STAR PREVIEW: Fulham v Derby County

I haven’t gone (completely) mad but I think Fulham’s 1-0 defeat in the first leg might be the best thing that could have happened to them.

It means they start tonight knowing exactly what they need to do and for an attacking side that aren’t goal shy that means it can be business as usual.

If it had finished 0-0 in the first leg both teams would be so petrified to concede a goal and even if Fulham had won the first leg 1-0 they would have been caught in the ‘park the bus’ dilemma which is not their usual modus operandi.

Fulham have knocked in 79 goals this season, a record only bettered by the champions Wolves (82) and some way ahead of Derby County (70).

So they need to attack from the start and play their usual game. I’m absolutely certain it’s a match where the first goal will be absolutely crucial.

Cameron Jerome’s header separated the two teams at Pride Park and they will resume knowing a Wembley trip against Aston Villa or Middlesbrough awaits for promotion to dreamland. Jerome bids to score in five consecutive games tonight for Derby whilst at the opposite end Aleksandar Mitrovic will again be pivotal for Fulham – he has been directly involved in 7 of Fulham’s last 12 goals.

The same fixture finished 1-1 in the regular season and tonight Fulham bid to end their play-off misery which has seen them draw two and lose five of their previous seven play-off matches.

Fulham v Derby County
Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg
19:45 Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event

(Maximum 10 matches)
May 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFF Derby 1 – 0 Fulham
Mar 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP Derby 1 – 2 Fulham
Nov 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Fulham 1 – 1 Derby
Apr 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP Derby 4 – 2 Fulham
Dec 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Fulham 2 – 2 Derby
Feb 2016 CHAMPIONSHIP Fulham 1 – 1 Derby
Dec 2015 CHAMPIONSHIP Derby 2 – 0 Fulham
Feb 2015 CHAMPIONSHIP Fulham 2 – 0 Derby
Oct 2014 CAPITAL ONE CUP Fulham 2 – 5 Derby
Aug 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP Derby 5 – 1 Fulham

Fulham surely have to come out fighting and I’ll take the 7/5 with for them to win the first half.

I also think, unlike the cagey first leg, there could be plenty of goals and will have an interest on over 3.5 goals at 21/10.

RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)

BACK OVER 3.5 GOALS 5 points win at 21/10 with

BACK FULHAM TO WIN FIRST HALF 6 points win at 7/5 with

PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 144.43 points