The second matchday brings with it an impressive fixture in the form of Fulham locking horns with Brentford in the first West London Derby of the season. Both the teams saw positive results last week with Fulham securing three points at Goodison Park and The Bees drawing a tricky fixture with a 2-2 scoreline in an entertaining encounter at the Community Stadium.
The past three fixtures between the two sides have been high scoring encounters serving fifteen goals in total with scorelines of 3-2 in all three. Fulham won two (including the last meeting at Craven Cottage) and Brentford one. If the past fixtures are going to be any indicator we can be sure of a thrilling contest at Craven Cottage.
The match is going to take place at Craven Cottage at 14:00 GMT with Darren Bond as referee in charge.
Fulham are likely to feature a similar lineup as last week barring the presence of Mitrovic who is out due to injury and Willian might also start from the bench with his transfer to Saudi looming on the horizon.
Thomas Frank confirmed Mathias Jensen would start for the Bees after he was subbed out in last match with a quad injury. Along with Jensen Onyeka would also be available for the game but is not expected to start the game. Defender Ben Mee is still ruled out for the clash because of his calf injury.
Two teams engage in contrasting styles of football: Fulham prefers possession-oriented play, while Brentford opts for a more direct attacking strategy to exploit the opponent’s vulnerabilities. This contrast is evident in their possession statistics from the first matchday. Brentford gave up 70% of possession to Tottenham at Community Stadium, whereas Fulham managed to secure 60% possession at Goodison Park.
Fulham are expected to deploy the 4-3-3 formation they used in the previous match with Antonee Robinson and Tete occupying fullback roles. The midfield trio are likely to feature Palhinha who makes his return post-injury along with Andreas Pereira and Harrison Reid on the right. Harrison and Andreas are expected to operate in more advanced positions, while the pure wingers, Harry Wilson and Willian, are set to begin. However, there’s also the possibility of Adama Traore making his much-awaited debut in the Premier League for the club.
The pacy physically string winger who was unveiled with only a baby oil bottle photo by the club can add a touch of pace on either wing and can also provide a fast alternate counterattack way of attack with the connection that he and Raul Jimenez shared at Wolves and often terrorised the Premiere League when Wolverhampton were under Nuno (looking at you Man City).
Meanwhile, The Bees are expected to go for the 3-5-2 formation which looked impressive with the Bryan Mbueumo and Yoane Wissa partnership flourishing up top. Brentford’s main creative outlet similar to last season is their hard press. Their approach was completely evident at the start of the first half when their forwards were all over Spurs’ defense in the last match. Rico Henry’s presence on the flank was a big asset in the previous match and one can expect a similar game from him.
Fulham would be hoping the talismanic Raul Jimenez is able to fill the shoes of Alexander Mitrovic and recapture his form which has nose-dived post his skull injury. Meanwhile, the presence of Adama Traore is bound to strike fear in opposition with his imposing physical presence.
Brentford would hope Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa continue their no nonsense pressing up front and add to their goal tally. Furthermore, Mark Flekken the new goalkeeper for Brentford did an excellent job last time around and Bees would hope he continues his form this time around too.
Fulham (4-3-3): Leno; Tete, Ream, Bassey, Robinson; Lukic, Reed; Wilson, Pereira, Cordova-Reid; Jimenez.
Brentford (3-5-2): Flekken; Ajer, Pinnock, Collins; Hickey, Janelt, Norgaard, Jensen, Henry; Wissa, Mbeumo.