We went into Wednesday’s game in desperate need of a spark that would help us to recapture August’s form and we had more than found it by half-time against Swansea, as a Aleksandar Mitrovic hat-trick sealed the win we were so desperate for – a first at home since the imperious Stoke showing. It feels as if we’re back on track, but a strong showing this time out would go a long way to reassuring fans in the same boat as me that the blip is well and truly over.
This Saturday, we travel to the Midlands for a second time in three weeks, to face a Coventry side who sit one place below us in the table. They have enjoyed a similarly successful start to the season, and Swedish striker Viktor Gyokeres has 7 goals in 10 games. Only 3 players have more, one of those being our Mitro.
Last time out, the Sky Blues were caught out cold by Luton Town, who hit five goals past them at Kenilworth Road. Expect several changes to be made after this display. Ben Sheaf, once of the Arsenal academy, could be in line for a start after he was brought on at half-time of the Luton game.
With regards to our team, it really is anyone’s guess as to what side we go with. It wouldn’t be unusual to see changes given the short turnaround from Wednesday night. However, the XI who started against Swansea is as good as anything we have whilst Tete and Fabio aren’t available, so I fancy us to stick with that today.
I think we’ll do well tomorrow in front of the Sky cameras, knowing a win will take us top of the league, albeit potentially for only a couple of hours. I fancy Mitro to continue his fine form with a brace and Harry Wilson to get himself on the scoresheet.
On another note, tomorrow is our first league meeting with Coventry since 1968 and has been labelled as ‘Jimmy Hill day’ by Coventry themselves. The day will provide fans the opportunity to remember and reflect upon the profound impact the late, great Hill had on both clubs.
One thing is for certain, if it weren’t for him this game would not be taking place. Come on Fulham!
SCORE PREDICTION: Coventry City 1-3 Fulham
PREFERRED LINE-UP: 4-2-3-1
H2H LEAGUE RECORD (OVERALL)
- PLAYED – 34
- FULHAM WINS – 15
- DRAWS – 7
- COVENTRY WINS –12
- GOALS SCORED – 52
- GOALS CONCEDED – 43
H2H LEAGUE RECORD (AWAY)
- PLAYED – 17
- FULHAM WINS – 6
- DRAWS – 2
- COVENTRY WINS – 9
- GOALS SCORED – 21
- GOALS CONCEDED – 28
LAST 5 GAMES
- COVENTRY CITY 0-0 FULHAM (LEAGUE CUP)
- FULHAM 2-2 COVENTRY CITY (LEAGUE CUP)
- FULHAM 1-1 COVENTRY CITY
- COVENTRY CITY 0-3 FULHAM
- COVENTRY CITY 1-0 FULHAM
BIGGEST WINS AT COVENTRY
- COVENTRY CITY 5-2 FULHAM (1947/48)
- COVENTRY CITY 1-4 FULHAM (1928/29 – FA CUP)
- COVENTRY CITY 3-0 FULHAM (1923/24)
- COVENTRY CITY 0-3 FULHAM (1967/68)
PLAYERS IN COMMON
Micky Adams, Gary Barnett, John Beck, Cyrus Christie, Roy Dwight, Julian Gray, Jack Grimmer, Johnny Key, Dean Leacock, Kyle Lightbourne, Oliver Norwood, John Salako, David Stockdale, Paul Trollope, Paul Watson.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Fulham haven’t lost a league game against Coventry for 72 years. The last time was a 1-0 defeat at Highfield Road on 2nd April 1949.
- Coventry City 5-5 Fulham on 2nd January 1932 is the joint fifth highest scoring game in Fulham’s history. The club have only been involved in 10 games that have had 10 or more goals.
- It’s Fulham’s joint highest scoring draw. We also drew 5-5 with Grimsby in 1954.
Here’s a Coventry perspective from the Nii Lamptey Show ahead of today’s lunchtime kick-off…
What are your expectations for Coventry this season?
Our expectations are currently in transition. Most people were hoping to again avoid relegation after a summer of high player turnover, but we now sit in 3rd full of hope about what this could be. In reality I’m now expecting a mid table finish. I just don’t see this brilliant run continuing but I’m enjoy it while it lasts.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a squad?
As a team our greatest strength is a very competent back line. Simon Moore has been an excellent addition in goal and our back three is competent and solid. On an individual basis obviously we have the division’s top scorer in Viktor Gyokeres but the goals are the tip of the iceberg. The guy can do everything and has been a revelation. Made all the more bizarre by how unremarkable he was for us and Swansea last season. A weakness for us is strength in depth. As an example, we have a top level right wing back in Dabo but he’s currently suspended and the players we have filling in for him are nowhere near as good.
What is your reaction to your transfer window dealings?
My reaction to our transfer dealings is a lot different now to how it was when we signed the players. Gyokeres seemed overpriced at a million quid. Ben Sheaf equally was an obligation after an underwhelming loan from arsenal last season but he’s been vastly improved. Moore, as I mentioned, has been a massive upgrade on Wilson/Marosi. Finally Jake Clarke Salter seemed like a last resort loan signing but his recovery pace has given fresh life to an aging Kyle Mcfadzean.
If you could have one Fulham player, who would you sign and why?
Obvious answer is Harry Wilson but I’m gonna say the young lad Carvalho. I don’t watch the most championship games, so I might be wide of the mark, but from what I’ve seen he looks to have a huge future ahead of him.
How do you see the game panning out?
I think it’s going to be a very very open game with the potential for a really high score but will probably end up 1-1 or 1-0 either way.
LEAGUE POSITION: 4th
LEAGUE FORM: LWDWW
HOME FORM: WWWWW
LAST RESULT: Luton Town 5-0 Coventry City
GOALS SCORED: 12 (11th)
GOALS CONCEDED: 11 (5th)
AVERAGE POSSESSION: 53% (7th)
DISCIPLINE: 21 Yellows 1 Red (6th)
TOP SCORER: Viktor Gyökeres (7)
MOST ASSISTS: Viktor Gyökeres (2)