Can Fulham reach the play-off final for the second time in three seasons? Football expert Ryan Elliott previews their semi-final second-leg against Cardiff.
Under 2.5 Goals
Despite ending the season with plenty of momentum, Cardiff City were comprehensively beaten by Fulham at home in the first-leg of their play-off tie, and now Scott Parker’s men have Wembley, for the second time in three years, in their sights.
The Bluebirds must now beat Fulham by at least two goals in a place where the Cottagers have won 11 of their last 15 matches, and they now simply must go for it.
While this inevitable pattern of play will attract many punters to goal-rich markets, I’m looking the other way, and I believe there’s excellent value in backing under 2.5 goals in this decisive Thursday tie.
Defensively, Fulham have been excellent recently, and Michel Hector and Tim Ream will back themselves to repel the inevitable Cardiff pressure. Parker’s men have kept five clean sheets from their last seven matches—including two against Cardiff—and Neil Harris will be more than aware than his side have only scored once against Fulham in their last four attempts.
Only five of Fulham’s last 21 matches have seen over 2.5 goals, and with their assignment more than clear on Thursday, they’ll be more than happy to soak up whatever pressure comes their way – although they’re still going to be the side with the bulk of possession.
Cardiff will have to pull off something special to reach Wembley, and backing Fulham to keep them quiet and reach the final themselves, while under 2.5 goals are scored after 90 minutes, looks the play.