Most Read Football

Three-horse Premier League title race: Between Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea1

Premier League top-six assessment

We take a look at the race for the Premier League title, competition for a top-four finish and those who could fall short...

Arsene Wenger: Feeling 'well rested' after leaving Arsenal in May2

Wenger plans January return

Arsene Wenger says he has received "enquiries from all over the world" as he plans a return to management in January.

Paper Talk: Raheem Sterling, Frenkie De Jong and Juan Mata all feature3

Wednesday's Paper Talk

Real Madrid's interest in Raheem Sterling intensifies and Everton join race for Arsenal midfielder, according to the back pages...

Jose Mourinho reacts on the bench4

Scholes: Messi would struggle

Paul Scholes claims even Lionel Messi would struggle in the current Manchester United team and says the club are being laughed at by their rivals.

Harry Maguire: This image of the defender on an inflatable unicorn in the summer proved popular with England fans5

500/1 Maguire backed for £50 note

Harry Maguire has been backed by England fans to be the new face of the £50 note in an online petition.

Free football betting preview: Fulham v Derby County

Stefan Johansen is backed to strike for Fulham against Derby
Stefan Johansen is backed to strike for Fulham against Derby

Fulham need to overturn a deficit to reach Wembley and Tom Carnduff has 15/4 and 4/1 goalscorer selections for the second leg.

Fulham v Derby recommended bets

1pt Stefan Johansen to score anytime at 4/1

1pt Lucas Piazon to score anytime at 15/4

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record.


Fulham v Derby County - Aggregate: 0-1 (Sky Sports Main Event, 1945 BST)

They may have been an unstoppable force during the second-half of the season, going on a 23-game unbeaten run, but Fulham have started slipping up at the time that really matters.

Despite two losses on the bounce, including a 1-0 loss to Derby in the first leg, I'm still backing them to progress to Wembley and the 4/6 price on them to win this one reflects their chances.

History may be on the side of Derby, but in the here and now this Fulham side is one of the strongest in the division and it's only a matter of time before we see them return to the Premier League.

Whilst Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ryan Sessegnon will rightly be looked at as players who can make the difference for the Cottagers on the night, I think there is real value in backing goalscorers elsewhere and Stefan Johansen's 7/2 price to strike anytime looks tempting.

Alongside Johansen, Lucas Piazon looks a big price at 4/1 to score in 90 minutes as well.

Lucas Piazon has scored five goals for Fulham since returning from injury
Lucas Piazon has scored five goals for Fulham since returning from injury

Johansen has been a regular for Slavisa Jokanovic this season featuring in all but one of their 47 Championship games during the 2017/18 campaign.

Despite playing in midfield, he is the club's third top scorer with eight goals and eight assists so there is a chance that he will be amongst the goals if they are to come on Monday night.

He's found the net against Cardiff and Aston Villa so far, whilst also contributing assists in wins over Wolves, Derby and Sheffield United, showing he is a player for the big occasion.


Opta facts

  • Fulham are still looking for their first ever win in the Football League play-offs, having drawn two and lost five of their previous seven games.
  • The last second tier team to win the play-offs after suffering a semi-final first leg defeat was Bolton Wanderers, who overturned a 2-1 defeat against Wolves in 1995 (3-2 on aggregate), before beating Reading in the final.
  • None of Fulham’s last three results in home play-off games would be enough to see them advance to this year’s final (0-4 v Bristol Rovers in 1989, 1-1 v Grimsby in 1998 and 1-1 v Reading last season).
  • Derby have progressed to the play-off final on each of the previous three occasions they have won the semi-final first leg; all of which have come in the second tier (in 1994, 2007 and 2014).
  • In all competitions, the Rams have lost just one of their last six games at Craven Cottage (W1 D4), with each of the three games there against Slavisa Jokanovic’s Fulham side ending in stalemates (1-1, 2-2 and 1-1).
  • After failing to score in the first leg at Pride Park, Fulham have now netted just two goals across their seven games in the Football League play-offs.
  • However, the West London side have scored more league goals than any other Championship team in 2018, with 61% of their total coming in home games (27 of 44).
  • Aleksandar Mitrovic has been directly involved in seven of Fulham’s last 12 league goals at Craven Cottage, scoring six and assisting one.
  • After scoring just once in his first 15 league appearances for Derby, Cameron Jerome has netted in each of his four outings since (five goals).
  • If Jerome nets in the second leg, it would be the first time in his league career (inc. play-offs) that he has scored in five consecutive games.

Chelsea loanee Lucas Piazon has been a key figure for Fulham alongside Johansen at times, despite missing the first-half of the season with a serious injury.

He's scored five since returning, and whilst Floyd Ayite was the preferred option on Friday night, changes from the first leg would welcome Piazon back into the starting XI.

Fulham need to win by two to progress, and they'll be reliant upon their strong presence up front to help them progress to Wembley, paving the way for someone like Piazon to shine.

The issue for Derby could be scoring a goal to extend their lead, With Fulham keeping seven clean sheets in their last ten games at home.

That's why backing Fulham to win to nil may also provide some decent value at 17/10.

Score prediction: Fulham 3-0 Derby (Sky Bet's odds: 11/1)

Best bet: Stefan Johansen to score anytime at 4/1

Alternative: Lucas Piazon to score anytime at 15/4


Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLife

Odds correct at 1530 BST (13/05/18)

Related football links

Most Read Football

Three-horse Premier League title race: Between Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea1

Premier League top-six assessment

We take a look at the race for the Premier League title, competition for a top-four finish and those who could fall short...

Arsene Wenger: Feeling 'well rested' after leaving Arsenal in May2

Wenger plans January return

Arsene Wenger says he has received "enquiries from all over the world" as he plans a return to management in January.

Paper Talk: Raheem Sterling, Frenkie De Jong and Juan Mata all feature3

Wednesday's Paper Talk

Real Madrid's interest in Raheem Sterling intensifies and Everton join race for Arsenal midfielder, according to the back pages...

Jose Mourinho reacts on the bench4

Scholes: Messi would struggle

Paul Scholes claims even Lionel Messi would struggle in the current Manchester United team and says the club are being laughed at by their rivals.

Harry Maguire: This image of the defender on an inflatable unicorn in the summer proved popular with England fans5

500/1 Maguire backed for £50 note

Harry Maguire has been backed by England fans to be the new face of the £50 note in an online petition.

Football Tips

Our best bets for Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough

Back corners at Hillsborough

The weekend's football kicks off at Hillsborough as Sheffield Wednesday take on Middlesbrough. We've found a 9/5 best bet.

Our best bets for Blackburn v Leeds

Leeds set to Klich at Ewood Park

Leeds will be looking to move back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table when they take on Blackburn. We look at the betting.

Enable storms to victory in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2018.