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Preview: Fulham v Bolton Wanderers

Wanderers head down to that London

Reading v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Play Off: Second Leg Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

On the back of four points from six, Bolton Wanderers head down to that London in search of more reasons to be cheerful.

Fulham are our gracious hosts, and this represents one of the more pleasant footballing experiences in our nation’s capital. A small but homely ground on the banks of the Thames, with friendly supporters who welcome you with a smile rather than a smack.

Familiar names in the home squad include our old mate Tim Ream, former Blackburn Rovers schemer Tom Cairney, ex-Wanderers loan target Sheyi Ojo and Michael Norwood, once of Manchester United.

The home side have two wins in their last six games, and have drawn their last two games at Craven Cottage.

Sat in 10th spot, just four points from the Play Offs, Fulham have been there-and-thereabouts all season long. Under former Chelsea midfielder Slavisa Jokanovic’s leadership, the team have bubbled under the surface over the last 18 months, pushing for promotion but never quite convincing anyone that they actually fancied it in the first place.

Obvious to all is that the main problem is playing at home, with just a single victory in six games. Encouragingly for Wanderers, they haven’t kept a clean sheet at home to date.

Bolton will likely put out an unchanged side, with Karl Henry and Darren Pratley patrolling midfield behind Josh Vela and Gary Madine, our goal-shy main striker. Mark Beevers and David Wheater will be looking to continue their good form.

Head to head

Fulham have the edge with five wins in our last ten meetings. Wanderers have just the two. Interestingly, each Fulham victory arrived with a clean sheet.

Prediction

Fulham are the favourites and probably rightly so. Wanderers have struggled on the road, with just the one goal in our six away games thus far. One thing in our favour is that the home side have yet to keep a clean sheet in front of their own fans this season.

It’s shaping up to be a good do.

COYWM.