Symons finds feet at Fulham for cross-capital clash with Charlton
Fulham are unbeaten in their last six meetings with Charlton Athletic, and caretaker coach Kit Symons has steadied the ship following a period of freefall at Craven Cottage. That is why Coral confidently make them odds-on 4/5 favourites to beat the Addicks.
Symons has won four of his seven matches in temporary charge and that upturn in Fulham’s form and fortunes make a compelling case for him to get the gig as permanent manager. The visitors have a close-knit squad, however, and a curiously eclectic mix of attacking options under Belgian boss, and former Millwall striker, Bob Peeters.
A win at the Cottage would give Charlton (4/1) an opportunity to climb back into the Championship play-off places. Even a draw (5/2) would temporarily be enough for Athletic to be back in the top six.
Hosts Fulham are certainly sharing the goal burden around. Their last eight strikes have come from different sources, which makes it difficult for punters to predict who will be on target for them. Bryan Ruiz is back in favour, following Costa Rica’s World Cup exploits and the dismissal of Felix Magath. He is a cut above second-tier football, but hugely tempting at 2/1 to net anytime.
Ross McCormack is a proven Championship scorer, so should be considered at 4/1 to grab the opener. Symons has settled on a midfield diamond formation and, since its adoption, Fulham have lost just one of five league outings, and after keeping clean sheets in their previous two at home can be considered to shut the Addicks out at 5/4.
The pedigree of some of the players Peeters can pick from is equally impressive. Iceland winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson once hit a hat-trick in Switzerland during a World Cup qualifier. He is 15/2 to score anytime here from a wide right berth.
Charlton are a traditional 4-4-2 team nowadays and have lost just once in the Championship all season. Wales centre forward Simon Church has been ousted by Belgium-born Angola international Igor Vetokele, a 15/8 anytime scorer chance. Romania frontman George Tucudean, meanwhile, is a tempting 10/3 to net again here after being on target against Bolton Wanderers last time out.
Johnnie Jackson, who still captains Athletic from midfield, is one of those Peter Whittingham-type players that is good for goals at this level. Why not back Jackson to be on target here, after two his last four appearances, at 11/2?
A score draw of 1-1 looks a great shout for this Friday night fixture live on Sky.