This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Fulham host Cardiff City at Craven Cottage tonight in the second-leg of the pair’s play-off semi-final.
Scott Parker’s side hold a two-goal advantage heading into the second-leg, with goals from Josh Onomah and Neeskens Kebano securing an impressive win in Wales on Monday evening.
So, heading into tonight, Neil Harris is looking to oversee quite the turnaround in West London.
Our writers discuss whether it can be done…
It’s a tough one – I can see Fulham progressing, but only just.
Cardiff were unlucky in the first leg, and two bits of individual magic from Josh Onomah and Neeskens Kebano leaves them with a massive mountain to climb tonight, but the Bluebirds will thrive on being the underdogs.
Neil Harris is used to being the underdog after his time at Millwall, and there’s no doubt that he will get the best out of his players and give them a real injection of passion heading into kick-off.
Fulham looked solid in the first leg on the whole, but it’s important that they do not sit back and let Cardiff come onto them, as they possess a huge threat when attacking the area.
I can see Fulham going through, but an early goal would prove to be massive for either side.
I think it is Fulham’s to lose in all honesty, with the lead they hold from the first leg being crucial as we head into tonight’s game.
As per usual the first goal in tonight’s game will be crucial to determining who wins the tie – with Cardiff sure to go at Fulham straight from the off in order to get back into contention.
Set pieces will likely prove to be the Bluebirds’ best route to goal, with Fulham likely to dominate possession of the ball for long periods as they did in the first leg.
However I believe Fulham have far too much quality and experience in this sort of situation to give away such a commanding lead at this stage of the tie, so therefore I see Parker’s side progressing tonight.
Quiz: Do you remember which club Cardiff City signed these 15 players from?
I can’t see Cardiff coming back into this one if I’m honest.
They’ve been one of the form teams in the run-in but I just don’t think they’ve got it in them to turn this one around against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Scott Parker’s side dominate possession and control games really well – that has been their downfall at times this term but with a two-goal lead they should be in full control from the get go.
Add to that the fact they’ve got the players to do some damage on the break and I can’t really see how the Bluebirds get back into this.
This has a Fulham win written all over it.
The Cottagers were brilliant in the first-leg, and they fully deserved their two-goal lead against a Cardiff side that were far from their best.
There is no doubting that the Bluebirds can only improve from that woeful performance, but I still think Fulham will come out on top.
With Cardiff having to throw more men forward in search of a goal early on, that will play into Fulham’s hands on the counter-attack.
The likes of Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert could have an absolute field day here, as Cardiff look to get back into the tie.
Fulham to win 2-1 on the night and book their spot in the play-off final against Brentford, in what would be a mouth-watering clash at Wembley.
I can’t make a case for Cardiff, sorry Bluebirds fans.
There’s no shame in them being outclassed the way they were earlier this week, Fulham are just a better side with better resources right now.
I expect Cardiff to give it a right go and I’m sure they’ll cause the home side problems but I do think Fulham will see the job through this evening and set up a tie with Brentford.
They’re hitting the right notes at the moment, and Scott Parker will want to keep momentum going with a win this evening.