Fulham are flying and it’s tough to not see them making an instant return to the Premier League. They have won their last five matches, including that incredible 7-0 victory against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.
Marco Silva’s managerial reputation is going up once again and he’ll be hoping that he can see this promotion bid through, giving him another opportunity in the top division after his Everton frustrations.
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It’s not quite sunshine and roses in the Barnsley camp – far from it. The Yorkshire-based club are staring down the barrel of a relegation to the third tier, such a contrast to their top-six finish at the end of last season.
Losing Vladimir Ismael was a big blow and their overachiements have been contrasted with this sobering dose of reality. It’s going to be a long slog for the Tykes.
Markus Schopp, the replacement for Ismael, has recently been relieved of his duties and new coach Poya Asbaghi cannot take charge of the club until next week.
So they enter this clash without a recognised manager at the helm.
Fulham v Barnsley Team News
Fulham will have to make one change from their 1-0 victory against Peterborough United, with Denis Odoi suspended after picking up five yellow cards.
Odoi aside, Silva will hope to call upon the rest of his men and he will be hoping that his international stars come back fresh and raring to go.
Tom Cairney could come into the starting pack but Tosin Adarabioyo will remain out due to suspension.
Barnsley will know they have an uphill challenge ahead of them but they could make a few alterations.
Callum Styles and Victory Adeboyejo could both return to the fold and Romal Palmer might be recalled.
Fulham v Barnsley Prediction
The top-two are playing the bottom-two this weekend and it’s tough to see anything other than two resounding victories. This is an exciting Fulham team that is spearheaded by an out-and-out goalscoring predator in Aleksandr Mitrovic.
The Serbian striker is the icing on the cake in this Fulham team when it comes to bagging goals in the second-tier.
Barnsley will hope to hold out and take their opportunities but, with their highest scorers only sitting on three goals, it’s tough to hold out much hope for them. They will hope to avoid a mauling before Asbaghi takes charge.
However, the fact that they haven’t won a match on the road isn’t a particularly good omen; they are the only team in the division not to take a victory on their travels.
Prediction: Fulham 3-0 Barnsley