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Championship betting preview: Brentford v Fulham

21/11/2014
A rare West London derby between Brentford and Fulham gets underway at Griffin Park on Friday night as normal service resumes for England’s top two divisions after the last international break of 2014.

The last league encounter between these two rivals was in the old Division Two in 1998, with Fulham winning 2-0, but perhaps more telling is the 1-0 Fulham win at Griffin Park in August of this year in the League Cup.

This seldom seen rivalry has not been kind to Brentford in the past 20 years, they’ve lost four and drawn twice in their six meetings dating back to 1993, but it’s in the infinitely more significant recent league form that will give hope, bordering on expectation, to Mark Warburton’s side.

Brentford have lost just one of their last seven in the league, and have taken nine points in their last three outings, shooting them up into a dizzying play-off position in this most open of Championship seasons.

A win this weekend for 11th-place Nottingham Forest would see them overtake sixth-place Brentford, should the Bees lose to Fulham in front of the Sky cameras. This is either a ringing endorsement of a competitive and thrilling league, or a wake-up call to the supposed ‘top teams’ to find some consistency.

Nonetheless, the focus is on Griffin Park, and the bookies will likely have the home side edging it as favourites, despite Fulham’s form rapidly improving since Kit Symons started controlling the team –the Whites haven’t lost in their last six league games.

With this in mind the bet that could be the standout is the draw (3.35 Winner), a result that would likely be well received in the heads of the respective managers, but probably not so well received in the hearts of the fans, who will be desperate for the coveted West London Championship bragging rights.

Three draws for Fulham in their last five explain why their unbeaten run hasn’t catapulted them into the top ten, let alone top six, and it could be the same result again on Friday night, as the team continues to take steps in the right direction.

Over 2.5 goals (1.75 Bwin) looks an absolute banker in this game too, as that selection has been a winner in all of Fulham’s last six in all competitions. However over 3.5 goals has come in five times in their last six matches, and may present better value (7/4 TitanBet). Over 2.5 goals has also been a winner for all of Brentford’s last four, with over 3.5 goals in three of those games.

Ross McCormack is the selection for first goalscorer (6.5 various). The Scot looked sharp in getting a goal last time out against Huddersfield and is one shy of top scorer Hugo Rodallega. Sitting atop the assists chart for Fulham tells you something about his overall contribution, and having scored the winner last time out against Brentford, he’ll have his eyes on the opener.

Stephen Fletcher (@sfletcherWFC)
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