Fulham vs Brighton and Hove AlbionEnglish Premier League, KO: 19:45 Jan 29, 2019, Craven Cottage
IF Fulham are going to stage a great escape then they really need to win this game to spark them into life.
The initial optimism that surrounded Claudio Ranieri's appointment has faded and some fans are even resigned to an instant Championship return.
The sorry story of striker Aboubakar Kamara, whose refusal to bow to Ranieri's penalty kick pecking order sparked off a series of unfortunate events that would eventually lead to him being arrested, sums up the bleak mood at the club right now.
Fulham have won just once in 11 games and even that was against rock-bottom Huddersfield when Aleksandar Mitrovic's last-gasp goal got Kamara off the hook after his controversial penalty miss.
Since that victory they have lost four in a row, including an embarrassing FA Cup exit at home to Oldham, but crashing out gave them a free weekend while Brighton were battling out a boring stalemate with West Brom.
That means Ranieri's side will be much fresher and with them so desperate for a win, I've a hunch they might just end their poor run of form. Brighton aren't the greatest on the road and have failed to win in 23 of their last 25 Premier League away days.
I backed Fulham to win that six-pointer with Huddersfield, with Mitrovic as first scorer, and I'm hoping for a similar outcome here, although hopefully without someone stealing a penalty from the big Serb and making him wait until the last minute to score.
The Cottagers are 7/5 with a few firms to get that much-needed win while Mitrovic is 5/1 for first scorer and 7/4 to net at any time with Boylesports.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton faces a dilemma over whether to play keeper Mat Ryan after his return from international duty with Australia at the Asian Cup.
David Button has been an able deputy but Ryan is the better keeper and it may come down to how jaded the Aussie feels after his exertions with the Socceroos.
The Seagulls, who are without speedy winger Jose Izquierdo through injury, haven't been flying of late, losing to Manchester United and Liverpool before that Cup blank at home to Championship side West Brom.
They netted just once in that three-game spell and with Fulham also misfiring this season it points to a lack of goalmouth action. Under 2.5 goals is a best 17/25 with Marathonbet while under 1.5 is a bit more enticing at 2/1 with a few firms.
I'm expecting this to be a tight one with so much at stake for the home side so it could pay to back the score to be level at half-time which is a best 21/20 with Betfred.
This English Premier League match between Fulham and Brighton and Hove Albion will be played on Jan 29, 2019 and kick off at 19:45