for Champions League qualification, Aston Villa return to Premier League duty on Saturday, travelling south to face Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The Lions fell short in a 2-1 loss to Manchester United last weekend, while the Cottagers snapped a six-game losing sequence by getting the better of Bournemouth 3-1.

Match preview

Fulham manager Marco Silva on February 10, 2024© Reuters

Thriving in the Fulham frontline since the late January acquisition of Chelsea-owned Armando Broja, Rodrigo Muniz continues to keep the Blues loanee at bay, following up his strike against Burnley with a pivotal brace in the beating of Bournemouth on February 10.

Bobby Decordova-Reid had drawn first blood with just five minutes on the clock at Craven Cottage, before Muniz registered twice either side of a smart finish from Marcos Senesi, but the Cherries defender had only reduced the deficit for a couple of minutes before Muniz restored the hosts' two-goal cushion.

By picking off the Cherries, Fulham marched to their first Premier League victory of 2024 - not since their beating of Arsenal on New Year's Eve had they come up trumps in a top-flight fixture - while also ending a six-match winless streak in all tournaments stretching back to their FA Cup success over Rotherham United on January 5.

Marco Silva's troops leapfrogged Bournemouth into 12th place in the Premier League table thanks to their eighth top-flight success of the campaign, seven of which have come at their Craven Cottage headquarters, where they have also notched two-thirds of their 33 top-flight goals this season.

Five of Fulham's last seven Premier League contests on familiar territory have now ended in victory, and the Cottagers also boast a 100% win rate in top-flight home games when scoring this season; their five winless matches at Craven Cottage in the 2023-24 Premier League have all come when Silva's men have drawn a blank in front of goal.

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery on January 30, 2024© Reuters

In contrast, Aston Villa have now been condemned to a trio of successive Villa Park losses despite making the net bulge in all of them, falling to 3-1 defeats versus Newcastle United and Chelsea before turning their attention to last Sunday's visit of Man United.

Unai Emery's side were behind with just 17 minutes on the clock as Rasmus Hojlund found the mark for the fifth Premier League home game running, and even though Douglas Luiz swept home a second-half leveller for the hosts - coupled with a peculiar shimmy celebration - super sub Scott McTominay popped up with another decisive contribution in the opposition box.

The Scotsman's 86th-minute header denied fifth-placed Aston Villa the chance to rise back above Tottenham Hotspur - who sit one point better off than Emery's team in the fourth and final Champions League position - and Man United have now cut the gap to their European rivals down to just five points.

As the walls of their Villa Park fortress crumble, though, Villa have found defensive solace on the road, where they are yet to concede a goal in four games in 2024 and demolished Sheffield United 5-0 on February 3, their only win from their last six matches in all competitions.

Middlesbrough, Everton and Chelsea have all failed to breach Villa's net as the hosts in 2024, and the Lions have come out on the correct end of the scoreline in four of their last five meetings with Fulham, although the one blot on their notebook in that time was a 3-0 Craven Cottage beatdown last season.

Fulham Premier League form:

Fulham form (all competitions):

Aston Villa Premier League form:

Aston Villa form (all competitions):

Team News

Aston Villa's Boubacar Kamara in action with Sheffield United's Jayden Bogle on February 3, 2024© Reuters

Fulham's Nigerian duo Alex Iwobi and Calvin Bassey are both due back this weekend after suffering Africa Cup of Nations heartbreak against Ivory Coast in the final, while Tosin Adarabioyo has a chance of returning from the knock which kept him out of the win over Bournemouth.

Kenny Tete also sat out that fixture with a calf concern but is in contention to play too, while Raul Jimenez is a definite absentee as he nurses his severe thigh injury, which will likely sideline him until the end of March.

However, Jimenez's absence has not been felt thanks to the feats of Muniz, who has three goals in his last two Premier League games after failing to score in his first 10, and the Brazilian should be given the nod over Broja once again.

Meanwhile, injury was added to insult for Aston Villa during their loss to Man United last weekend, as midfield fulcrum Boubacar Kamara came off midway through the second half with a "significant" knee problem, which is expected to rule him out for the season.

The unfortunate Frenchman joins fellow long-term knee victims Tyrone Mings and Emiliano Buendia in Villa's treatment room, while Ezri Konsa is facing a couple more weeks out with an issue in the same area, and Jhon Duran's hamstring problem rules him out as well.

Following reports that Diego Carlos had also damaged his hamstring, Emery confirmed the diagnosis in his pre-game press conference, saying that the Brazilian defender is facing a three-to-four week recovery period,

Kamara's devastating blow opens the door for Youri Tielemans or Moussa Diaby to return to the Lions' XI on a regular basis, and Emery should also consider recalling Pau Torres and Lucas Digne to the starting lineup following their returns from physical glitches; the former will surely deputise for Carlos here.

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Leno; Castagne, Diop, Ream, Robinson; Cairney, Palhinha; Decordova-Reid, Pereira, Willian; Muniz

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Torres, Lenglet, Digne; Luiz, McGinn; Diaby, Tielemans, Bailey; Watkins

SM words green background

We say: Fulham 1-2 Aston Villa

Only one result is usually on the cards when Fulham score in a Premier League home game, and with Kamara beginning a lengthy spell on the sidelines, the Cottagers will fancy their chances against the out-of-sorts visitors.

Rearguard stability has come naturally to Emery's men on the road in recent weeks, though, and with Fulham still suspect defensively at times, we can picture Emery's men breaking the hosts' golden sequence at Craven Cottage to get their Champions League charge back on track.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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3Manchester CityMan City31217371314070
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs31186765452060
5Aston Villa32186866491760
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd31154124546-149
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham32139105256-448
8Newcastle UnitedNewcastle311451265521347
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton311110105149243
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves31126134449-542
14Crystal Palace3179153654-1830
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3278174056-1625
18Luton TownLuton3267194565-2025
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3137213082-5216

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