Fulham seek repeat of cup win in Brentford battle on derby day
Fulham have already beaten Brentford this season, and have not lost any of their last five west London derbies against them. That is why Coral make Kit Symons’ 11/5 chances to pick up three points at Griffin Park.
It’s 5/2 on a draw, with Mark Warburton’s Bees 13/10 favourites to end their 22-year wait for a win over the Craven Cottage club. The Brentford boss certainly has his side flying high, occupying a top six spot, but they are not fancied for Championship promotion at a dark horse price of 9/1.
A repeat scoreline from their Capital One Cup clash in August, where Fulham won 1-0, is a 12/1 shot. Ross McCormack, an £11m summer signing from Leeds United, grabbed the only goal back then, so why not back him to do so again anytime at 6/4, or a more attractive 11/2 to net last as he did against Huddersfield Town.
Symons also boasts Bryan Ruiz and Hugo Rodallega in his attack. Both are back in favour at Fulham since Felix Magath’s dismissal, with Costa Rica forward Ruiz scoring three in as many matches before the international break. Back him at a tasty 11/4 in the anytime market.
The visitors will hope to have defensive duo Fernando Amorebieta and Tim Hoogland back from injury. German right-footer Hoogland played in that cup victory earlier this season, and could be joined at the back by veteran goalie Gabor Kiraly, complete with his pyjama-esque keeper kit. Fulham are 11/2 chances to win to nil again.
Bees leading marksman Andre Gray has really picked up the pace in November, scoring four times in three matches so far. He is 5/4 to net once again anytime. Spurs loanee Alex Pritchard is impressing for the hosts in an attacking midfield berth, grabbing three goals so far, and odds of 10/3 say he will score here.
As clean sheets are something of a novelty at Griffin Park, punters may also want to consider a matchday special of 7/2 on a Brentford win and both teams scoring. Well-travelled winger Tommy Smith has hailed Warburton’s impact since succeeding Uwe Rosler as Bees boss about a year ago.
“There is a different approach to a lot of managers I have worked with,” said Smith in a recent radio interview. With any walk of life, to have experience away from what you are doing does open up your horizons. It helps having a background away from football sometimes.
“One-dimensional thinking becomes open-minded and multi-dimensional. There is a lot of feedback and players’ opinions that are being asked. It is a very open-minded organisation we have got here.”
Smith, who has not scored since his Bees debut on the opening day, is a somewhat short 2/1 anytime chance in this encounter. Fulham are closer to full strength than Brentford for this battle, as defensive player Alan McCormack and summer signing Scott Hogan are misses. Back Symons’ side to win in their absence, then.