Fulham v Aston Villa
Easter Monday, 17th April, 14:45
Live on Sky Sports 1
Fulham have recorded back-to-back 3-1 victories against East Anglian outfits Ipswich and Norwich to apply pressure on sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday in the race to secure a play-off position.
Cottagers boss Slavisa Jokanovic insists the Whites must "clear their minds" after their Good Friday triumph at Carrow Road where the capital club performed superbly despite playing with 10 men for the entire second-half.
Chris Martin's red card - which has been appealed - left Fulham a man down but the Cottagers put in a gutsy backs to the wall performance as they controlled and dictated the tempo for large swathes of the encounter.
Star midfielder Tom Cairney has now moved on to double assists and double goals for the season - the first Championship player to do so this season - whilst right-back Denis Odoi remains the only injury concern here.
Steve Bruce was livid after watching his Aston Villa side make 'more mistakes today than we have in the past two months' when the Claret & Blue were beaten 3-1 at home to Reading on Saturday.
The Villans succumbed to two second-half strikes with Bruce bemoaning his team's inability to recover from setbacks. The Villa manager feels his team are still too fragile at getting over mistakes and believes it's unacceptable for players to dwell on errors rather than striving to atone for them.
It was only the Claret & Blue's second reverse in 10 but ensures the visitors will complete their campaign marooned in mid-table. Meanwhile, left-back Neil Taylor and goalkeeper Mark Bunn will both be assessed after missing Saturday's match.
Fulham haven't lost both league games in a season against Aston Villa since 2009/10 when both were Premier League sides and the Cottagers have suffered a sole reverse in 10 league dates with Villa at Craven Cottage (W4-D5-L1).
The Whites are rated 1.86 shots to claim another success here and although Jovanovic's charges have returned just W8-D8-L5 in their own backyard this term, Fulham are well worth supporting here due to their dominance of games.
No Championship club has enjoyed more possession this season and that could prove pivotal against an Aston Villa side with only 48 hours rest ahead of Easter Monday's kick-off. It's also worth noting that only Newcastle and Huddersfield boast better shots on-target ratio figures.
Villa's 4.60 resurgence demands respect but the visitors played six of that 10-match streak on home soil with their away contests seeing Bruce's boys overcome bottom-two teams Rotherham and Wigan, draw at struggling Burton and lose at high-flying Huddersfield.
Aston Villa have W4-D6-L11 in games as guests since relegation and managed only W1-D2-L7 when travelling teams above them in the standings. More alarmingly, the Claret & Blue have fired blanks in eight of those 10 teams currently residing in the top-11.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Amazingly, none of Fulham's last 123 league matches at Craven Cottage have ended goalless - the last came on the opening day of the 2011/12 season, coincidentally against Aston Villa.
The Cottagers have seen Over 2.5 Goals bank in six of their last seven on the banks of the River Thames whilst eight of their previous 10 outings have featured Over 3.5 Goals, making the 1.79 available on a repeat appear too good to be true.
However, Aston Villa are low-scoring specialists. Bruce's boys have seen just two of their last 14 away trips creep above the two-goal line with a whopping 30/42 (71%) of their overall league games rewarding Under 2.5 Goalsbackers 2.12.
With such contrasting trends, I'm happy to swerve the goals markets and invest sole focus on the Fulham win.
Back Fulham to win @ 1.86
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