Tottenham are going into this week with confidence following a convincing victory over Burnley. It seems like Jose Mourinho has taken the hand brake off, as he chose an attacking line up and gave them the freedom to express themselves. Gareth Bale, Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane all performed well on Sunday, which will worry Fulham. The home side are three points from safety and a win on Thursday will see them move out of the bottom three.
It has been a positive few weeks for Fulham. Many wrote them off, but a string of positive performances and results have seen survival emerge as a real possibility. The next three matches don’t look good on paper, as they are facing Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City. That is why supporters are slightly disappointed that they didn’t manage to get a win against Crystal Palace considering their dominance. It provided a great opportunity to claw closer to 17th place. That said, they should take confidence into this tough run of matches, especially as they avoided defeat against Tottenham and Liverpool earlier in the campaign.
For Tottenham, they won’t have given up hope of a top four finish. However, they will realise that there is no margin for error. They can’t afford to drop many more points and this fixture is one they must win. If they continue with the attacking style and positive team selections, there is enough reason to believe they can finish the season strongly. Their defence remains an issue, but they will be confident that they can score enough goals to counteract that weakness.
Fulham have lost only three times in their last 15 Premier League matches, but ten of these have ended in draws.
Gareth Bale has contributed four goals and three assists in his last four appearances for Tottenham across all competitions.
It has been a frustrating season for Fulham attackers, as they have struggled to score goals. However, one player to emerge as a very good Premier League player is Ademola Lookman. Since his breakthrough at Everton, he struggled to earn regular first team minutes for the Toffees. There were signs that he was an excellent talent, but he needed to be given a regular run of games at this level to gain more consistency in his performances. For Fulham, he has contributed four goals and three assists, showing the multiple ways he can hurt a team. He is averaging 2.3 shots, 1.9 key passes and 2.6 dribbles per game. Scott Parker will be hoping that he can play a big part on Thursday. If Fulham do go down and he returns to RB Leipzig, there won’t be a shortage of interest in him.
It has been an excellent season for Harry Kane, as he has contributed 14 goals and 11 assists, underlining his quality in the final third. He has developed into a more complete forward, who is capable of scoring and creating clear cut chances for Tottenham. The England captain will be one of the front runners for the PFA Player of the Year award and Gareth Southgate will be hoping that his domestic form is a positive for the summer ahead with the national team. In the last two league matches, Kane has scored once, but he could have scored several more. A game is coming where Kane scores two or three and he will be hoping that it is this game against Fulham. His record against teams in the bottom six is exceptional.
Tom Cairney is the only injury concern for the home team. They will have a nearly fully fit squad to choose from. There are some calls for Aleksandar Mitrovic to return to the starting eleven, but it is unlikely that Parker will take that decision this week.
Giovani Lo Celso is a week or so away from a return to first team action. Gareth Bale should retain his place after being withdrawn early on Sunday.
Both teams will have a lot of confidence heading into this week’s fixture. Fulham have nothing to lose in their next three, as nobody will be expecting them to get any points. They have been playing with freedom and they have players in attack that can cause problems for Tottenham. That said, if Spurs replicate their weekend performance, they should have the attacking quality to take all three points.
Fulham 1-2 Tottenham