Championship side Sunderland are sniffing an FA Cup shock when they host Premier League Fulham in Wednesday’s FA Cup fourth-round replay.
The first clash at Craven Cottage finished all square at 1-1 and the Black Cats may now fancy their chances of knocking out Marco Silva’s side on home soil, especially as the visitors are expected to make changes.
Fulham will not have Silva in the dugout as he serves a touchline ban, having picked up a fourth booking of the season in the 0-0 draw at Chelsea last time out.
Sunderland made a great start in the first game last month, going ahead thanks to Jack Clarke’s early goal but it was eventually cancelled out by Tom Cairney’s fine second-half equaliser as the top-flight Cottagers fought back.
Sunderland vs Fulham Betting Tips
On-loan Joe Gelhardt is cup-tied for the hosts, while recent signing from Everton, Joe Anderson, is not eligible as he wasn’t a Sunderland player at the time of the original tie.
Striker Ross Stewart suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the first meeting between the sides, while Dennis Cirkin has been ruled out due to concussion protocols.
Corry Evans and Elliot Embleton are also on the long-term absentee list for Sunderland.
Recent Fulham signings Cedric Soares and Sasa Lukic will not feature for the visitors for the same reason as Sunderland’s Anderson, and Silva, who made seven changes for the first game, could again field several fringe members of his squad.
Second-choice goalkeeper Marek Rodak is set to start, while it remains to be seen if key striker Aleksandar Mitrovic will be in the lineup as he was only a sub in the original tie. Neeskens Kebano is still out with an Achilles injury.
Match Result – Sunderland to win @ 10/3
Sunderland’s home form has been inconsistent of late as the Black Cats have won three of their last five games at the Stadium Of Light, losing the other two.
However, they will want to demonstrate they can compete with Premier League clubs ahead of what they hope will be a return to the top flight next season with a place in the Championship play-offs the target in the second half of the campaign.
Tony Mowbray’s side are currently ninth in the second tier but only two points off the top six and Wednesday’s clash is a chance to show they are ready to step back up into the big time.
Fulham are enjoying a fine season in the Premier League and sit eighth, eight points off the top four, so their focus is likely to be on maintaining that impressive league form rather than a cup run.
Over 2.5 goals @ 5/2
The original tie was an entertaining affair with both sides creating plenty of good chances, although Fulham will feel they probably deserved to go through as they dominated possession (69%-31%) and won the shot and shot-on-target count. Silva’s men had 22 attempts, 12 of which were on target, Sunderland had a creditable 17, with six being on target.
There’s every reason to believe the replay will be a similarly competitive game with both sides confident of causing the other team problems so backing at least three goals overall seems wise.
While there were only two goals at Craven Cottage, both sides should have scored at least one more and with both set to play with a bit of freedom that often accompanies a cup clash away from the weekly pressures of league games, there should be plenty of attacking action.
Welcome Offer – Bet £10 Get £30 in FREE Bets
New 18+ UK customers.
1st bet on sports of £10+ in one transaction at evens (2.0)+ settled within 7 days of registering.
£30 paid in free bets within 10 hours of bet settlement, 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply.
Full Terms & Conditions apply.