At the beginning of the season, if you said Cardiff would go to Craven Cottage with a couple games left, needing a win at the expense of already relegated Fulham to stay in the relegation fight Chris Sutton would have said you were wrong. But here we are. Fulham, already down and playing well, vs Cardiff City, in the fight and doing alright. Another big one. Another decisive day.
Fulham vs. Cardiff City
Craven Cottage, London
27th April 2019, 3pm (BST)
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
And three things to watch out for
No Ralls. Joe Ralls has been on the thick end of criticism this season but he was integral against Brighton and as good as Jordan Henderson against Liverpool. He does the simple things very well, keeps the ball moving and makes space for others. It’s a real shame he’s missing tomorrow. It’s likely Bacuna will replace him – who’s shown himself to be adept in the middle – but Ralls will be a miss.
No Arter? This is less cut and dry but the lack of Arter leaves us incredibly short in the middle of the park. We have three players in there and not much option beyond that. If we suffer another injury, we could well see some odd combinations tried out. Jazz Richards, missing for so long, could well be on the bench to offer cover at the back and in the middle. And wouldn’t he relish a trip back to Fulham…
Zohore or Niasse or Reid. Niasse, we know, works so hard and brings others into play. Zohore works, perhaps, less hard than Niasse but gets down the channels. Bobby Reid is a really busy player who interlinks so well and has scored goals this season. Will Warnock stick or twist? Niasse has made 11 appearances and is yet to score. A goal tomorrow could be huge for him and his confidence – being dropped could be incredibly detrimental.
Fulham players to watch out for
Despite their league position, they have decent players throughout. They just may not have performed well this season. Mitrovic up front has the ability to cause most teams problems due to his willingness to get stuck in and his ability in front of goal. He’s scored a couple in recent weeks and seems to be playing with a new freedom.
Ryan Sessegnon. His rise has been intertwined with Cardiff. Scored on his debut against us in 2016. Scored for them when they beat us 4-2 last season. Scored his first Premier League goal against us when we won 4-2 this year. He’s just got a knack for doing it against us. It could well continue tomorrow.
Best Case Result
Cardiff have found themselves keeping relatively consistent in recent weeks. Held Liverpool in the first half last weekend, a brilliant performance at Brighton the week before. We seem to be in a good rhythm and Warnock knows tomorrow is do or die. The team will approach this with a ruthless efficiency. If Cardiff can be as solid as they were in Brighton, this could be another 2-0.
Worst case result
If we take our eye off the ball for one second, Fulham can and will punish. There’s a bit of a rivalry between the two clubs and they would love to end our Premier League hopes. They’ve been playing with a new found freedom and if they catch up napping, they could beat us. 2-0