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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Fulham should keep up with the playoff chase

Villa's away record does not inspire confidence

Fulham's Floyd Ayite (right)
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Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports 1, 2.45pm Monday

Three successive wins for Sheffield Wednesday mean Fulham are unable to ease up in their chase for the Sky Bet Championship playoff places, but they should be able to land a blow by seeing off Aston Villa.

The Cottagers have been full of goals at Craven Cottage - they have scored more than once in ten of their last 15 home matches - and the loss of suspended striker Chris Martin may not stop them.

While Martin has notched ten times this season, just one of those goals has come since January 21 and the midfield have not been slow in picking up the baton.

Tom Cairney has also reached double figures, while nine-goal Floyd Ayite has been in a rich vein of form with four in his last three games.

Stefan Johansen also has nine and has netted in the last two games, 3-1 victories over Ipswich and Norwich.

Villa will have to be content with a mid-table finish in their first season back in the second tier, although they had gone through a fine run of form before a draw at Burton and a home defeat to Reading on Saturday.

They had conceded one goal in eight games before those results but their away performances suggest they may find this trip to London difficult.

Steve Bruce's side have taken a full return from just two of their last nine matches on the road and they were against the two worst teams in the division, Wigan and Rotherham.

They have a great threat up front in Jonathan Kodjia, who has scored 19 goals in 34 games this term and eight in his last nine matches.

He hopes to recover from a knock, but even if he is flying at 100 per cent, Fulham have enough to grab their tenth home win of the campaign.

2pts 17-20 Hills, Sky Bet

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Team news
Chris Martin is suspended after his red card against Norwich. Denis Odoi is struggling for fitness but Scott Parker has recovered from a back injury.

Aston Villa
Full-back Neil Taylor is doubtful with a groin injury while goalkeeper Mark Bunn has a knee problem. Striker Scott Hogan is available after recovering from an ankle issue.

Key stat
Both teams have scored in 11 of Fulham's last 13 league matches. 

Steve Bruce's side have taken a full return from just two of their last nine matches on the road and they were against strugglers Wigan and Rotherham
E.W. Terms
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