Fulham this evening travel to Cardiff City for the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final tie.
Scott Parker’s side were still in with an outside chance of sealing automatic promotion back to the Premier League on a frantic final day, but had to rely on results to go their way elsewhere.
After Fulham eventually finished fourth behind west London rivals Brentford, fifth-placed Cardiff now stand between the Whites and a date at Wembley next month.
The in-form Bluebirds needed just a point from their home clash with Hull to make sure of a top-six berth and had little trouble in seeing off the second-tier’s bottom club 3-0 courtesy of goals from Junior Hoilett, Sean Morrison and Danny Ward.
Will Parker inspire a return to the top flight at the first time of asking?
Date, time and venue
Cardiff vs Fulham is scheduled for a 7:45pm BST kick-off on Monday, July 27, 2020.
The match will be behind closed doors at the Cardiff City Stadium with no fans due to be present due to government guidelines regarding coronavirus.
Fulham will have midfielder Harrison Reed back available for this game after the Southampton loanee sat out the draw at Wigan following his red card in the 5-3 win over Sheffield Wednesday.
How to watch
TV channel: The match will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, and is available via Now TV with a day pass for £9.99, or a three-month pass on offer for £25.
Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via SkyGo and the SkyGo app, with a mobile month pass available for £5.99.
Prediction: Cardiff 1-2 Fulham
Both sides enter the play-offs in strong post-lockdown form, with Cardiff having won six of their last nine matches and Fulham boasting five victories in seven.
Cardiff – who languished in 14th place when Neil Harris succeeded Neil Warnock in the dugout in November – have lost just three times on home soil in the Championship all season, while only five teams can lay claim to a better away record than Fulham.
The hosts’ chances of taking a positive result back to Craven Cottage for the second leg on July 30 could largely depend on how effective they are in shackling the threat of the division’s top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, who netted in both league matches between these teams during the regular season.
The absence of a fervent home crowd for such an important contest is a real blow for Cardiff, whose manager has attempted to heap pressure on Fulham ahead of this first leg by positioning his team as the plucky underdog against a big-spending opponent.
Parker’s men to shade a typically tense play-off affair and take a narrow lead back to the Cottage.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
These two clubs have met on 66 previous occasions, with Fulham leading the way in terms of wins, 28-25. There have been 13 draws.
They drew 1-1 in Cardiff in August before Fulham ran out 2-0 winners at Craven Cottage earlier this month, courtesy of a goal in each half from Mitrovic and Josh Onomah.
Betting odds and tips
Cardiff to win: 2/1
Fulham to win: 7/4