Fulham will still have eyes on automatic promotion back to the Premier League, but they are seven points adrift of second-place Leeds United. They have slipped up a few times this season, most recently in last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to Reading. The minimum requirement for them this season will be a play-off place. They have scored in 11 of their last 12 home matches and should get a couple of goals on Friday night too.
Middlesbrough are the form side in the Championship with just one defeat coming from their last eight matches. They did lose out in the FA Cup third-round replay to Tottenham on Wednesday evening but can now focus on the league. Jonathan Woodgate had a hard start to managerial life but has since turned Boro’s fortunes around and have moved 10 points away from the relegation zone.
They didn’t win an away match until December 29th this season though and despite two wins on the bounce, I’m predicting they’ll suffer a defeat at Craven Cottage this week. Fulham are a very strong side but Mitrovic being out is a blow. Having said that, he has only scored in two of Fulham’s last 12 home matches so the miss might not be as important as first appears. That will leave more goalscoring responsibility on the technically gifted Ivan Cavaleiro, who has scored six goals this season and assisted a further six.
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