Aston Villa v Fulham, Preview, Stats and Betting Tips, Saturday 26th May 2018, Wembley Stadium, Kick off: 17:00

There isn’t a league in world football with more money sloshing about than the Premier League. For that reason, the Championship playoff final carries with it the biggest monetary prize in the game. Aston Villa and Fulham are just one match away from a return to English football’s top flight with all its riches and prestige.

The size of the prize on offer inevitably brings with it a fair amount of pressure and these games aren’t always the most pleasing on the eye but they’re always dramatic and there are plenty of routes to take with your playoff final betting.

Also check out our Champions League Offers and World Cup Offers articles to find out the best bookie bonuses and promos for both.

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Aston Villa v Fulham Head to Head Record

  • Fulham 2-0 Aston Villa – 17 February 2018, Championship
  • Aston Villa 2-1 Fulham – 21 October 2017, Championship
  • Fulham 3-1 Aston Villa – 17 April 2017, Championship
  • Aston Villa 1-0 Fulham – 22 October 2016, Championship
  • Aston Villa 1-2 Fulham – 5 April 2014, Premier League

Aston Villa v Fulham Preview

It was a frustrating end to the season for Fulham. They travelled to St Andrews on the final day with a 23 match unbeaten run but ended up on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline against Birmingham. That result was made even worse by the news that Cardiff were held to a draw by Reading meaning that a Fulham win would have seen them promoted automatically.

Slavisa Jokanović deserves credit for the way he rallied his troops to come back from that defeat and get through their playoff semi final against Derby. The Cottagers were the better side in both legs and, even though they were beaten 1-0 at Pride Park, they were fully deserving of their 2-0 win at Craven Cottage.

Aston Villa finished five points behind Fulham in the regular season and were also beaten in their last match. In truth though, Steve Bruce and his men had nothing to play for against Millwall and they’d long since been preparing for the playoffs. Those preparations saw the Villains through to Wembley with a Mile Jedinak header from a corner proving enough to see off the challenge of Middlesbrough.

Fulham are a completely different prospect to Middlesbrough in an attacking sense but the main concern for their fans is their lack of experience. Many of this squad took part in last season’s unsuccessful playoff campaign but that pales in comparison to this Aston Villa squad who boast the experience of John Terry, Mile Jedinak and Robert Snodgrass as well as Steve Bruce who has seen most things as a player and manager. The outcome of this game hinges on whether Fulham’s greater attacking intent is enough to break through Villa’s stubborn resistance.

Relevant Stats, Injuries and Suspensions

Despite that defeat against Birmingham City, Fulham ended the Championship season on top of the form table. It was the Cottagers’ slow start that saw them win just four of their opening 17 matches that really cost them. Aston Villa had a slow start of their own and both sides found themselves inside the top two for just one matchday.

As alluded to above, Fulham were the better of the two sides going forwards with only runaway winners Wolves scoring more goals. Aston Villa were third in the goalscoring stakes however and also ranked third in terms of goals conceded. Both teams had exactly two players to score 10 goals or more with Sessegnon’s 15 goals the best of all those at Wembley.

Steve Bruce was boosted by Neil Taylor’s return to fitness in the week but he looks unlikely to have either Ahmed Elmohamady or Alan Hutton available. Barring any late training ground problems, Slavisa Jokanović should have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Aston Villa v Fulham Tips

Taking a dispassionate view of the Championship playoff final, most neutrals would say Fulham deserve to win a place in the Premier League. They’ve set the Championship alight in the second half of the season and have a wealth of impressive young talent. It takes more than the ability to play attractive football to win a playoff final though and Aston Villa will take to the pitch extremely well versed in how to stop their opponents.

While Fulham fluffed their lines against Birmingham, Aston Villa have a number of experienced stars to drag them over the line so Bruce’s team look well priced to win at 12/5 with BetVictor. This will be no walkover though and Fulham should make a game of it so consider backing both teams to score at evens with Ladbrokes. If you’re comfortable with a slightly bigger risk, the Aston Villa 2-1 correct score is tempting at 11/1 with Coral.