These have been two of the surprise packages in the Championship this season and both find themselves in the top ten coming into this game. What’s more they’ve also been two of the most entertaining sides to watch, with goals following both Fulham and Barnsley around. There were six when they met at Oakwell in October and there promises to be several more in this game too.
Fulham are strong favourites at 4/7 with the bookies but the price looks short for several reasons. Firstly they are actually below Barnsley in the league and given we are past the half-way mark in the season, that can’t merely be ignored. Secondly, Fulham’s home record isn’t actually that impressive and is the main reason they look a bit short of being serious play-off contenders. They average just 1.31 points per game at home compared to 1.5 overall. Only 6 sides have worse home records than Fulham, who have only won 31% of their matches at Craven Cottage.
Further reason to fancy something other than a home win comes from Barnsley’s current form. They’ve suffered just 2 defeats in their last 13 Championship games and are unbeaten in 5 coming into this. Much like Fulham, they’ve also seemed to enjoy life on the road more than at home. They average 1.58 points per away game, a record only 3 Championship teams can better with 50% of their away fixtures ending in victory. For a side that only sneaked into the League One play-offs last term that is exceptional and Paul Heckingbottom has done some job with the Tykes.
This is certainly a game that promises goals, with two of the league’s four highest scorers meeting. Barnsley’s Sam Winnall is in a real hot streak with 7 goals in 9 games coming into this and backing Winnall to score anytime looks a good bet here.
Fulham’s most prolific marksman Chris Martin has refused to play for the club in recent weeks, as he seeks a return to parent club Derby and that’s another unwelcome distraction for the Londoners coming into this game. On current form Barnsley look well capable of getting a result, particular given how confidently they’ve approached their away matches. They’ve even looked more solid at the back of late with clean sheets in their last two away games and therefore backing Double Chance – Draw or Barnsley at 13/10 looks to offer excellent value here.
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