London rivals Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur conclude this weekend’s action on Monday night at Craven Cottage, with little between them in the Premier League table after 20 games.
In their most recent match, Marco Silva’s team lost to Newcastle United in the last minute, 1-0, while the visitors were left to rue individual errors in a midweek loss to Manchester City, 4-2.
As Fulham held Newcastle at bay before being awarded a contentious penalty in the second half, former Magpies striker Aleksandar Mitrovic was just 12 yards away from making a lasting impression on his return to St. James’ Park.
With 89 minutes remaining, Marco Silva witnessed Alexander Isak come off the bench to head Newcastle into the lead. Mitrovic stepped up to the spot, but the Serbian comically touched the ball twice as he slipped over to score.
As the seventh-place Cottagers are only two points behind Spurs and one behind Brighton & Hove Albion, who could only draw with Leicester City on Saturday, Fulham has a strong chance of finishing in the top five on Monday.
The Cottagers’ five-game winning streak since returning to domestic competition was ended by a loss to Newcastle. However, Silva’s team is showing that they can compete with Champions League hopefuls by hosting Spurs at Craven Cottage less than two weeks after defeating Chelsea on their own turf.
Only Newcastle and Manchester United have defeated Fulham on home soil this season, and some may even consider Silva’s teams to be the favourites for Monday’s matchup. Fulham has not won three consecutive Premier League games at home since 2012.
At the Etihad, Tottenham made a lot of mistakes in the second half after taking advantage of Man City’s poor defence in the first half. They failed to capitalise on the opportunities given to Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal just before the break.
The champions won the game by three goals from Riyad Mahrez, Julian Alvarez, and Erling Braut Haaland in just 18 minutes of the second half. Julian Alvarez added a second right at the end to make it a thrilling six-goal game.
After losing their third Premier League game in a row from four since the beginning of the year, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte lamented that his team is making “many, many mistakes.” Brighton’s loss to Leicester kept Chelsea in the top five, and the Magpies’ goalless draw against Crystal Palace put the Magpies six points behind fourth-placed Newcastle United.
Only one of Spurs’ last five Premier League games has resulted in a victory, but that victory came away from home in a London derby against Crystal Palace, where the Lilywhites defeated the Eagles 4-0 at Selhurst Park. Additionally, the Lilywhites have now scored at least two goals in each of their last four away matches in the Premier League.
Earlier this season, Conte’s team beat Fulham 2-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Lilywhites have also won each of their last six Premier League games at Craven Cottage. However, these recent victories will be meaningless if Spurs’ error-ridden defence does not tighten up quickly.
Fulham will welcome Antonee Robinson back from a one-game suspension as the American left back prepares to replace Layvin Kurzawa, with no new injury concerns reported from their trip to the North East.
Neeskens Kebano’s Achilles injury keeps him out for the long haul, and Shane Duffy will need to be checked out after getting sick. However, Silva won’t change his team after eight days off.
As Mitrovic, who has scored in all four of his Premier League London derbies this season, aims to right the wrongs of last weekend, Carlos Vinicius will accept a spot on the bench against his former club. Issa Diop was given the nod over Tosin Adarabioyo at Newcastle, and he can be confident of keeping his place after putting in a solid performance.
In addition, Tottenham’s treatment room is almost empty for Monday’s match. Their only guaranteed absentee is Lucas Moura, a long-term tendon injury victim, and Bryan Gil is a doubt due to a knock.
Conte has acknowledged that he will need to evaluate Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski, both of whom showed signs of exhaustion on Thursday after returning from injury, and the Lilywhites should be making a few adjustments.
Ivan Perisic should be replaced by Ryan Sessegnon after a disappointing performance at the Etihad, while Richarlison could take over for Son Heung-min.
A possible Fulham lineup for the start:
Leno; Diop, Tete, Ream, and Robinson; Reed Palhinha; Willian, Decordova-Reid, and Pereira;
Possible Tottenham Hotspur starting lineup for Mitrovic:
Lloris; Dier, Romero, and Lenglet; Hojbjerg, Emerson, Bentancur, and Sessegnon; Kulusevski, Kane, and Richarlison are part of the Fulham team. Neeskens Kebano will miss the rest of the season with a serious Achilles tendon injury, and it’s not clear if he will be able to start the 2023/24 season.
After recovering from illness, Brighton loanee Shane Duffy has resumed full training and is anticipated to be available on Monday, as is left back Antonee Robinson, who has served his suspension.
The status of Bryan Gill’s participation in Monday’s Premier League match against Manchester City remains unknown for the time being, but he should make at least one appearance on the bench. Gill was unable to play because of a knock he picked up while training.
A tendon issue that Lucas Moura is still dealing with persists. The Brazilian has been off the field for a month, and it is still unknown when he might rejoin the team. Richarlison, his countryman, has recovered.
PREDICTION OF MATCH
We state: Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Fulham should win 2-1 over Conte’s tired team, which is still looking for answers in all areas and unlikely to find them on Monday night.
Fulham can look forward to leapfrogging their opponents in the table with all three points here, and the Lilywhites’ penchant for goals away from home should still serve them well. However, we cannot back Spurs’ mistake-laden crop to get anything out of this London derby. Fulham can look forward to getting all three points here.