Championship Play-off Final.

Fulham face Brentford at Wembley on Tuesday evening to decide who gets to play in the Premiership next Season.

Fulham v Brentford 2020 play-off final

I’m guessing that it’s the final that most of us would have predicted from the four teams contesting the semi-finals? Swansea certainly gave Brentford a scare and Cardiff very nearly fought back against Fulham, but both of the London teams triumphed in the end.

Brentford appear to have the upper-hand, as far as playing Fulham is concerned, with 5 wins, 2 losses and 3 draws, they won both of this season’s league games 1-0 & 0-2, so I’m sure they’ll be going into this full of confidence.
However, both teams finished the season on 81 points, Brentford had a superior goal difference, also both teams won one and lost one of their semi-finals both going through 3-2 on aggregate. So I’m sure that it’ll be a tighter game despite what some “pundits” are predicting?
26 goals gave Mitro the golden boot for this season, Brentford’s Ollie Watkins wasn’t too far behind although he played 540 more minutes than Mitro, due to injuries and suspension, so I imagine that both of them will want to add to their tally for this season, lets just hope Mitro comes out on top and that he gets on the pitch after his recent injury.

Experience of the “big day” will definitely be in Fulham’s favour with most of our current squad taking part in the final a couple of seasons ago.
Fulham players who took part in the 2018 final include Bettinelli, Odoi, Christie, Ream, Cairney, McDonald, Johansen, Kamara(AK47) and Mitrovic, all of these can rightly say…

“been there, done that, WON IT!”

Beating us twice, being the “more attacking” team will probably make Brentford the favourites however with Fulham’s recent experience don’t write us off too soon.

Playing in an empty Wembley Stadium will be different for everyone, we can only provide a ‘virtual white-wall’ and listen to Gentleman Jim and Jamie with our fingers crossed and hope for revenge for the two games earlier in the season.

Whatever happens on Tuesday evening, whichever league we’re playing in next season, doesn’t matter all that much to me, we are FULHAM the oldest team in London and will be wearing the famous ‘black and white’ with pride whoever the opposition.

COYWs


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GAME ON play-off semi-final 2nd leg.

So we now know that Brentford have made it through to the play-off final.

Fulham v Cardiff City

Going into the game with a 2-0 aggregate lead surely make us favourites to face Brentford in the final? apparently no team has ever overcome a 2 goal deficit in the 2nd leg, sounds far too Fulhamish to me.
There’s good news with both Mitro’ and Cavaleiro joining in training, decisions on if they’re in the match day squad will be made later today. If we play like we did in the first leg then it shouldn’t really matter if one or both of them are rested with a view to keeping them fully fit for a potential appearance in the final?
Another good omen is Neil Harris’ managerial record against us…

won0
drawn0
lost6
goals scored1
goals conceded15

…so on paper we’ve got this in the bag, however being Fulham…


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Play-off Semi-finals 2nd leg…

Who’ll get to the final? still all to play for.

Brentford v Swansea
(Agg 0-1)

So after Swansea’s win in the first round they must be looking forward to Wednesday’s game. Brentford will be encouraged with getting Rico Henry’s red card rescinded and being “at home” should give them some advantage?
Having lost 3 on the bounce Brentford will have something to prove and will be looking to recapture their form from after lock-down. They’ve not lost 3 in a row all season, the last time they lost 2 in a row was at the start of the season, both away games, to Leeds and Charlton.

Brentford’s form since restart WWWWWWWLLL
Swansea’s form, since restart WLDWWLDWWW

Fulham v Cardiff
(Agg 2-0)

Fulham played some of the best football they’ve played all season against Cardiff in the first leg.
There was a danger of Fulham being all out of sorts for the first leg after missing out on automatic promotion, although it was a ‘slim chance’ as we needed West Brom to loose (they didn’t), Brentford to loose or draw (they lost) and we needed to win, we drew. Then we got the news that Mitro’, winner of this season’s Golden Boot, had been injured in training and would miss the game however, he could be back for the game Thursday evening, or will he be rested/protected again? keeping him safe with a potential final in the offing.
Cardiff will surly be looking for revenge, they’ve been on a really good run since the re-start added to the possibility of a Wembley final against their South Wales rivals, I’m certain they’ll make a game of it Thursday.

Cardiff have only lost 2 in a row once this season in February against Stoke and Forest.

Fulham’s form since restart LLWWWWDWDW
Cardiff’s form since restart WWDWLWWWWL

COYWs

Play-off Semi-finals 2nd leg…

Wednesday 29th
Brentford v Swansea

Thursday 30th
Fulham v Cardiff


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Form context of play-off teams.

by General

Fulham v Cardiff City

A lot has been mentioned about who has the better form going into the playoffs, it tends to go out the window as the playoffs start, but is also the only concrete thing people can try and base judgements on, rightly so. Brentford could be completely galvanised by their two recent losses, or they may feel like they let it slip and were found wanting, something which can deeply impact a clubs mentality.

That said, going into the final run of games, a lot was also said about how we had the hardest run in and in many ways, predictions for how the end of the season would go saw some having us down as 5th or 6th, or simply not having the results we’ve had.

Context therefore counts as everything.

So 9 game form since restart needs to be taken into account

Cardiff’s games were(position of opposition)(form position)
Leeds (2-0 win to Cardiff)(1st)(1st in previous six games)
Preston (3-1 win)(7th)(20th)
Charlton (0-0 draw)(18th)(16th)
Bristol City (1-0 win)(12th)(24th)
Blackburn Rovers (3-2 loss)(11th)(20th)
Fulham (2-0 loss)(4th)(6th)
Derby (2-1 win)(10th)(5th to Cardiff’s 4th at time)
Middlesbrough (3-1 win)(19th)(12th)
Hull City (3-0 win)(23rd)(23rd)

WWDWLLWWW (19 points) (median position of opposition 12th) (median form of teams faced – 14th)

16 goals for – 8 goals against. Leeds, Bristol, Charlton and Hull are the teams they kept clean sheets against.

44.6% possession on average over the season 65.5% passing accuracy over season.

A lot of Cardiff’s goals in their last six games have come early (around the 20 min mark), between 35 mins half time/just after or around the 80th minute.

Against Hull 3-0 = 19, 35, 83
Borough – 3-1 = 4,46 and 81
Derby – 17, 59
Blackburn – 14, 41
Bristol City – 85
PReston – 69, 82, 91
Leeds 35, 71

in first 10 minutes – 1 goal,
10 – 20 minutes – 3 goals,
20-30 mins – 0 goals,
30-40 mins – 2 goals,
40-50 mins – 4 goals,
50-60mins – 1 goal,
60 – 70 mins – 1 goal,
70-80 mins – 1 goal,
80- end of match – 5 goals

over half of their 16 goals come in two periods of the game, the final 10 minutes and the 10 minutes either side of half time.

On a half by half split 10 goals of their 16 are scored in the second half equalling 63% with 3/4 coming from 40 minutes onwards, which suggests they tend to go for it at the beginning, settle into the game based on that and then push on around the times that count most.

They played without two of their more dangerous players when we last played in Glatzel and Tomlin, who both have 8 goals apiece scored this season (joint top), although both players came off the bench. Seven of their players have 7-8 goals this season.

If they play with their usual format and strongest team it will be 4-2-3-1 and they’ll line up with (crosses denote players who played in the game against us 7-11 – indicating a strong squad and a manager who has been rotating his players a bit either due to demand of games or strategy.

Smithies in goal x

Jo Bennett x
Sean Morrison x
Aden Flint
Curtis Nelson x

Leandro Bacuna x
Marlon Pack

Junior Hoillet x
Lee Tomlin
Nathaniel Mendez Laing x

Robert Glatzel

That said, that’d leave out Josh Murphy (who’s on a similar number of games as Tomlin, Glatzel and Mendez-Laing). They also against us with Jo Ralls (a CM) in the middle of the 3 and will Vaulks a CB as one of the two DM’s.. which suggests Neil Harris feels we’re a strong attacking side that needs to have a more defensive-minded team play us. According to sky and google, they played with a defender up front against us too?

Just seen Callum Patterson (25 yr old), started career as a RB, normally plays in midfield but sometimes also plays as a striker. Impressive versatility.


Fulham results

Fulham’s games(position of opposition)(form position)
Brentford (2-0 loss)(4th)(10th – on previous six games)
Leeds (3-0 loss)(1st)(1st)
QPR (2-1 win)(13th)(9th)
Birmingham (1-0 win)(16th)(21st)
Nottingham Forest (1-0 win)(5th)(7th)
Cardiff city (2-0 win)(6th)(5th to our 6th at the
time of this game)
West Brom (0-0 draw)(2nd)(7th)
Sheffield Wednesday (5-3 win)(14th)(16th)
Wigan (1-1 draw)(13th)(wigan form 4th)

LLWWWWDWD (17 points) (Median position of opposition – 8th in league) – Median position in form table (9th)

12 goals for and 10 goals against. in our last six games we’ve kept 4 clean sheets against Cardiff, West Brom, Nottingham Forest and Birmingham.

Average Possession stats 58.3 passing accuracy 83.2

Hope that gives clarity to people in some ways… appreciate it’s not the most conclusive. Looks like we’re the stronger side, but it’ll be a close game with everyone at full strength. If we weather their storms and take our chances we could do well.


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Play-off semi-finals 1st leg…

Sunday and Monday see’s the first games of the play-off semi-finals.

Swansea v Cardiff

The first of the play-off semi’s is Swansea v Brentford, Swansea gatecrashed the top six replacing Forest on the final day so they’ve got to be full of confidence especially as Brentford lost their last game?

Cardiff v Fulham

Monday evening we get to travel to South Wales and take on Cardiff.
Our two previous games against Cardiff earlier this season were 1-1 at their place last August and a 2-0 win at the Cottage earlier this month.

COYWs

Play-off Semi-finals 1st leg…

Sunday 26th
Swansea v Brentford

Monday 27th
Cardiff v Fulham


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Games for mid-week 22/07

Our last “league” game of the season sees us travel up to Wigan.

Wigan v Fulham

So after the weekends results it’s all become very interesting hasn’t it! Who’d have thought that both Brentford & West Brom would have lost!?
That means that there’s an “outside” chance that we could still get automatic promotion, it’s unlikely as we’d have to win, West Brom loose and Brentford either draw or loose, but you never know, stranger things have happened.
For Brentford, they need West Brom to loose and either win or draw against Barnsley, they’ll then be promoted due to their better goal difference.
West Brom play QPR, QPR are comfortable in 14 so effectively they’ve “nothing” to play for. If West Brom win, they go up, if they draw and Brentford don’t win, they go up, even if they draw and Fulham win then they’d go up unless Fulham win by 17 goals.
Brentford face Barnsley who need to win to avoid relegation, Barnsley’s win against Forest on Sunday gives them a glimmer of hope, Barnsley need to win and hope that Charlton loose to Leeds.

As far as the play-offs are concerned we could face either West Brom, Brentford, Forest, Cardiff or Swansea, assuming we get to the final.
If Cardiff loose and Swansea win then Swansea will have the same points but a better goal difference. If Forest loose then Swansea will need to change the goal difference by 6 as their currently 5 off of Forest’s goal difference, so if Forest loose 3-0 and Swansea win 3-0 then Swansea will go ahead of Forest.

All Fulham can do is to beat Wigan and hope other results go their way, we’ve a good record against Wigan, 9 wins, 1 loss and 10 draws so it’d be Fulhamish for West Brom, Brentford and us to loose!

COYWs

Games of Interest…

Wednesday 22nd
Brentford v Barnsley
Cardiff v Hull
Forest v Stoke
Reading Swansea
West Brom v QPR
Wigan v Fulham


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Games for the week-end 18/07

For our last home “league” game of the season we welcome Sheffield Wednesday to the Cottage.

Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday

With only a draw against West Brom we’re now subject to the lottery that is the play-offs. It’s odd, getting to the play-offs should be seen as a successful season, but for some reason it doesn’t feel as it is?

Our last two “league” games are going to be non-events as effectively we’ve attained our final position. Forest, on 70, can’t catch us and we’d need either West Brom or Brentford to loose both their remaining games for us to reach 3rd and I can’t see either of them doing that.

Strangely we’re the only team in the top 10 who have “nothing” to play for, so in essence we’ve two competitive “practice” games for the play-offs, continuing our unbeaten run would be good for the fans confidence, I’m not sure if a defeat would make too much difference to the players? as I expect that they “know” they can win every game, it’s us fans who’ll suffer from the jitters.

Hopefully AK47 and Tom will be fit enough, giving AK47 two full games would go a long way? to brining him up to match fitness, if he’s available he’d be my first name on the team sheet.

I’ll be keeping an eye on Forest, Cardiff, Millwall and Swansea as we’ll have to play one of them, hopefully two of them as that would mean we’d get to the final. A win or a draw for Forest should confirm their top 6 spot but I can see Millwall sneaking past Cardiff.

Our recent games against Wednesday see them come out slightly on top with 5 wins, 4 losses and 3 draws.

COYWs

Games of interest…

Friday 17th
Huddersfield v West Brom

Saturday 18th
Charlton v Wigan
Stoke v Brentford
Fulham v Sheff Wed
Middlesborough v Cardiff
QPR v Millwall
Swansea v Bristol City

Sunday 19th
Derby v Leeds
Barnsley v Forest


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Games for mid-week 14/07

Yet another strangely timed kick-off, 17:00, for our Tuesday evening game away to West Brom.

West Brom v Fulham

After a good win last Friday we get to play yet another “six pointer” this time against West Brom who will be looking to cement their automatic promotion position after their surprising draw against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
It’s good to see Mitro’ back on the scoreboard, I wonder if we’ll see Tom Cairney back for this game?

Our record against West Brom has been reasonably good over the last few meetings with 5 wins, 2 losses and 5 draws.

A win would see us close the gap to 2 points between us and 2nd place West Brom however, it could benefit Brentford more as assuming they get a result against Preston NE on Wednesday they’d move ahead of West Brom on goal difference, and 3 points behind the league leaders, at least until the result of the Leeds game on Thursday.

It’s all getting really interesting isn’t it.
COYWs

Games of Interest…

Tuesday 14th
West Brom v Fulham
Cardiff v Derby
Luton v QPR
Millwall v Rovers

Wednesday 15th
Brentford v Preston NE
Birmingham v Charlton
Forest v Swansea

Thursday 16th
Leeds v Barnsley


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Games for the week-end 10/07

Friday evening see’s us welcome Cardiff City to the Cottage for a 20:15 kick-off

Fulham v Cardiff City

With the 3 match ban over I’m sure we’ll see Mitro back in the starting line-up, I’m just wondering whats happened to AK47? and if Tom will be available? you’d think the club would give us a clue?

Cardiff are another team that we have mixed results against with 4 wins, 4 losses and 6 draws. They’re on a bit of a run since the re-start, most impressive was their 2-0 win over Leeds, having won 4 and drawn 1, although they lost against Rovers on Tuesday it’ll still be a tough game for us Friday evening.

COYWs

Games of Interest…

Friday 10th
Fulham v Cardiff

Saturday 11th
Charlton v Reading
Derby v Brentford
Rovers v West Brom
Hull v Millwall
Preston NE v Forest
QPR v Sheff Wed

Sunday 12th
Swansea v Leeds


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Games for mid-week 07/07

Another mid-week game, this time we’re away to Nottingham Forest.

Forest v Fulham

So after we’d huffed and puffed our dire performance against Birmingham was rescued by a last gasp goal by Onomah.
Forest were pinned back in their local derby by a last minute equaliser, nice to see Chris Martin do us a favour for once.

Forest will be up for this game, a win will see then overtake us once again and may give them “hope” of automatic promotion, in “theory” that’s still possible for us but not the way we’ve played since the re-start, however with both Leeds and West Brom winning it’s very unlikely.

Our record against Forest couldn’t be more even, 4 wins, 4 losses and 1 draw in the most recent games, so this could be a close one?

COYW’s

Games of Interest…

Tuesday 7th
Forest v Fulham
Brentford v Charlton
Cardiff v Rovers

Wednesday 8th
Millwall v ‘Borough
West Brom v Dearby
Wigan v QPR

Thursday 9th
Leeds v Stoke


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