If there’s one 3 o’clock kick-off I suggest you go and see this weekend, it’s Manchester City v Fulham. The eight matches these two teams have collectively played have seen 30 goals go in, and despite Manchester City’s supreme strength, Fulham will not go there to be meekly rolled over.
Slavisa Jokanovic loves possession-based football – only Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea have completed more passes than his Fulham side this season – so he will not travel to the Etihad with the intention of parking the bus.
This could result in one of two things: Fulham perform like Wolves did and attempt going toe-to-toe with City with some semblance of joy, or they get absolutely pummelled. Either way, it should be a good watch, as Fulham won’t die wondering.
City are unsurprisingly the league’s top-scorers, and you feel they haven’t yet hit top gear. Pep Guardiola has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal, and knows that he has talent in abundance to bring off the bench to pick off a potentially weary Fulham side later on.
Both of these teams will dish up entertainments-a-plenty this season: City will score loads of goals, while Fulham will score and concede loads of goals – who can argue with that?
Fulham’s strength going forward, and fragility, were laid bare against Brighton, where their impressive 2-0 lead was wiped out – partly by their own making – and they ended up clinging on for a 2-2 draw.
They will be punished far more severely at the Etihad, and although I see Fulham scoring – particularly as City have a knack for conceding the odd silly goal – Pep’s men will emerge with a win.
A City victory and both teams to score is a fantastic prospect.
There’s honestly not a great deal of value betting on the standard markets for matches like this, because the bookies are just expecting another City rout. Therefore, we are going to explore some slightly different markets and see if we can uncover a couple of gems.
Manchester City have already scored four goals from outside the box this season – twice as many as any other team - and one man who loves a cheeky long-range effort is Bernardo Silva.
The Portuguese scored a nice goal against Arsenal in City’s opener, and has started all-but-one of their matches this season; Guardiola has publically stated that he is a major part of his plans this season.
If you want value, B. Silva to score from outside the box is 5/1.