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Fulham v Tottenham preview: Fulham can get the Cottage rocking again

Tottenham’s season went from bad to worse after they threw away a golden opportunity to beat champions Manchester City on Thursday, and Antonio Conte’s embattled side are unlikely to find much respite at Craven Cottage.

Spurs had a potentially season-altering result in the palm of their hand when leading 2-0 at half-time at the Etihad Stadium, only to be overwhelmed after the break as their creaky defence caved in. 

The 4-2 loss was Tottenham's third in their last four league games and leaves the north London side with plenty of work to do if they are to make the top four. 

Spurs are 7/2 to qualify for the Champions League and now need to be wary of what’s behind them, with Fulham able to leapfrog their more illustrious capital rivals with a win on Monday.

The Cottagers saw a run of five straight wins in all competitions ended by a narrow defeat to Newcastle United last time out, but there’s every reason to believe they can bounce straight back in what should be a thrilling London derby. 

WhatFulham v Tottenham
WhereCraven Cottage, London
When20.00, Monday 23rd January
How to watchSky Sports Main Event & Premier League
OddsFulham 9/4, Draw 11/4, Tottenham 11/10

Silva's side enjoying Premier League return

The 2022/23 Premier League season has only just passed the halfway mark and already Fulham have surpassed their points and goals scored tallies from their last top-flight campaign.

That season ended with the Whites going down with a whimper, but they’ve taken the bull by the horns this year and are realistically within touching distance of survival already.

With 31 points on the board, the magical 40-point mark is in sight, while at this stage a return to Europe for the first time since 2011/12 is a more realistic end to the season than relegation.

Head coach Marco Silva is keeping his team’s feet firmly ground though and the Portuguese is firmly focused on the next test, which comes in the form of Spurs.

Fulham don’t have a great record in this fixture, winning one of the last 14 Premier League encounters, but recent results at the Cottage offer encouragement.

The Cottagers have only lost twice at home all season and most recently got the better of their west London neighbours Chelsea on their own patch.

Mitrovic can respond to St James' slip

Fulham downed the Blues without top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, who was suspended on that occasion, and the Serb will be relishing the chance to get at a suspect Spurs backline.

Mitrovic has scored in four London derbies for Fulham already this term, netting a fine consolation goal in a 2-1 loss to Spurs in the reverse fixture, and is 9/2 to Score First.

He will be eager to make amends for his costly penalty miss against Newcastle last time out and a Tottenham defence who have conceded 21 goals across its last ten games look susceptible to a Fulham side who have only failed to score once at home across ten league outings this season.

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Goals galore by the Thames

Fulham’s prolific goalscoring record, coupled with their own defensive issues, has resulted in nine of those ten home matches producing three goals or more.

It’s 4/6 there will be over 2.5 goals on Monday, while it’s 13/8 there will be over 3.5 goals for the fifth Tottenham away league game in a row.

Attack may prove the best form of defence for Spurs given their recent defensive issues and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’ ongoing run of error-strewn displays, and they can normally rely on skipper Harry Kane to score when they face their fellow capital clubs.

Kane’s record of 47 goals in London derbies is the best in Premier League history, the England ace having added two to his tally with a brace in a 4-0 win at Crystal Palace earlier this month.

Pressure building on Conte

That win at Selhurst Park is Tottenham’s only league victory since the season resumed post-World Cup and the pressure is certainly on the visitors to get a result at Craven Cottage.

Conte has a near fully-fit squad at his disposal, with only Lucas Moura (calf) currently unavailable, so he can have no excuses about his options for the short trip across London.

The return to action of Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison has bolstered his frontline, but Conte’s concerns lie with his defence, which he admits is performing like a “relegation team” currently.

An organised backline is usually one of the trademarks of a Conte team and without that they may again struggle to topple a well-organised and dangerous Fulham side who are 5/4 for the win in the draw-no-bet market.

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