STAR PREVIEW: Cardiff City v Fulham

Both Cardiff and Fulham were relegated from the Premier League last season but it looks as if Fulham are better placed to return at the first time of asking and the Cottagers can win their clash at Cardiff this evening.

Neil Warnock’s Cardiff were unlucky to go down last season when poor refereeing decisions cost them key points, but losing Aron Gunnarsson and Victor Camerasa over the summer without signing equivalent replacements over the summer was a big blow despite the fact they’ve kept Neil Warnock onside. An injury to Marlon Pack’s hamstring is also a bitter blow for them to handle and opposition sides have exposed that already in disappointing defeats to Wigan and Reading.

Fulham have made a more solid start, winning nine points from fifteen available and Scott Parker has taken well to management there, with a more sensible transfer policy after their relegation. The twin arrivals of Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert have slotted seamlessly into their forward line and also made Aleksandar Mitrovic even more effective.

Their best signing might well be Harry Arter whose clever addition from Bournemouth has given the midfield extra steel that allows Tom Cairney to continue being a creative influence. Fulham showed their quality in a 4-0 thrashing of Millwall, when Cavaleiro struck in either half, Knockaert scored after a half hour, and Mitrovic added a penalty.

Cardiff City v Fulham
Championship
19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
APR 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Fulham 1-0 Cardiff
OCT 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Cardiff 4-2 Fulham
DEC 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Cardiff 2-4 Fulham
SEP 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Fulham 1-1 Cardiff
FEB 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Cardiff 2-2 Fulham
JAN 2017 FA CUP Cardiff 1-2 Fulham
AUG 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Fulham 2-2 Cardiff
AUG 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Fulham 2-1 Cardiff
APR 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Fulham 2-1 Cardiff
AUG 2015 CHAMPIONSHIP Cardiff 1-1 Fulham
JAN 2015 CHAMPIONSHIP Cardiff 1-0 Fulham

Millwall might not be expected to make a promotion bid this season, but Fulham ended that showing with 84.5% possession and 934 completed passes, the highest recorded in the Championship since Opta began a full collection of statistics for the division in 2013.

The Cottagers were brought down to earth when beaten by Nottingham Forest last week, but they were terribly unlucky to lose a game in which they had 77% of possession, won the shot count 20-11, the shots on target count 6-3, and the corner count by an astonishing 13-1 margin.

It’s a long season, but the early signs look to be that Fulham are ready for a sustained promotion challenge and whilst Cardiff have won 6 points from 6 at home, Fulham are a step above Luton and Huddersfield. They’re capable of taking three more points here.

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