Fulham v Derby County Betting Tips & Preview – Monday 14th May 2018

There’s everything to play for in the second leg of this Championship play-off semi-final bout with only a single goal separating the two sides. It’s Derby who hold the slight advantage but they are facing a Fulham side who haven’t lost at home since early January.

This game will end in heartbreak for one side but in sheer jubilation for the other as they secure a spot in the final at Wembley. The victor on Monday will play either Aston Villa or Middlesbrough on the 26th May for the what is now dubbed “the richest game in world football”.

Top Tips

Derby to qualify @ 4/5

Both teams to score @ 5/6

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Fulham Form

Fulham had their sights on an automatic promotion spot towards the end of the season but four dropped points in their last four matches meant they fell just short. Slavisa Jokanovic’s men did exceptionally well just to get themselves in the running though and their surge up the table was thanks to their incredible 23 match unbeaten run. All good things must come to an end though and on the final day of the season Fulham finally tasted defeat when victory would have seen them promoted. The Cottagers simply couldn’t handle Birmingham at St Andrew’s and the loss was a fully deserved one in the end.

Except for the superb win away at Millwall, it had looked as though the Cottagers were running out of steam towards the end of the season. They were more than matched by Brentford a month ago and in their next home test against Sunderland, Jokanovic’s side were extremely fortunate to get the three points. Not only were the Black Cats denied a penalty when 1-0 ahead but Aleksandar Mitrovic was offside when heading in the winner. The London club have not looked as formidable in recent weeks and having now secured back to back losses, their confidence may be shaken ahead of this vital game.

MatchDateScoreResult
Derby County v Fulham 11th May 2018 1-0 Loss
Birmingham City v Fulham 6th May 2018 3-1 Loss
Fulham v Sunderland 27th Apr 2018 2-1 Win

Derby County Form

Form coming into the play-offs doesn’t guarantee success but it’s hard to think that it doesn’t have any sort of positive impact. Had Derby approached this tie playing like they had in February March, you would have given them little chance. Things picked up initially in April but then Gary Rowett’s side suffered three defeats in a row including to lowly Burton Albion and play-off rivals Middlesbrough. After the Boro defeat, Derby had three games left which would make or break their season so the pressure was very much on.

The Rams rose to the occasion and first came back from behind to beat promotion chasing Cardiff. A wonderful second half display completed the turnaround for the home side, the win pushing them back into the top six. Facing another promotion hopeful a week later, Derby battled hard to claim a useful draw away at Aston Villa. The point meant that the Rams just needed to win their final game against Barnsley to guarantee them a place in the play-offs. This they did in a hugely confident manner, condemning the Tykes to relegation.

MatchDateScoreResult
Derby County v Fulham 11th May 2018 1-0 Win
Derby County v Barnsley 6th May 2018 4-1 Win
Aston Villa v Derby County 28th April 2018 1-1 Draw

Head to Head Stats

Fulham came into the first leg of this play-off semi-final having beaten Derby at Pride Park two months prior but things proved far trickier for them on their return to the ground.

Slavisa Jokanovic will be hoping the home crowd can help swing the contest in his side’s favour in the second leg but Fulham have drawn their last three matches with Derby played at Craven Cottage, most recently in November.

DateHomeScoreAwayResultCompetition
11th May 2018 Derby 1 - 0 Fulham Derby Championship play-offs
3rd Mar 2018 Derby 1 - 2 Fulham Fulham Championship
18th Nov 2017 Fulham 1 - 1 Derby Draw Championship

Injuries & Suspensions

There are no injury concerns for Slavisa Jokanovic while Gary Rowett only has the two absentees to deal with.

Derby County

  • Marcus Olsson - ACL damage sustained in final game of the season rules him out of this game.
  • Sam Winnall - Serious injury has kept him out since February.

Fulham

  • Sheyi Ojo - Supposedly back from a knock but was left out of the squad on Friday.

Betting Tips

This tie couldn’t be any more finely poised and some bookies have Derby and Fulham at the same odds to make it to the final.

Derby to qualify

Fulham saw more of the ball during the first-leg but only came close to scoring on a couple of occasions. They were unlucky to have fallen behind however as the hosts scored with their only shot on target of the match. What a crucial strike it could turn out to be though as Fulham will be forced to press the issue at Craven Cottage, leaving Derby the chance to exploit on the counterattack. The Rams can be a dangerous side on the break and this ability should be enough to see them progress from the tie.

Both Teams to Score

Fulham had scored in every Championship game since 16th January but were unable to find a way past Scott Carson on Friday. Don’t back on them drawing a blank again though as the Cottagers should offer a greater goal threat now that they’ll be forced to send men forward. As for Derby, their last five matches of the regular season saw both sides score and they’ve gone over a month without a clean sheet.

Cameron Jerome to score

Cameron Jerome has scored at least once in each of his last four appearances and his bullet header made the difference when these sides met on Friday. The in-form striker will be a constant danger on the break here and is well-priced at 3/1 to continue his fine scoring run.

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