Burnley v Fulham: the predictions, the injuries and the psychology

A look at the foot of the Premier League table shows this is an important game for both sides…

Club P W D L F A GD
Pts
16 Burnley 21 5 3 13 21 42 -21 18
17 Cardiff City 21 5 3 13 19 41 -22 18
18 Southampton 21 3 7 11 21 38 -17 16
19 Fulham 21 3 5 13 19 47 -28 14
20 Huddersfield Town 21 2 4 15 13 37 -24 10

A win for Fulham won’t take them out of trouble but will be helpful, but it will probably send Burnley back down towards the bottom three.

Looking at just the home form, Burnley are spreading such points as they get between the home and away matches – 10 out of 18 points coming at home.  There’s not the home advantage they have felt in other seasons.

16 Burnley 10 3 1 6 12 20 -8 10
17 Crystal Palace 10 2 3 5 5 9 -4 9
18 Southampton 10 1 5 4 11 17 -6 8
19 Newcastle United 11 2 1 8 7 17 -10 7
20 Huddersfield Town 11 1 2 8 5 16 -11 5

But Fulham are very much a home team – and sadly for them they are playing away this time.  Here are their away results.

16 Southampton 11 2 2 7 10 21 -11 8
17 Burnley 11 2 2 7 9 22 -13 8
18 Cardiff City 10 1 2 7 6 18 -12 5
19 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 8 21 -13 5
20 Fulham 11 0 2 9 7 28 -21 2

To get a win in this game they would need a major turn around from a club that has only scored seven goals on the road.

What makes matters worse for Fulham is the fact that Burnley has just had three wins in a row after a sequence of just one win and one draw in 11.

30 Dec 2018 Burnley v West Ham United W 2-0
02 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Burnley W 1-2
05 Jan 2019 Burnley v Barnsley FAC W 1-0

Fulham did have a sort of run around Christmas but it did not last…

2 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Fulham D 0-0
26 Dec 2018 Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 1-0
01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham L 4-1
06 Jan 2019 Fulham v Oldham Athletic FAC L 1-2

Indeed three games without defeat was a run for them, but that was set aside by subsequent results.

The psychology

Damage is done to club morale with defeats to lower league opposition, and even more so when it happens in front of your own fans.

Worse, Oldham are not just lower league, they are in the lowest football league – League Two, and not even at the top of that league, but actually 10th.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Lincoln City 25 15 6 4 45 24 21 51
2 Milton Keynes Dons 25 13 8 4 41 19 22 47
3 Bury 27 13 7 7 49 29 20 46
4 Mansfield Town 25 11 12 2 37 19 18 45
5 Carlisle United 27 14 3 10 45 32 13 45
6 Forest Green Rovers 25 11 10 4 39 25 14 43
7 Exeter City 26 12 7 7 38 28 10 43
8 Colchester United 27 12 7 8 39 30 9 43
9 Tranmere Rovers 26 10 9 7 38 32 6 39
10 Oldham Athletic 26 10 8 8 40 33 7 38

This could be the biggest factor of all and herald a collapse by Fulham.  They will need enormous mental strength to win this game.  Failure could see the season come to a very quick end.  Victory would show that they might climb out of trouble in the league.

Injuries

In the physioroom injury chart both team have just two players out.  Bardsley and Lennon.  Mawson and Zambo Anguissa for Fulham.

I think the game will be Burnley’s.

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