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Preview: Fulham vs. Leeds United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Premier League clash between Fulham and Leeds United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fulham will welcome Leeds United to Craven Cottage in the Premier League on Friday night knowing that a win would see them move above Newcastle United and out of the relegation zone.

The home side will enter the contest off the back of a 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City, while 12th-placed Leeds held top-four hopefuls Chelsea to a goalless draw last time out.


Match preview

Fulham's Mario Lemina celebrates scoring against Liverpool in the Premier League on March 7, 2021© Reuters

Earlier this season, it appeared that Fulham were destined for an immediate return to the second tier, but Scott Parker's side have now given themselves a serious opportunity to avoid relegation.

Just two defeats from their last eight Premier League matches has helped them push towards safety, and the capital outfit are currently just two points behind 17th-placed Newcastle in the table, although the Magpies do have a game in hand on the Cottagers and will have two by the time that this game has finished.

Fulham have won three of their last seven in the league, including a famous 1-0 victory at Liverpool on March 7, but they will enter this match off the back of a 3-0 defeat at home to Man City on Saturday.

Parker's team have now lost their last two at Craven Cottage to Tottenham Hotspur and Man City, and they will certainly be wary of what another loss could mean heading into the international break.

The fact that 16th-placed Brighton face Newcastle on Saturday makes this an even bigger game for Fulham, who suffered a 4-3 defeat when they travelled to Elland Road for the reverse clash earlier this season.

Chelsea's Edouard Mendy makes a save from Leeds United's Raphinha in the Premier League on March 13, 2021© Reuters

Leeds, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of a goalless draw with Chelsea, which has to go down as a positive result for Marcelo Bielsa's side considering the quality of the opposition.

The Whites have now won just one of their last six in the Premier League, though, losing four times in that run to Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa and West Ham United.

Bielsa's team are currently 12th in the table, five points behind 10th-placed Arsenal and 10 points clear of the relegation zone, meaning that the team should still be looking up the table rather than down.

Leeds have actually lost 14 times in the Premier League this season, which is more than Fulham (13), but an impressive 11 wins from 28 matches has allowed them to be comfortably clear of the relegation zone.

The Whites have been victorious in their last two meetings with Fulham by an aggregate score of 7-3, but the Cottagers ran out 2-1 winners when the pair locked horns in London in the Championship last season.

Fulham Premier League form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Leeds United Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D


Team News

Patrick Bamford celebrates scoring for Leeds United against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on February 8, 2021© Reuters

Fulham will again be without the services of Marek Rodak and Tom Cairney on Friday, while Bobby Decordova-Reid is still unavailable due to a minor hamstring complaint.

Parker could make just the one change from the side that started against the Citizens, with Josh Maja potentially coming into the starting side for Andre-Frank Anguissa.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek could move to the number 10 position against Leeds, with Ademola Lookman operating off the left as Parker attempts to get the majority of his best attacking players on the field.

As for Leeds, Pablo Hernandez, Leif Davis and Adam Forshaw remain unavailable for selection, while Liam Cooper will also miss out once again through illness.

Rodrigo Moreno is also unlikely to be involved, having suffered a muscular problem in training, but Patrick Bamford has recovered from the hip issue that forced him off against Chelsea and should start.

Bielsa could decide to stick with the same XI that started against the Blues on Saturday, meaning that Helder Costa and Mateusz Klich could again start on the bench.

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Areola; Tete, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Aina; Cavaleiro, Lemina, Reed, Lookman; Loftus-Cheek; Maja

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Alioski; Raphinha, Dallas, Phillips, Roberts, Harrison; Bamford


SM words green background

We say: Fulham 1-1 Leeds United

Fulham certainly need the points more than Leeds, but Bielsa will have his players fired up for the clash at Craven Cottage. Fulham have the worst home record in the league this season with just 10 points from 15 matches, and we are struggling to back the Cottagers with any real confidence, ultimately settling on a low-scoring draw, which would keep Parker's side in the bottom three.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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How you voted: Fulham vs Leeds

Fulham
36.0%
Draw
19.5%
Leeds United
44.5%
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Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa pictured on February 27, 2021
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