Fulham 2018-19 Betting Preview: Cottagers Should Stay Up Thanks to Sessegnon
Fulham FC. Pictured Ryan Sessegnon.
Fulham 2018-19 Premier League Betting Odds
- To Win Title: +100000
- To Be Relegated: +190
- Point Total: 35.5 (Over -160/Under +110)
After the jubilation of their playoff final win over Aston Villa, which seems an eternity ago, it’s been very much back to business for a Fulham side who mean just that this season.
Returning to the Premier League for the first time since 2014, the Cottagers set about their comeback in a courageous way and undeniably deserve their spot back in England’s top tier.
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Manager Slavisa Jokanovic has built a squad and, more pertinently, an ethos that should give the club a great chance of staying up after being arguably the most impressive side in the past two Championship seasons, at least in terms of playing style.
Comparable to Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth when they were promoted years ago, so far as playing attractive, possession-based soccer, Fulham have Premier League pedigree where the Cherries didn’t. And in Shahid Khan, they have an owner with deep enough pockets to justify lofty ambitions. For the time being, if they can replicate the south coast side’s efforts in establishing themselves as a top-flight side, next season will be a success.
The club’s transfer activity thus far this summer has certainly caught the eye, and they’ve strengthened in key areas. Crucially, however, the permanent signing of Aleksandar Mitrovic — who fired the club back to the promised land after arriving on loan in January — was expected but has still not been agreed to. Securing a striker remains a priority then, but the additions elsewhere not only improve the squad but the starting XI.
Goalkeeper Fabri has arrived from Besiktas with Champions League experience and a Turkish title to his name after two seasons in Istanbul, and World Cup winner Andre Schurrle is set to return to West London — formerly his home whilst at Chelsea — to give the side a crucial threat on the counterattack, even if the German has failed to deliver on his early promise.
The key acquisition, however, is that of Jean Michael Seri, who this time last year was reportedly on the brink of a move to Barcelona. The fact that he has ended up at Fulham — signing from Nice for a club record fee — is an indication that the Ivory Coast international’s stock has fallen. However, he remains a real coup for the newly promoted side and will slot comfortably into the team’s way of playing alongside fellow pass-master and captain Tom Cairney.
All eyes will still be on teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon, who scored 16 goals and registered eight assists last season to scoop the Championship Player of the Year award at just 18, but it’s in the middle ground where Fulham really impose themselves on the opposition.
Defensive reinforcements are still required, but if Jokanovic can sign two or three more players to bolster what is a relatively threadbare squad at present, there’s no reason why Fulham couldn’t avoid the drop with room to spare.
The Bet to Watch
The competition certainly isn’t to be feared among those set to battle it out in the bottom half, and the Londoners have the quality and confidence to outplay a good number of the sides in the top flight. Thus, I like Fulham to go over 35.5 points (-160), but as more props pop up across the market, I would back the Cottagers to go over as many as 40 points this season.