In another Premier League clash involving two sides with nothing to play for, Swansea and Fulham will at least be aiming to boost their final league standing as they prepare for next term. This will be particularly relevant for Fulham, who could finish the season anywhere between 17th and 10th position – which is a financial difference of around £5m based on the payments for final league standings.
In terms of Swansea’s league position, the Welsh outfit are poised for their best ever campaign as they sit in 9th place. Having finished last term in 11th, the Swans have achieved exactly what everyone said they wouldn’t and have guaranteed themselves a top half finish. They could even finish as high as 8th should results go their way, which is remarkable for a club that was playing in the bottom tier of English football just several years ago. Their form over recent weeks can be described as being quite inconsistent, with two defeats falling in their last four games. However, considering the fact that the club have played Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea in those matches, they can be forgiven for dropping a few points and Michael Laudrup is unlikely to be too concerned.
One man who might be a little worried at the moment is Fulham manager Martin Jol. The Cottagers are in an absolutely dismal run of form, having collected just one point from their last seven matches. Such a record has sent them tumbling down the table and they only sit five points above recently-relegated Wigan. There has been plenty of speculation regarding Jol’s future over recent weeks although recent vibes suggest that he will be at the helm next season. If that is the case, few would disagree that he needs to strengthen the squad significantly, with his wholesale changes from last summer clearly not having the desired effect this time around.
As for team news, there is little to report for Swansea and Michael Laudrup may opt to keep changes to a minimum. Michel Vorm and Ki Sung-Yeung are the only two absentees, as injury prevents the duo from appearing in the final game. Fulham have plenty of injury concerns meanwhile with Mahamadou Diarra, Simon Davies and Ashkan Dejagah all ruled out for the clash. To make matters worse for Martin Jol, Steve Sidwell is another absentee as suspension prevents him for featuring.
Following Fulham’s dreadful run over recent weeks, our prediction for this game can only focus upon a Swansea victory. Michael Laudrup’s men have enjoyed a supreme season and with the club also holding the home advantage, we think your money should be on a 2-1 victory for the Liberty Stadium outfit.