Hull City visit Craven Cottage on Saturday as they try to distance themselves from the bottom half of the table, while Fulham will be looking to reclaim first place outright.
After being unable to seal victory in our opening game at home to Middlesbrough, we then took out our frustrations on Huddersfield and Millwall, scoring 7 goals on the road. Can we continue the scoring streak and set the league, and Mitro, on fire?
Marco Silva stated how pleased he was with the team after we defeated Millwall 2-1 at The Den and praised the opportunities we created to score more. I believe that will be key against Hull as they are a wounded side, losing back to back home games, 1-0 to Derby and a 3-0 loss to QPR. We do need to stay on the gas and score more goals. When Cavaleiro missed a golden chance to score our third goal on Tuesday, it felt like it would be one of those 1-goal difference matches. Sure enough, Millwall scored late via Matt Smith’s height and Afobe’s fortunate deflection, and it was a nervy ending to a match that was so one sided and should have been out of sight.
The difference from last year, among many things, is how aggressive we have been in the attack. We push numbers with such pace that there are often 4-5 players near the box within 2-3 passes. With that type of attack, it’s no wonder we have had 16 efforts on goal. Again, the key is that we need to convert those chances, especially when a team like Hull visits the Cottage. I am confident we can do it, even without Harry Wilson or if Bobby Decordova-Reid is still injured. Who we can’t do without though, is the teenage sensation Fabio Carvalho. I would be content if we didn’t sign anyone else this season if it meant Fabio signed a long contract with the club. That is the highest priority – and each day that it doesn’t happen, the familiar feeling of letting another young talent slip can’t help but loom large.
I believe the only change we’ll see from Tuesday will be Anguissa coming in for Onomah, who left the match at The Den injured at halftime. Obviously, I would love a comfortable 3 points, but I would also like that in order to see the 5-4-1 that saw Joe Bryan playing left wing against Millwall as we held on for the win. The idea of Bryan’s sublime crossing and Robinson’s pace – Mitro’s fire could continue to spread amongst the team. Fantasy lineups aside, I believe in Silva’s tactics and the belief he has instilled in the team. COYW!!
WHAT THE MANAGERS HAVE SAID
MARCO SILVA: “This season they started with an away game with a good score and a good win for them. We’ll respect them, they are a strong team on the counter attack, they like to be compact and then counter attack. They have good players, fast players on the sides as well. They can play good football, they have this quality, and you have to be aware.”
GRANT McCANN: “We’ll respect Fulham because they’re a good team but we don’t want to show them too much respect, which would hinder our performance. We want to go there, be really competitive and see if we can take the opportunities when they arise.”
SCORE PREDICTION: FULHAM 3-1 HULL CITY
PREDICTED LINE-UP: 4-2-3-1
H2H LEAGUE RECORD (OVERALL)
- PLAYED – 88
- FULHAM WINS – 28
- DRAWS – 26
- HULL WINS – 34
- GOALS SCORED – 105
- GOALS CONCEDED – 108
H2H LEAGUE RECORD (HOME)
- PLAYED – 44
- FULHAM WINS – 19
- DRAWS – 14
- HULL WINS – 11
- GOALS SCORED – 67
- GOALS CONCEDED – 33
LAST 5 GAMES
- HULL CITY 0-1 FULHAM
- FULHAM 0-3 HULL CITY
- HULL CITY 2-2 FULHAM
- FULHAM 2-1 HULL CITY
- FULHAM 4-1 HULL CITY (FA CUP)
BIGGEST WINS AT CRAVEN COTTAGE
- FULHAM 6-0 HULL CITY (1921/22)
- FULHAM 5-0 HULL CITY (1955/56, 1959/60 – FA CUP)
- FULHAM 5-1 HULL CITY (1953/54)
- FULHAM 4-0 HULL CITY (1924/25, 1934/35)
PLAYERS IN COMMON
Ola Aina, Sone Aluko, Kevin Betsy, Jimmy Bullard, Tom Cairney, Tony Finnigan, Michael Hector, Kyle Lightbourne, Lazar Markovic, Chris Martin, Liam Rosenior, David Stockdale, Michael Turner, Tony Warner, Harry Wilson.
Here’s a Hull City perspective from the To Hull And Back podcast ahead of our game with the Tigers this weekend…
What are your expectations for Hull this season?
Well, we’d take 21st if it was offered, but we are more optimistic this Season on the back of a convincing title-winning season with a squad full of young, exciting players. So we’d like to think it’ll be more than that. I expect us to flirt with mid table/top half but ultimately finish just short, due to lack of experience, around 14th place.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a squad?
Our strengths are definitely our attacking threats. We have the likes of Mallik Wilks, Josh Magennis and Keane Lewis-Potter who scored 50+ goals between them last Season, and with the creativity of George Honeyman who mustered up 14 assists and has proven to be a deadeye at set pieces, hopefully we have enough goals in this squad to establish ourselves in the Championship.
Where do you think you need to improve on, while the transfer window is open, if anywhere?
We’re pretty much happy with recruitment given that we’re under an embargo and could only sign freebies, loans and within a limited squad number. We’ve recruited especially well in midfield but if we were to be picky, another striker to challenge Magennis, as Tom Eaves hasn’t cut it unfortunately, and maybe an experienced centre half as our back 4 are relatively young, as are the back up options. But no complaints here.
If you could have one Fulham player at The Tigers, who would you sign and why?
Harry Wilson for me. We loved him when he was here on loan and would suit our 4-3-3 system that saw him and Bowen flourish in before.
How do you see the game panning out?
We don’t expect to get anything from this game, but our strength lies in counter attacking teams. Fulham should attack in numbers, meaning our pacey wingers can exploit the spaces left behind and maybe smash and grab a result. Although I do expect to lose.
FULHAM 3-2 HULL CITY