MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
@SimonBrotherton: Another season of Premier League football is all-but guaranteed for Bournemouth, who sit on 41 points after last week’s thrashing of Brighton along the coast.
The run-in suggests they might overhaul their best Premier League tally of 46 points, set two years ago. Emulating their ninth-place finish from that season looks less likely.
Fulham are of course long gone, a £100m net spend over two transfer windows not coming close to extending their stay in the division beyond the minimum. They did see off in-form Everton 2-0 last week, but have only taken a woeful two points from 17 away games all season.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe on reaching 500 games as a manager: “Where has the time gone? It doesn’t feel like I’ve been in charge of 500 games. I’m very much enjoying the challenge of management right now.
“We needed that result last weekend. Everything came together and it was a very good afternoon for us. We need to see more of the same and end the season strongly.”
Fulham caretaker manager Scott Parker: “I think it will be beneficial to everyone at the football club to take this time to really focus, reassess and plan for next year.
“It is going to be a big year, obviously a difficult year in a difficult league. But we know where we are and I feel this time is a massive opportunity to get ahead of the game, to plan and prepare for a massive campaign to try and get back into this division.”
Both of these teams returned to form with good wins last time out – and it is good to sees some signs of life at Fulham following their relegation.
The Cottagers have got the worst away record in the top flight, though, so I am backing Bournemouth.
- Bournemouth’s only defeat in the past 11 league meetings came at home in January 1994 when both sides were in the third tier (W7, D3).
- Fulham have had a player sent off in each of their last two games against Bournemouth: Fernando Amorebieta in March 2015 and Kevin McDonald in last October’s reverse fixture.
- The 3-0 win for Bournemouth last autumn was the first top-flight match between the clubs.
- Bournemouth could go five Premier League home games without a win for the first time since February 2017.
- Their nine home league defeats since November 2017 have come against the established top-six sides and Burnley (twice).
- The Cherries are unbeaten in all 10 Premier League home matches against promoted opposition, winning seven and scoring 27 goals.
- One more win in 2018-19 would establish a club record of 13 in a Premier League season.
- Bournemouth’s Premier League matches this season have produced an unrivalled 110 goals.
- Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson have combined for 11 Premier League goals this season – a tally only surpassed by the 13 of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn during their 1994-95 title-winning campaign.
- Fulham’s win over Everton last weekend ended a run of nine league defeats in a row.
- They are vying to earn back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time since April 2014.
- However, they could equal the club Premier League record of eight consecutive away defeats, set from December 2005 to March 2006.
- The Cottagers have only earned two points from their 17 league away matches this season. The lowest away tally for a Premier League season is three points, set by Derby in 2007-08.
- Hull were the sixth and most recent side to go an entire Premier League season without an away victory, in 2009-10.
- Ryan Babel has been directly involved in seven league goals since his debut for Fulham in January, four more than any team-mate during that period. He has four goals and three assists.