Fulham – Aston Villa: How early is too early to call a game “must-win” in the Premier League? Perhaps we will find out on Monday (Watch live at 12:45 pm ET, online via Peacock), when bottom-of-the-table Fulham host Aston Villa at Craven Cottage.
Scott Parker’s side has had a torrid start to life back in the PL — not at all dissimilar to the way their last stint ended — and find themselves with zero points and seven goals conceded after their first two games. Losing 3-0 to Arsenal on the opening day of the season wasn’t altogether surprising, but following that defeat with four more goals conceded to Leeds United last weekend will undoubtedly have done a number on the Cottagers’ confidence.
Villa, on the other hand, have played just once and secured a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United earlier this week. A win on Monday would see Dean Smith’s side start the season with back-to-back PL victories for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
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Here is everything you need to know ahead of Fulham – Aston Villa this Monday with team news, odds, stream link and more.
Team news: Fulham – Aston Villa (INJURY REPORT)
Fulham – No injuries or suspensions
Scott Parker makes three changes as Tom Cairney, Tim Ream and Bobby Decordova-Reid start.
🚨 TEAM NEWS 🚨
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) September 28, 2020
Aston Villa – OUT: Bjorn Engels (thigh), Tom Heaton (knee), Wesley (knee), Ahmed Elmohamady (thigh)
Villa are unchanged from the team which beat Sheffield United last time out.
🟣 𝗧 𝗘 𝗔 𝗠 𝗡 𝗘 𝗪 𝗦 🟣
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) September 28, 2020
What they’re saying: Fulham – Aston Villa
Scott Parker, on a “must-win” game: “I don’t see it as drastic as a must-win. We want to win. I know it’s either high or low in a drastic world, but we need to stay level and take realism of where we are in the campaign and where we are as a team. We will try everything we can to take some points and be up to the challenge. I don’t think we’re the only team at this present moment in time who have let in some goals in the first two games. It’s not ideal, of course not. Villa at home on Monday is a game we’re going to try to get three points.”
Dean Smith, on needing another signing: “We’re always looking in the market, we’re probably one short in the squad at the moment so we’ll keep looking at that. I think there’s seven days left until the window shuts internationally, another seven days domestically. Our sporting director at the moment has got his finger on the pulse, hopefully we might get one more in and maybe a couple more out.”
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
This one is just about a coin flip with Fulham (+185) ever so slight underdogs to Villa (+150). In a game that could go either way like this one, the draw (+225) might just be the safe middle ground.
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Prediction: Fulham – Aston Villa
There’s not much to separate these two sides right now, and there likely won’t be much ground between them come the season’s final table. There should be a few goals, but that’ll be more down to poor defending than excellent attacking quality from either side. Fulham 2-2 Villa.
How to watch Fulham – Aston Villa stream and start time
Kickoff: 12:45 pm ET Monday
Online: Stream via Peacock