Friday Night Football returns in the Premier League with not one but two matches taking place under the floodlights.
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- West Ham v Fulham
- Cardiff v Watford
West Ham United v Fulham (Sky Sports Premier League)
London Stadium, 1945 GMT kick-off
Another derby takes place in the capital and, due to the FA Cup last week, it feels like an age since these two last played a match in the Premier League.
It gave both Manuel Pellegrini and Claudio Ranieri chance to allow their squad rest, for some to return from injury and to put in the hard yards on the training ground.
This will be the 27th game of the season, so time is running out for the Cottagers to preserve their Premier League status - they are currently eight points from safety and we have seen little evidence to suggest they can turn it around.
Three points here would go some way to enhanced their prospects and they can look at West Ham's run of five games without a victory in all competitions for some form of encouragement.
But the Hammers' last two have been 1-1 draws and further inspection of their run shows that they are finally beginning to settle at the London Stadium, with the Hammers currently on a four-match unbeaten streak in all competitions on home turf. They have avoided defeat there in eight of their 13 league games this term and, at last, are becoming difficult to beat.
They have a decent squad but the team virtually picks itself at the moment with Pellegrini fielding a consistent XI and they have enough about them to beat a Fulham side still lacking defensively after failing to strengthen their back-line in January.
West Ham's set-up sees the likes of Felipe Anderson, Michail Antonio and Robert Snodgrass behind Marko Arnautovic in attack and it's the last of the supporting trio who looks interesting here.
Snodgrass endured a difficult start to his career in east London but his popularity has grown alongside his level of involvement has grown and he can be real danger with Fulham's defence occupied with keeping Arnautovic quiet.
Scotland international Snodgrass had two shots in his last outing at Palace, has four goals and seven assists in all competitions this season and is a tempting 9/2 to score anytime.
It is also worth considering backing the hosts to score two or more at just under evens while they are a tempting 23/20 to win with over 1.5 total goals in the game, but the 21/10 available on them to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 is most eye-catching and covers the likely scenarios.
West Ham were 2-0 winners at Craven Cottage in the reverse fixture in December and they can complete the double here against a side short of belief - fans had apparently lost faith as they jeered Ranieri's substitutions in the defeat to Man United - and heading for the drop.
Score prediction: West Ham 2-1 Fulham (Sky Bet Odds: Price Boosted to 9/1)
Best bet: West Ham to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 at 21/10
Sporting Life RequestABet: West Ham to score 2+ goals, 40+ match booking points and Snodgrass to have 1+ shots on target at 11/2
- West Ham won the reverse fixture against Fulham 2-0 in December and are looking to complete the league double over Fulham for the first time since 2008-09.
- Fulham are winless in their last nine Premier League away games against West Ham (D4 L5), since winning their first such game back in November 2001 (2-0).
- This will be Fulham’s first Premier League game played on a Friday since Boxing Day 2008, when they drew 0-0 at Tottenham.
- West Ham are looking to win three home Premier League London derbies in a single season for the first time since 1999-00, having already beaten Crystal Palace and Arsenal at the London Stadium this term.
- The home side has never lost in eight previous Premier League London derbies played on a Friday, winning five and drawing three.
- Fulham have taken just one point from their last 36 available in Premier League London derbies (W0 D1 L11), losing a top-flight record eight in a row.
- West Ham have won just one of their last seven Premier League games (D3 L3), having won five of their six before that.
- Fulham have taken just two points from their last 45 available away from home in the Premier League (W0 D2 L13), and are the only Premier League side without an away win this season.
- Only against Liverpool (3 goals, 3 assists) has West Ham’s Mark Noble been directly involved in more Premier League goals than he has against Fulham (1 goal, 4 assists).
- West Ham’s Felipe Anderson has failed to score in his last seven Premier League games, having netted seven times in his nine before that.
Cardiff City v Watford
Cardiff City Stadium, 1945 GMT kick-off
Cardiff are just one point clear of the bottom three and home form has been key, with 17 of their 25 points collected in South Wales.
The reverse fixture saw Watford go 3-0 up after 68 minutes, but the Bluebirds scored twice in two minutes late on to make for a nervy ending at Vicarage Road - evidence that Neil Warnock's side can trouble Javi Gracia's men in the final third.
FA Cup quarter-finalists Watford sit eighth in the Premier League and are having a fantastic season under Gracia, but they are still prone to slip-ups.
Cardiff are starting to gather pace after back-to-back wins and they will be hoping last week's break will be beneficial rather than a hindrance.
The result is so tough to call with Cardiff expected to be set up well again after keeping a clean sheet in their last two home games and the 6/5 available on the hosts draw no bet makes some appeal, but narrow preference is for a smaller stake at 11/2 on Cardiff to win and under 2.5 goals.
Friday games do not always produce thrillers and four of Watford's last five have fallen under this threshold which shows a shortage of goals in their side at the moment.
It is not on TV and it is not expected to be a game of the season contender, but we are in an important part of the season and Cardiff can enhance their survival hopes and put pressure on their relegation rivals by striking first.
Score prediction: Cardiff 1-0 Watford (Sky Bet Odds: 17/2)
Sporting Life RequestABet: Cardiff to win, under 2.5 goals, under 11 corners and 20+ Watford booking points
- Cardiff have lost just one of their last six home league meetings with Watford (W4 D1), though it was the last such match in December 2014 (2-4).
- Watford are looking to secure their first league double over Cardiff since the 2005-06 campaign, when they were in the Championship.
- Cardiff won their only previous Premier League game played on a Friday, beating Wolves 2-1 back in November.
- Cardiff are looking to win three consecutive top-flight league games for the first time since February 1961.
- Watford have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four Premier League matches, as many as they had in their last 21 in the competition. They’re looking to record three consecutive league shutouts for the first time since September 2017.
- No team has scored more 90th minute goals in the Premier League this season than Cardiff (5), with three of those being winning goals – also a joint league-high.
- 21% of Cardiff’s Premier League goals this season have been scored by their substitutes (5/24), the highest ratio in the division.
- Cardiff have already won as many Premier League games this season (7/26) as they did in their previous campaign in the competition in 2013-14 (7/38).
- This will be Cardiff manager Neil Warnock’s 38th meeting with Watford in all competitions (W13 D7 L17), making them the club he’s faced the most in his managerial career. Against no other side has he lost more games than he has against the Hornets (17, also vs Reading).
- All 10 of Watford’s Premier League victories this season have come with Abdoulaye Doucoure in the starting lineup, with the Hornets failing to win all four games the Frenchman has not started (D3 L1).
Odds correct as of 1425 GMT on 21/02/19