Sunderland and Fulham are both in contention for a top-half finish, and a triumph at the Stadium of Light would significantly strengthen either clubs’ chances of achieving their goal…
Having sat in the relegation zone on Boxing Day, Fulham have completed a remarkable transformation since then at the exact same time that Sunderland have come flying in the opposite direction.
The Cottagers have claimed more points in that post-festive period than any team outside of the traditional Big Four, whereas their hosts have racked up the third lowest tally of any club, the consequence being that they now trail the west Londoners by a point.
All is not lost for the Black Cats in their attempt to achieve a first top-half finish in a decade, as they ended a lengthy winless run against Wigan last time out, while Fulham have enjoyed only one away victory all season.
Despite that, they haven’t tasted defeat much on their travels, drawing eight of their ten trips to sides outside the top seven, and a spoil-sharer appears likely again at 11/5. If you anticipate there being a winner, Sunderland are 8/5, with Fulham 7/4.
Mark Hughes’ men have the joint-third stingiest defensive record on the road despite having only kept three clean sheets, so with Sunderland missing Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck, under 2.5 goals is widely fancied at 4/7.
Fulham have scored against every team outside the top six that they have faced since Christmas though, and Sunderland have only been silenced three times at home, indicating that both sides to score is a reasonable prospect at 10/11.
A £30 stake on the match finishing 1-1 at 11/2 would provide a £165 profit. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.