Soccer tips: Fulham vs Sheffield United - Blades to go blunt on trip down to London

Sheffield United have won three in a row in the Championship, but may find a trip to league leaders Fulham too much of an ask on Monday night.

Top of the division with a game in hand on their chasers, Fulham have gone flat in recent weeks, drawing four games on the bounce.

That'll encourage Monday's visitors Sheffield United, who have climbed to 14th after going four unbeaten, including three consecutive wins.

However, the Cottagers have only lost once at home this season, and boast the best defence in the league having only conceded 18. It'll be a tough ask for Paul Heckingbottom's men to seal a fourth win in a row.

When, where and how to follow

When: Monday December 20, 19.45 GMT

Where: Craven Cottage, London

Follow the game via our live soccer centre here

Best bets for Fulham vs Sheffield United

Under 2.5 goals - 21/20

Morgan Gibbs-White to score anytime - 17/4

0-0 at HT - 21/10

Both Sheffield United and Fulham have taken different paths since their Premier League relegation last season.

The Cottagers look likely to bounce straight back up under Marco Silva, although they'll need to rediscover their winning formula sooner rather than later.

Marco Silva, manager of Fulham FC

In contrast, Sheffield United struggled for consistency -and wins - under Slavisa Jokanovic who paid the price with his job but have since started climbing the table under Heckingbottom.

The former interim manager has won both his games, opening with a 2-0 win over Bristol City before a second-half flurry against Cardiff City saw them win 3-2 on December 4.

Their scheduled match with QPR last week was postponed due to COVID-19, but even with an extra week of preparation, they enter Monday's clash as 10/3 underdogs.

The draw can be backed at 14/5, while Fulham are 3/4 favourites. The bookies' faith in Silva's side is understandable, with 51 goals they are the division's highest scorers, while their 18 conceded is a league low.

Aleksandar Mitrovic has enjoyed a superb season, topping the scoring charts with 22 goals in 21 games, while the pairing of Tim Ream and Tosin Adarabioyo have been resolute at the back.

But, their scoring has slowed down of late, with only three goals in their last four. With a newly-inspired Sheffield United visiting them, that trend could continue.

Under 2.5 goals is my headline tip at 21/20. Fulham's defence is superb and Sheffield United will be well drilled to stop Mitrovic and co.

It's a bet that has landed in five of Fulham's last six games, as well as five of Sheffield United's last seven.

Last 10 head-to-head record

Fulham wins: 5

Draws: 3

Sheffield Utd wins: 2

Fulham goals: 16

Sheff Utd goals: 10

First half deadlock likely

Tim Ream, Fulham

One pattern that has affected both teams of late is low-scoring first halves. I've already touched upon Fulham's drop in goals, but Sheffield United have only scored eight in their last seven games - with five coming in their last two.

They've also only conceded seven in that time, with four games ending the first half 0-0.

Fulham's story is similar, with three of their last six also ending 0-0 at the interval.

It's also worth a look at the BTTS market. And more specifically, for it not to happen. It has landed in four of Sheffield United's last seven, while it has also come in in six of Fulham's last 10. With two stubborn defences on show on Monday night, it's certainly a market that holds value.

Goalscorer bets for Fulham vs Sheffield United

Morgan Gibbs-White, Sheffield United

When it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net, it's hard to look past Aleksandar Mitrovic. The Serbian striker has netted a league-topping 22 goals this season, while adding five assists to his tally too.

He's playing some of the best soccer of his career and it's easy to forget he is still only 27.

Averaging over a goal a game, he's the obvious pick to score again on Monday night, with his odds to score anytime sitting at 8/11.

A touch more value can be found in the tricky Harry Wilson, who sits second to Mitrovic in Fulham's scoring charts.

The 24-year-old Welshman has been central to much of Silva's success at Fulham this season, and is producing good numbers too - with six goals and seven assists to his name.

His last goal came in the 4-1 demolition of Barnsley a month ago, and with Sheffield's defence requiring a highly technical player to break them down, Wilson to score anytime at 2/1 is enticing.

As for Sheffield United, my goalscorer tip goes to Morgan Gibbs-White at 17/4. Heckingbottom is clearly a big fan of the Wolves loanee, and has rewarded him with a more advanced role.

In both matches under Heckingbottom, he's played just off of the main striker, operating mostly on the right-hand side. It's a role that suits him well, and he has already produced a goal from the position in the 3-2 win over Cardiff.

READ MORE: Fantasy football: A Christmas guide on how to set up your team over the festive schedule

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