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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Fulham could take a bite out of Wolves' lead

Ryan Sessegnon is sparkling

Fulham's teenage star Ryan Sessegnon
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Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football/Main Event, 5.30pm Saturday

Fulham have collected 24 points from a possible 30 since Christmas Day – the most in the Sky Bet Championship – and their push towards the top two can continue with a victory over leaders Wolves at Craven Cottage.

Wolves have suffered only four league defeats and the most recent of their two away losses was in October when a fired-up QPR triumphed 2-1 at Loftus Road.

They have been the most consistent team and appear destined to win the division but they have had a wobble in recent games, drawing 1-1 at Preston and 2-2 at home to Norwich. They will be taking on Fulham without their outstanding midfielder Ruben Neves, who starts a two-match suspension.

Neves has been at the heart of Wolves's best performances and it is a blow for them that he is unavailable for such a tough fixture.

Leading the table for so long is a challenge in itself and there have been a few signs of complacency creeping in.

Wolves didn't do enough to win the game at Preston last Saturday despite playing against ten men for the final half an hour.

And they gave away a two-goal lead at home to Norwich on Tuesday after sitting deeper and inviting their opponents on to them in the second half.

It is too early for any alarm bells given that Wolves are undefeated in five games and nine points clear at the top. But they are not playing their best football and look opposable against a classy Fulham side who have clicked into gear.

Fulham's teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon has been producing some sparkling performances and seems totally unaffected by the transfer speculation linking him to Premier League clubs.

And the loan signing of Newcastle centre-forward Aleksandar Mitrovic has given the Londoners an extra dimension.

There have been many occasions that Fulham have outclassed the opposition but lacked a physical presence in the penalty area.

Mitrovic, their goalscorer in a 1-1 draw at Bristol City on Wednesday, fills that role and has a lot to play for as he battles to force his way into Serbia's World Cup squad.

Fulham finished last season with a string of victories before missing out in the playoffs.

Ideally, they would like to go up by the automatic route this time and the eight-point gap to second-placed Cardiff is not insurmountable.

To have a chance they will have to push for victories whatever the opposition and they look value to get a massive three points this weekend.

2pts 15-8 bet365, Betfred

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Team news
No fresh injuries are reported and regular defenders Ryan Fredericks and Tomas Kalas may return after being rested at Bristol City on Wednesday.

Ruben Neves starts a two-game ban after picking up his tenth yellow card of the season. Helder Costa is a doubt after sustaining a minor injury in midweek.

Key stat
Fulham have won their last seven home league games.

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Fulham's teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon has been producing some sparkling performances and seems totally unaffected by transfer speculation
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