Burnley v Fulham: Back a tight tussle at Turf Moor

After Fulham's win at Everton this is a big game between two relegation-threatened sides and one where goals will be at a premium, says Jamie Pacheco.

Burnley v Fulham
Wednesday February 17, 18:00

Burnley can breathe

Life is looking a lot rosier for Burnley than it was a few weeks ago. Once a 1.85 chance for the drop, they're now out to 11.0 for relegation and it's not hard to figure there are at least three teams worse than them who will end the season worse off than them.

Admittedly, it's not like they're on some brilliant run. But two wins, a draw and two losses from their last five is good going when you remember that 39 points seems to be the magical number to stay up and they've picked up seven of them right there.

A 3-0 win at a poor Palace at the weekend was a collector's item for a side that rarely wins away at all, never mind so convincingly.

The goalscorers will get most of the plaudits but some credit should be saved for the defence. Goalkeeper Nick Pope and defenders James Tarkowski and Ben Mee were all really good on the day. Mee suffered a head injury in the game and had to come off, but he may be allowed to play here.

Progress for Fulham but plenty of work still to do

If Burnley touched 1.85 for the drop, Fulham's destiny seemed even bleaker at one stage. They were actually matched at 1.25 at one point; but there's a big difference between the two.

Whereas Burnley are six points off the relegation zone, the Cottagers are still in it. That's why they're still 1.65 to go down and with West Brom and Sheffield United arguably already past the point of no return, Fulham will have to get the better of one of Newcastle, Brighton or Burnley come May.

Scott Parker, Fulham coach.jpg

Their 2-0 win at Everton on Sunday was arguably their most impressive result of the season. It was certainly their best performance at least because they were good value for their win.

They may have found a new hero in Josh Maya. The 22-year old was making his first start for the club and scored both goals. If they finally have someone who can consistently score goals, they can really believe.

Match winner market a minefield

My first instinct here was that Burnley looked a good price at 2.84, just a tiny bit shorter than Fulham.

After all, they're six points better off, have far more Premier League experience over the last few years and are at home.

But the Opta stats suggest it might not be as straightforward as that.

The visitors have lost just one of their last five against Burnley in the Premier League and bizarrely, the Clarets are on a strange run where they're really struggling to beat promoted sides! Opta tell us they've won just one of their last seven against sides who have just come up. So maybe it's not such a great price after all.

There's plenty of contrasting data as regards Fulham, who are 2.88. On the one hand they've taken 61% of their points away from home this season so may be better suited to winning on the road, just like they did at Everton at the weekend. On the other hand, the most impressive stat of all you'll see about this match is: Burnley haven't lost to Fulham in their last 30 games in all competitions.

So lay Fulham if you wish or just take the draw at 3.25, but we can do better.

Goals likely to be in short supply

We've talked a lot about stats based on previous matches but there's something to be said about how you think this particular game will pan out.

Twelve Burnley home games this season have yielded just 22 goals, which is exactly 1.83 goals per game., the lowest of any side in the division when at home.

Despite their struggles, Burnley have kept eight clean sheets this season, not bad going in a season where no defence has really excelled in the league, bar Man City these last few weeks.

Given Fulham have now kept clean sheets in their last two and are hardly the highest scorers themselves at the best of times and I'm going to take a punt not on under 2.5 goals, but under 1.5 goals, at 3.0.

I wouldn't care to predict who might get that one goal (if there is one), but I wouldn't discount this ending 0-0, so the one goal being scored and still winning our bet will do me fine.

Exactly two Burnley bookings?

There may be a good bet going, albeit a slightly obscure one. In 11 home games this season, the hosts have had exactly two yellows in the game on five occasions.

Given that's just less than 50% and that you can get 13/5 on it (Burnley getting exactly 20 booking points) happening again and you can see the appeal.

Decent same-game multi-bet at just better than evens

Summing up the view we don't think Burnley will lose the match and we can back the hosts on the Double Chance market at 2/5. Giving ourselves the safety net of another goal by going with under 2.5 goals (4/7) brings the same-game multi-bet to just better than evens.

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